How Not to Walk, Part 16 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #262)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:29:
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
George Muller said, “My business is with all my might to serve my own generation. In doing so I shall best serve the next generation, should the Lord tarry…I have but one life to live on earth and this one life is but a brief life for sowing in comparison with eternity for reaping.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “You might want to Iive thinking your time is your own, but it isn’t. Not even your breath is your own anymore. Jesus must have pre-eminence in every aspect of your life.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During the Cane Ridge Revival, above a hundred persons … came forward, uttering howlings and groans, and on the word being given, ‘Let us pray,’ they all fell on their knees. But this posture was soon chanced for others that permitted greater scope for the convulsive movement of their limbs, and they were soon lying on the ground in an indescribable confusion of heads and legs…. As if their hoarse and overstrained voices failed to make noise enough, they soon began to clap their hands violently.”
Today, we continue looking at the command: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.” Having understood this command, the question we now ask is, How should we then speak as new men and new women in Christ? Paul says, we should speak “that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Just as the tongue can be used to tear down people, the tongue can be used to build them up. That is what edification means — building up people so that they can become stronger spiritually.
Before we speak, we should all take a moment to consider the effect that our words have on others. If your words are not spiritually edifying, positive, purposeful, or upbuilding of others, then you should not say anything. As the old saying goes, ‘If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.’ One preacher once said, “One of the first things that happens when a man is really filled with the Holy Spirit is not that he speaks with tongues, but that he learns to hold the one tongue he already has.”
The old man only thinks of how he can use his words to benefit himself, to push himself forward. But, when we speak words that are edifying, we are contributing in a positive way to the lives of others. This command to speak in an edifying manner ties back into the command not to sin in our anger. Many people say things that they regret when they are angry or when they are under some kind of emotional stress. But we must submit our hearts, minds, emotions, and tongues to Christ so that we speak only those things that are honoring to him and beneficial to others.
Someone once wrote:
Use words of kindness, filled with love,
That heal and nourish life
Instead of hurling angry words
That wound and stir up strife.