How Not to Walk, Part 15 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #261)

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.

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J. Stuart Holden said, “God has called us to co-operate with Him in making the Gospel known to our generation.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “God wants you to move into fullness. He wants to move you into the place where you are steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of God. Only a risen, exalted Christ can make that possible. He’s got to have pre-eminence in your living, your thinking, your time, your language — in all things, not some things. Every day, every second should be holy for a man who has the Holy Ghost.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During the Cane Ridge Revival, giving the people an invitation to come up to be prayed for was also blessed. The ministers usually, at the close of preaching, would tell the congregation that if there were any persons who felt themselves lost and condemned, under the guilt and burden of their sins, that [they could] come near the stage and kneel down…. Apparently under strong conviction, [people] would come and fall down before the Lord at the feet of the ministers and crave an interest in their prayers, sometimes twenty or thirty at a time.”

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Today, we move on to verse 29 in which we find another command for the new man in Christ. Paul writes, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…” One of our presidential candidates has faced criticism recently because of corrupt communication that proceeded out of his mouth.

The Greek word translated as “corrupt” means rotten, bad, worthless, or putrefied. Such communication, such words ought not to pass the lips of the new man or the new woman in Christ. To really grasp the meaning of this command, we must understand that words are powerful. God created the world just by speaking it into existence. Psalm 33:9 says, ‘He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it came to pass.’ Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Jesus Christ himself is called “the Word of God.” The majority of Jesus’ miracles — quieting the stormy sea, casting out devils, healing the sick, raising Lazarus from the dead — were performed simply by Him speaking the word.

Now, we cannot have right speech if we have wrong hearts. Dr. Warren Wiersbe notes: “The mouth and heart are connected. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.’ We expect a change in speech when a person becomes a Christian. It is interesting to trace the word ‘mouth’ through the Book of Romans and see how Christ makes a difference in a man’s speech. The sinner’s mouth is ‘full of cursing and bitterness’; but when he trusts Christ, he gladly confesses with his mouth ‘Jesus Christ is Lord.’ As a condemned sinner, his mouth is stopped before the throne of God; but as a believer, his mouth is opened to praise God. Change the heart and you change the speech.”

The new man who has a new mind also has a new mouth. His speech flows out of his new mentality. He does not speak as He used to speak, but in a way that honors God and edifies his fellow man.

George Cuff wrote:

Let us watch our tongue today.
Consider God’s Word and fear it.
Let us submit our unruly heart
to the Lordship of God’s Spirit.
Let us reach up and trust our God
to give us the Spirit’s power
To live today governing our tongue
as we walk with Him each hour.

How Not to Walk, Part 14 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #260)

spiritual-warfare

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 4:28:

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

—-

A.W. Pink said, “Christ is a Savior for those realizing something of the exceeding sinfulness of sin — who feel the awful burden of it on their conscience, who loathe themselves for it, who long to be freed from its terrible dominion — and a Savior for no others.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “God is looking for people who will live recklessly for Him — not concerned with public opinion or preacher’s opinions, but becoming a love slave of Jesus Christ.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Cane Ridge Revival popularized other revival activities as well: Singing was attended with a great blessing. At every meeting, before the minister began to preach, the congregation was melodiously entertained with numbers singing delightfully, while all the congregation seemed in lively exercises. Shaking hands while singing furthered the work. The ministers … go through the congregation and shake hands with the people while singing. And several … declared that this was the first means of their conviction.”

—-

As we return to this verse once again, one of the things our attention must be drawn to is the great difference between the way of the world and the way of God. The world, for the most part, agrees with Paul when he says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands…” But, God’s Word takes things a step further when it says, “that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Yes, Jesus expects that His children ought to work, not just so they can have for themselves, but so they can have to share with others. The old man thinks only of himself and what he can gain. The new man thinks of others and how he can be of service and help.

The devil can take a good thing like hard work and make it a selfish endeavour. That is what he specializes in — taking something that God has ordained and twisting it into something wrong and self-serving. But, as anyone who has lived long enough will tell you, if you live only for yourself, you will end up unhappy, unfulfilled, and dissatisfied with life. Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”

As you work at whatever occupation you are engaged in, think about what you are able to give to others. Certainly, it feels good to receive a paycheck on a regular schedule, but God says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Fanny Crosby wrote:

To the work! To the work!
We are servants of God,
Let us follow the path
that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel
our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might
what our hands find to do.

To the work! To the work!
Let the hungry be fed;
To the fountain of life
let the weary be led;
In the cross and its banner
our glory shall be,
While we herald the tidings,
“Salvation is free!”

To the work! To the work!
There is labor for all;
For the kingdom of darkness
and error shall fall;
And the love of our Father
exalted shall be,
In the loud-swelling chorus,
“Salvation is free!”