“Careless Words”

February 4, 2016

Schenk's Mill Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, PA 2/2/16
Schenk’s Mill Covered Bridge
After a warm rainy day yesterday the snow is rapidly melting.
“Careless Words”

Message Summary: Let’s determine by God’s grace to use our words to glorify God, to speak truth while also seeking to build others up. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

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“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36). “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

When Brooksyne and I have been out of the house awhile and return I often teasingly ask Ester, “Did anyone call?” hearkening back to the days of the single line home phone we had when Ester was growing up. Of course, like many, we now carry our own phones and thus the question is no longer relevant. If we get a call the phone is with us since we no longer have a land line.

Answering machineBut it does bring to memory a time when Ester was growing up. Like most people, we had an answering machine and I had asked Ester while we were next door at the church  not to answer the phone but let any calls go to the answering machine. When I got home I checked the answering machine for messages. A pastor friend had called. On the tape I heard her greet him in a friendly tone with, “O my gosh, how are you doing?” Well, we had taught her not to say “gosh” as we consider it to essentially be a derivative of the Lord’s name, and we in no way want to take the Lord’s name in vain. And of course there was the aspect of disobedience since she had been told not to answer the phone in the first place.

After I listened to the recording I did all I could to get her to come clean on her own by asking her if anyone had called. “Were there any messages”, etc. She said there were not, unaware that the conversation had been recorded. Eventually we got to the bottom of the matter, having the evidence on tape. I can’t recall the discipline we applied since she disobeyed and lied but I’m sure she lost some privileges.

I told Ester I was going to use this illustration today because I can call to mind the story. Imagine the times we as children didn’t come clean with our parents, but of course, the older I get the less I remember the exact details! Yes, we got caught often but there were other times that only the Lord was witness to our sinful behaviour along with our guilty conscience.

Let us consider our daily verses. The first is a timeless truth from the book of Numbers. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). And it will! Not necessarily immediately, but eventually. Even if we manage to get through life hiding a sin we will eventually have a time of accountability or the sin itself may play out in our lives in ways we never anticipated! Instead of repenting of our sin it may bear rotten fruit as we harbor the very root of that sin deep in our hearts, ie. lying can grow a manipulator, disobedience can grow a rebel, cheating can grow a thief, breaking promises can grow an unfaithful spouse and so forth.

Psalm 19:14Our second daily text is a great standard for speech and heart attitude as expressed by the Psalmist. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

In our third daily text Jesus points out that every word we say comes under the scrutiny of divine judgment. “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36). We will all give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word we have spoken. On most days Brooksyne wears a pedometer that registers each step she takes. What if we had a word-ometer that registered every word we speak? Well, essentially God does have word-ometer on each of us! And I suppose you could say it’s “in the cloud”.

Every word in cloud Talk about a massive data bank! Over 7 billion people live on the planet at the present time, let alone all who have lived throughout history. Someone has determined that men speak 7,000 words a day and women 20,000, although I’ve never counted and have no idea how they come up with figures like this! Assuming it’s true across all languages that’s some 91 trillion words spoken daily which is over 4 times our national debt. * (I averaged men and women but of course babies can’t speak so this is only a rough estimate.)

Consider just the careless words the Greek conveys as “useless” coming out of a typical individual.  What about the words coming out of Washington or Hollywood alone!!!  And now we have all the words out on the political trail!

Today let’s determine by God’s grace to use our words to glorify God, to speak truth while also seeking to build others up. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we join with the Psalmist and pray that the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts is pleasing and acceptable in Your sight, O Lord our strength and our Redeemer. Jesus warns us that a good person brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. That which is in our hearts will greatly influence that which we speak or the way we act. If our hearts are focused on pure and godly things, our words and actions will reflect that. But when our hearts are full of folly and self, it will be revealed in our words and actions. Help us to be quick to repent and take necessary steps to cleanse ourselves of sin so that we are pleasing to You which is far more valuable and beneficial than trying to conceal a sin. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


Back in the days of CB handles:  One Sunday morning in Massachusetts our choir was rehearsing a song with one of the members using a cordless microphone.  Suddenly we heard a very cherry and uplifting voice loudly speaking through the church sound system, “Now you have a good day!” A few minutes later Gene Wilmoth, who is now with the Lord, arrived. He was an older member and a vibrant greeter. Upon inquiry it turns out he was the “culprit”. He had been on his CB which apparently had the same frequency as the cordless microphone and actually used the CB to share his faith along with a circle of like-minded friends.

* “91 trillion words spoken daily by all the people on earth which is over 4 times our national debt.” This sure makes you realize what a debt problem we have!!!


Lancaster farm in snow 1/31/16
A white farm on a white landscape

Lancaster log cabin in snow 1/31/16
This large log cabin house at the top of the hill looks very inviting in the midst of a snowy landscape. This scene reminds us of mountainous northern Pennsylvania. Notice the big chimney on the left side. Presumably there is a fireplace where there is a glow of fire, the dancing of flames and the sound of crackling embers – a perfect place to get cozy and warm.

Lancaster farm in snow 1/31/16
The farm has a long drive which would be pretty impossible to plow out by hand!

Thieving squirrels 2/3/16
We try to see that the birds are fed through the winter but we have some squirrels who manage to take what they reckon is their share as well!


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Let The Words Of My Mouth”  Video  Fernando Ortega

“Let The Words”  Video  Don Moen  Psalm 19:13-14

“Let My Words Be Few”   Video   Phillips, Craig & Dean


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