We are awash in words. People feel compelled to post on social media that they are bored, eating porkchops for dinner, or proud of their football team. The quantity of articles and blogs that now populate the Internet would have been unimaginable back when articles appeared only in print magazines. Twenty-four-hour news outlets spew forth a continuous stream of opinions. Words are certainly not an unrenewable resource.
Yet so many of the words spoken today have little to no impact. If no one is listening, we just increase the volume, much like the preacher who wrote in the margin of his sermon notes, “Weak point. Shout here!”
The apostle Paul knew how to use words effectively. He preached sermons that electrified crowds (while putting at least one young man to sleep! [Acts 20:8]). Paul used words to compose a large portion of the New Testament. Yet Paul stated, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power” (1 Cor. 4:20). Paul was familiar with the Pharisees and hypocrites who waxed eloquent but said nothing. How tired Paul must have been of enduring people who loved to talk but were devoid of spiritual power. Paul had witnessed God’s power first hand, and afterward he was satisfied with nothing less.
I was blessed to witness my father’s ministry for many years. He served in the midst of other Christian ministers and churches, but his ministry often stood out. While others preached sermons, Dad’s ministry was characterized by the unmistakable power of God. I watched him preach many times. Suddenly the room would become electric, and everyone present was aware that God was moving powerfully. At times, people would start coming to the altar to pray while Dad was still preaching. God worked through my dad so powerfully that people could not remain in their seats.
I frequently meet people who tell me stories about my father. They describe having a ten-minute conversation with him and then conclude, “Those ten minutes changed my life!” That’s power.
There are more sermons being preached across America every week in churches and online than ever before, yet the nation continues to grow spiritually worse. We need words drenched with the power of God!
I have been blessed to witness such power. I have seen God use my ordinary life and statements to accomplish his extraordinary work. I long to see even more of God’s power!
The end of a year is always a great time to reflect on how God is using your life for his kingdom. Have you seen fruit? Victory? Progress? Could there be more? Don’t be content merely to speak words. Plead with God to infuse your speech with his power. When he does, you and everyone who hears you will know the difference.