Monday, 5 June 2017

Use your words

If you've ever spent time with young children, you've probably had this phrase come out of your mouth: "Use your words."

It is a reminder young children need that you will not be able to most fully understand them if they choose to use grunts and whines and other sounds effects to communicate - but more than that, you are working to teach them to rise above their natural, selfish human desires and wants, and engage in conversation with other people.  Words are what allow us to do this.  Words are the best.

With young children, words are the antidote to unbridled feelings and wants.  The plain use of words brings control to the wild "Ugh. Ah. Wah and Uh" that naturally comes out of the human being.  This is taught.  We teach our children this - despite their best efforts.  They definitely do not "want" to be constrained to using words - they would much rather just cry and scream and flail and force our attention to give them what they want - even run all over "thinking we know" what they want - as they wriggle and demand from their throne.  They must be taught - at great loss of energy to parents - to control themselves and use their words.

Now imagine God's Word.  How much more will the heart of man need to constantly hear what God has to say?  We grow up and begin to think we've got it all figured out.  Meanwhile, God and His holiness are not something we could ever "figure out" - we need the Word - God's Word.  And we need it all the time.  We were designed this way, to be on the receiving end of that Word which gave us life.  It sustains us.  It teaches us.  It constrains our sinful human nature, and allows us to "engage in conversation with other people", that is, look to the needs of our neighbour instead of ourselves. 

And God is gracious in giving us His Word.  He sent His Word down into our flesh - made Him one of us - in order to take that sinful human nature and defeat its rebellion by His death on the cross.  Then by His resurrection, the Word of God in our humanity - now our new humanity - rose up and told His disciples to spread the Word.  God's Word is a gift - from His death and resurrection, to His preaching of it today - God uses His Word. 

So see yourself this way - a dear (and sometimes rebellious) child of your heavenly Father - one who must be taught - at great loss of energy to God, yes, even death on a cross - but by that action of His, you are being transformed for the age to come in the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus.  May God's Word shape your mind this way now and always.

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