Sunday, 16th May 2021
Pastor Kathy Poon
Today’s message starts our series of “Step into the Blessed Life” – Gracious Words * Blessings Year After Year
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”- Proverbs 18:21
The power of our tongue is so great that when we speak gracious words, it will bear good fruit, which is “life”, and in the contrary, when we speak bad things, bad fruit will grow, which leads to death.
“Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.”- Psalms 34:12-13
The above verse is one of the many verses in the Bible that can help us enter a blessed life. One may wonder whether the power of the tongue is truly that great. Let us see what the Bible says in the following sections.
Section One: The Key to the blessing/ curses is your tongue
“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” – Genesis 1:3
God created the world using His words, so we should despise our power from the words we say.
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” – Hebrews 11:3 NKJV
The “visible” things are those that can be seen, and here the verse tells us God created this world not by the materials in this world, but from the spiritual world. This is because our God is Spirit, who we cannot see with our physical eyes. Among all the things He created, only human beings were created in the image of God. Therefore, our words are powerful just like those of God, bringing death and life.
“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19 NKJV
Here we see two different worlds:
- Earth = Material World
- Heaven = Spiritual World
There is an invisible spiritual world that affect all of us in this visible material world. Just like ants, which live in the 2-dimension world and therefore are not aware of the third dimension, we live the third dimension but cannot see the fourth dimension. There are things that are invisible, such as wind, virus, or love, but truly exist. When Jesus said here that He would give us the “keys” so that whatever we bind or loose on earth will be done the same in heaven, the “keys” refer to our tongue.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
Why do we care about this “spiritual world”? This verse tells us that we are not facing battles against the things that can be seen, but things that are unseen. Sometimes we may experience problems that we never expect. In the spiritual world, there are dark forces that will attack us in real life, but through our faith and prayer in Jesus, these problems will be solved.
Section Two: Three spiritual principles
Just like there are natural principles (for example, things will fall to the ground because of gravity), there are also spiritual principles that will determine whether we enter a blessed life or curses.
1. The Principle of Sowing & Reaping
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” – Galatians 6:7 NIV
This truth is very simple: One will reap whatever they sow. When you say positive words you will reap good outcome, and when you say negative words you will reap bad things. In other words: Gracious words reap Blessings, but negative words reap curses. Words spoken out are just like a boomerang and will come back to us. When we are in a positive environment, we will feel encouraged and lifted up. When we utter negative words with negative attitude, not only do we hurt others and ourselves, but our children will also follow our bad examples.
2. Gracious words bring healing , negative words leads to sickness
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” – Proverbs 15:4 NIV
The “soothing tongue” means gentle and kind words. An experiment was once carried out between two identical plants from IKEA, which were placed in a local school (https://youtu.be/lcHZyuX2U9U). In the following 30 days, these two plants received the same light, water, and nutrients. Recorded audio messages were also played in loop next to each plant, but the difference was that one plant was “verbally bullied” by only words of curses from the audio player, and the other received words of praises instead. The plant receiving positive compliments lived well after 30 days, but the other one withered and died. Even a plant can be affected by human words! Our body works in a similar way. If we continue to speak positive words to us, we will become a healthy and blessed person, as we replace our complaints and negative mindset with gracious words and a thanksgiving heart.
3. Be mindful of words you speak : words from authorities have great power
“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” – Colossians 3:21 NKJV
We should not be too strict when talking to our children or those under our authority, because they will be hurt in their spirit. Many children may even get hurt by the words spoken to them when they are still in their mother’s womb. Similarly, a teacher’s words can greatly influence how their students view themselves, which will also affect students’ performance at school. Compliments from authorities can therefore encourage those people under their care.
Section Three: Be wise to choose , turn curses into blessings
When we know the above truths, we will have the wisdom to make the right choice. The Bible further explains to us:
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:37 NKJV
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29 NKJV
What if we hold negative emotions inside of us and could not hold any more? We don’t need to say to those people around us, but can express everything from our heart to God. This is one of the benefits we can experience as a believer of Jesus – we can talk to God in our prayer, or talk to our spiritual leader in the church, who will not judge us but help us see the truth.
“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.” – Isaiah 50:4(NLT)
In order to say gracious words, we need God’s help. For a lot of Asians, it is not a natural thing to praise others. But when we choose to be grateful and giving praise, we will enter the cycle of blessings, and when we choose to speak negative words, we may enter a vicious cycle. Just like an old saying says: “When you complain, you remain; when you praise, you raise.” Therefore when bad things happen on the earth, let us stop complaining but be thankful for what we have and declare good things will happen in the spiritual realm. The more we practise, the better we will become at speaking gracious words to others.
“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” – James 3:2 NLT
Everyone makes mistakes in many ways. We may get hurt by negative words from others as we grow up, but God will heal and restore us, for He loves us. Let us come before God to receive healing for all the hurts from our past, and forgiveness for having said negative words to hurt others.