Do you struggle to be kind? If so, you’re not alone. Jesus knew that our words would carry great authority with them, and He devoted much of His earthly ministry to teaching us how to season our words with grace while learning how to speak the truth. Listen in today and I teach from a section of the last week on our study of the power of words from MomStrong International.
Today’s Scripture Writing:
- Matthew 7:3-5
Mentioned in Podcast
- 2 Timothy 2:24-26
- Colossians 4:5-6
- Proverbs 15:23
- Proverbs 31:26
- Proverbs 27:9
- Ephesians 4
- Psalm 37
- Ephesians 4:29
- Philippians 4:8
- Ephesians 4:14-16
- 2 Timothy 2:24-25
Join us at MomStrong International for our Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St John. Thanks for tuning in today. Today is Wednesday, May 29th—this is episode number 772. It is also the last week of our study on the power of our words over at MomStrong International. Today we’re going to be talking a little bit about one of the fruits of the Spirit when we learn to speak the words that God wants us to speak—and that fruit is joy.
Stick around. I know you’re going to be encouraged.
All right, so couple of things. First of all, you got to know tomorrow I’m going to be in Columbus at Teach Them Diligently. I cannot wait to see you come on out and say hello. I will be there for through the 1st of June and I can’t wait to see you and just hear what God’s doing in your life. So come on out! Also, I want to encourage you—if you haven’t yet registered for the CHEC convention, I will be in Colorado from June 13 through 15. And I can’t wait to see you. I’m going to be recording with Dr. Dobson while I’m there. So, really looking forward to that. And then after that I going to take a little bit of time and I’m working on a brand new book which I cannot wait for you guys to see. I’ve been working on writing a new devotional—365 day devotional—for moms and I would really, really appreciate your prayers.
All right, today is Wednesday, May 29th and I’ve been trying to remember to share this Scripture from the Scripture Writing Challenge with you. And today’s Scripture Writing Challenge comes from Matthew 7:3-5. It says, Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Right—that ever happened to you? It’s happened to me. He’s going to go on to say, Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? Verse 5, You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Father, we come before you today and we just want to say thank you. Thank you for your Word, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Father, I thank you for the power of your Word in our lives. I thank you for the opportunity that you have given me to speak life here at the podcast. And Lord, as we talk a little bit about the power of our words today as we wrap up our study on the tongue—Lord, I pray that you just speak through me. I pray that you would remind even me as I’m teaching and talking about this, that my words carry great power. Lord, I pray that you’d help us to speak life to our children and life to our spouses and life to those around us recognizing, yeah, that we are your ambassadors, so we love you. Lord. We invite you in here for the next several minutes. I pray that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts would be acceptable in your sight. Oh Lord, our rock and our redeemer. In Jesus name. Amen.
All right, we’re on the last week of our study at MomStrong International and next week we’re going to start brand new for the month of June. We’re going to start talking about the fruits of the Spirit. So if you haven’t joined us yet at MomStrong International, it’s not too late to do that. The Bible study is just $8 a month, and I’m telling you what, we are pouring our heart and soul into that over there and I know that you’re going to be encouraged. So check it out. You can check out the forums over there. Were over there. There are several moderators now, women, just like yourselves who have come on staff with us at MomStrong International and they are helping us moderate those forums. We want to hear from you. We want to hear how you’re growing in the Lord. We want to hear what God’s doing in your life.
Our key verse for this week is found in 2 Timothy 2:24-26. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. In Colossians 4:5-6 we read, Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
This is tricky, isn’t it? It can be really tricky, especially in age of social media, especially in the Internet age. And I think sometimes we forget that we are ambassadors for the Lord Jesus’ and he’s saying—listen, the Lord’s bond-servant, the Lord’s ambassador, mustn’t be quarrelsome. And the study says, be kind, be able to teach, be patient when you’re wronged, and correct people around you with gentleness. Boy, I’m feeling that conviction in my own heart right now. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders. And so we want to learn about how God would have us season our speech because the truth is—the words that come out of our mouths can be a beautiful gift to the listener. They can be full of richness and blessing, but they could also be words that are harsh—like the five month construction project that’s happening on your neighbor’s house banging at 7:00 AM every single morning, right?
The Bible says in Proverbs 15:23, A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word! You see, each day is another series of moments where God has prepared good works for us to walk in—and we need to be walking in those everyday for our good and for His glory. So we examine what we say, and when, why, how, to whom we are going to speak—because this is a healthy growth point for us in our journey of becoming more like Christ. So when I wrote the book Becoming MomStrong, it’s because I wanted women to see that this process that we are engaged in as believers—is a process, it’s a journey of becoming, and we want to become more like Christ. There’s a reason why James refers to the tongue as restless, evil. He said it’s full of deadly poison. Have you guys experienced that? I have. I’ve noticed that my own tongue can be full of deadly poison, right? But knowing that Christ gave us the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and our mouths, should give us strength to move from the daunting task of always saying the right thing to instead choosing to train our hearts, and our minds, and our mouths in godly speech.
How many of you have ever had to just bite your tongue? You know, just like—not going to say that. That’s not going to go over very well, right? We bite our tongues, we like—Lord help me not to say the thing I want to say instead help me to say that thing that you want me to say. And that’s really my heart for you at MomStrong International, right? So at the podcast, through MSI, everything that we’re doing—we believe so much that God is revolutionizing conversation in homes around the world through the study of His Word that we’re going to continue to encourage you to press in, to don’t grow weary in doing good, and to learn to bring a change to the timber of your home by speaking words that are filled with life. So that’s life. It’s kindness, it’s blessing.
And then that change can ripple into the world. So as your children go out with joy and they bring forth piece with their speech, you are going to be reaping the reward that comes from training your children in righteousness. And as we enter the final week of the study at MomStrong International on this, we’re going to look at a couple of ways that we can shine in our words and richly bless those who are hearing. This is, I only do this once a week. It’s, I’m going to touch on the study at MomStrong International. If you want the whole study, I want to encourage you, join us. You can download it. We usually take these these studies down about a week after they’re over. So if you want to get access to the study, today is a great time to do that. And sit down with your kids and study God’s Word at them.
Proverbs 31:26 says, She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. This is one verse out of the study of the Proverbs 31 woman, that annoying woman who seems to do everything right and she has access to servants, which is another annoying thing about her. But the Bible tells us that she also is a woman of incredible character and we need to be copying her character. And so, not only is our desire to encourage and bless those that we hold the closest, but Colossians—which we just read a few minutes ago—exhorts us to conduct ourselves with wisdom toward even the people who don’t know the amazing depth of Christ’s love for them. Why? So that we make the most of every interaction.
So none of us wants to be a hindrance to someone who’s coming to our faith. And so the question is—how do we bring the reality of what God teaches us in His Word about our speech into our everyday lives? Well, we’ve got to start by realizing that every word, every action on social media, and in the long line at the grocery store, and at Walmart, or at the homeschool co-op—can either be a help or a hindrance to somebody’s faith journey.
So, and I’m not trying to guilt trip you, but I do want you to recognize and be sobered by the fact that if we don’t exercise wisdom and we don’t season our speech with grace as if it were salt—that we are having a negative impact rather than a positive one. And the same is true of our children, right? You see, grace is to words what salt is to a meal. And salt enhances the flavor and it brings out all the best goodness of a portion of meat or a wonderful salad, right? But grace is the same with our words. So the mind of Christ in us reacts with our words and brings the fullness, which is the best flavor, the best strength to our words come to the surface. Just like salt brings the flavor to the surface, grace brings the best of our words to the surface so that we can respond to everyone who’s listening the way that they most need, right?
Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. And so when we talk a lot about speaking the truth in love—does that mean that we are super, incredibly honest about everything? Remember a week ago we studied, or rather three weeks ago we started Ephesians 4—and we learned that that’s not actually the truth, right? So we don’t want a mistake honesty for rudeness. We want to learn to be kind and season our speech with grace and love. Remember Psalm 37 taught us that when we walk according to the Word of God, these are the things that that develop in us: trust, goodness, faithfulness, delight in the Lord, righteousness.
And as we delight ourselves in, Lord, the Bible teaches us that He gives us the desires of our heart. He wants to do that. Why? Because those desires are focused on God’s desires, God’s ideals, and God’s priorities. So we know that out of the heart, the mouth speaks. And so a heart that’s filled with God’s desires are going to do what? It’s going to speak: discernment, clarity, love, kindness, grace, truth. All of these things come from a heart that is surrendered to the Lord.
So the Bible teaches us that the things that come from a righteous mouth are wisdom—not knowledge, did you notice that? Knowledge is not what we want. Wisdom is the ability to apply the knowledge that we’re learning. And the Bible says a righteous mouth brings forth wisdom and justice. And here justice is the Hebrew word Mishpat, which means a verdict. So favorable or unfavorable, right?
But we want to recognize that we are able, as Christ’s children, as children of the living God, to speak with wisdom and justice. And the Bible says that when we have the law of God in our heart, the result is that our steps do not slip. And so as you’re listening to this today, wherever you are in your walk with the Lord, wherever you are in your age—maybe you’re old enough to be a mom, maybe you’re a teenager, maybe your dad on his way to work. I want you to consider if we are living according to Psalm 37, then speaking the truth and love becomes much simpler because we practice Ephesians 4:29 with our speech. We season our speech with grace and then we apply Philippians 4 whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is a good repute—to whatever enters our mind. I call it with my kids the Philippians 4 filter. It’s a filter that God wants us to put on our speech.
So I’m going to encourage you today to read Ephesians 4:14-16 because we studied verses 14 to 16 in week one. And we learned that biblical maturity involves a growing steadiness in our minds. That means we don’t freak out when we see things on the Internet. We don’t freak out. And you know, sometimes it just means we have to realize what’s going on around us and what God is doing in and through us as we take sort of the abuse of the world, who doesn’t understand where we’re coming from. Nowhere can this be better seen in the fight for life right now. Nowhere can we see this. Because I believe that the fight for life, our willingness as Christians to stand up and say—we are going to defend the unborn in this world, we are no longer going to stand by and allow the slaughter of innocent babies to happen on our watch. We will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. And you see an outright viciousness and an anger that is coming from the world right now. Why? Because what we’re seeing as a response to evil. And just because someone speaks unkindly to us, doesn’t mean that we respond unkind.
The Bible says instead we are to lay aside our own flesh, and to speak the truth to our neighbors in love, in the hope that they will also become Christians. So we gotta ask ourselves then—what is the goal of Godly speech? Why should it matter to us? Why should it matter to us that we understand God’s heart and we put His heart into practice—and the answers found in the Bible. The Bible teaches us that if we are a servant of Christ, we’re going to grow to want to be more like Him. And Paul taught the Church of Ephesus that they were to grow mature in their doctrine. He was saying—understand what the Bible means. He talked to Timothy about the same thing in 2 Timothy 2:24-25. He said, if we are a servant of Christ, we must not be quarrelsome, but rather be kind to all so that we become able to teach.
Part of becoming able to teach—and this is really the heartbeat here at MomStrong International—It’s too to help you to learn God’s Word, to love people the way that God loves them, and then to get out in front and become leaders. And this means that you are able to pass on what you’re learning, you’re able to teach. And part of that is to become biblically literate.
I said it before—we have a pretty serious problem in the church right now. And that is that we are living in a generation of biblically illiterate Christian. So men and women who claim the name of Jesus but who don’t know His Word and can’t defend it. And we want to become biblically literate. We want to know what God’s Word says so that we can learn to pass on the truth of what He says to anyone who’s watching. The Bible teaches us that we are to correct those who are in opposition to what we teach about Jesus. But He says that there is a way to do it. It’s not the same as we would chase in a child, but rather that we would learn to be a gentle in the way that we speak to those around us because the world is watching. This is so important, men and women, this is so important. In verses 24 to 26 of 2 Timothy 2, and I’m going to close with this today, we look and how God wants us to be again. So it’s the same. It’s the same verse that I started with but I want you to see this as God’s heart for you. This is the Lord of Heaven’s Army speaking to you through the Apostle Paul saying, this is how important your speech is to me. So let’s close with this verse today, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
The Lord’s bond-servant [that’s you guys] must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach [that means we know God’s Word] patient when wronged, and with gentleness correcting those who oppose us, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of truth, and they might come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil having been held captive by him to do as well.
You see, ultimately there’s a whole lot hanging on this. And the big thing hanging on this is the salvation of men and women that are in our lives, and within the sound of our voice, and within earshot of our words. And we want our words to be seasoned with grace as you would season our food with salt. So think about how your words are affecting your children. Think about how they’re affecting your spouse. Ask The Lord to give you an opportunity to speak life, to be both gracious and truthful at the same time. Because God says that you can do it.
If you guys want more information on this study, it’s a wonderful study for you to do with your teens. You can find it at MomStrong International. The name of the study this week is Deep Waters. I am on week four, so I just finished this month with you and we’re gonna move on to next month.
For the month of June we’re going to be studying the fruit of the Spirit. I cannot wait! Something we don’t often talk about in the church, and God has so much for us. He has so much life for us as we get to know Him and get to know His Word. So I want you guys to join us. We have been so blessed by the many of you who have come alongside us at MomStrong International. You can join the Bible study. You can do the Scripture Writing, of course in that part is free, and I’ve been doing that for many years here at the podcast and at my blog. And that will give you the opportunity to read God’s Word with us every day and just write down a little verse. And we also have copywork for your children. So you can not only be writing God’s word yourself, but your kids can be writing it with you, yhey can be practicing their handwriting.
If you join the Bible study, which is just $8 a month, so basically it’s $2 a week—you get this fantastic study and we’re going to take you deeper into the Word. You’ll have access to Kids Strong—so Kids Strong International, which is the part of the Bible study where we help you take what you’re learning and teach it to your kids.
God says that he wants us to grow in our relationship with Him, to grow in every aspect of our relationship, to grow in our knowledge of His Word, to grow in we represent Him to the world around us, and to grow in grace. And we do that through applying God’s word to our everyday lives. I hope you guys have been encouraged today. I have been encouraged just to hear what God’s doing in your life.
If you’d like to reach out to us, please do that. You can reach out to us via the mail, via snail mail, which we love. We love to hear from you. Please send that to Heidi St. John c/o Firmly Planted Family 11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682. We appreciate your prayers for us and please be sure to check out our sponsor, Evangelical Christian Credit Union, ECCU.org/Heidi.
Have a great day everybody, and I’ll see you back here on Friday.
Write to Heidi:
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682