Monday, October 3, 2011

Arresting Words

This Sunday at CITO Pastor Garry Milley continued his series from 1 Thessalonians entitled "A Pastor and A People".  One of his key points was this - the real power in listening to the pastor is not the voice of the pastor but that "other voice", the voice of God that speaks over and above the pastor's voice.  It's that "other voice" that is effectual in the life of the Christian as they "Receive" and "Accept" (1 Thess 2:13-16) the word of the pastor, mix it with faith and let it work in their lives.  This was an arresting word for me.  A word that stops you in your tracks, not even because it's something new, or novel or you've never heard anything like it before but because along with the voice of the pastor came another voice...  not audible, but clear.  There is power to change a life when the right word is shared.  Anyone who comes to Christ, inevitably reflects back and identifies words that arrested them.  They may have come by the voice of a parent, another family member, a friend,  a youth pastor, a pastor they never me before, an evangelist or some other faithful speaker.  They may have been simple ... "Can I pray with you", "Wanna come to church this Sunday?", "Here's some good news..."  Regardless, words were spoken.  Repentance, redemption, justification and adoption change real lives.  People heading to destruction, turn around.  "There but by the grace of God", no longer becomes a cliche but a daily, vital, truth because of some arresting words.  Lives of small and great saints departed were lived because they heeded arresting words and obeyed the "other voice".  Over the last few weeks,  I've been contemplating the enormity and power of words.  Words shared from the mouth of Christians are inexplicably the means by which God ordained and commanded for the gospel to be spread.  The words of the gospel, when spoken, can 'arrest' the listener like no other message.   Primarily because the "other voice" accompanies faithfully our speaking of His message.  I am blessed to speak publicly in many locations in my vocation but I doubt a word I speak about medicine will ever arrest someone in a spiritual sense.  However, I'm compelled that speaking for God is a better calling, a more weighty task and as Pastor Garry said (and I can attest dealing with people afflicted by physical illness)...often all we have is words. So speak.

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