Saturday, September 8, 2012

By Thy Words

Words (c) ninasauresrex via

"For by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." 
~Matthew 12:37

A small passage of scripture, but so packed with meaning! What was Jesus saying here? First, we need to look at this in context. Jesus had just performed an exorcism, casting a devil out of a man who was blind and dumb. The man was healed, and instantly, we see the two types of people spring into action:  the believers begin praising God and calling Jesus the son of David; the Pharisees begin talking among themselves saying he cast out the devil because he is, in fact, the devil.

So many things to notice here. Have you ever noticed that often when people have something good to say about someone, they are open and up front about it, yet when someone is engaging in gossip, they speak in whispers and stop talking altogether when someone else comes along? That's what the Pharisees were doing here. Matthew tells us that "Jesus knew their thoughts". They were speaking in low voices among themselves, trying to stir something up, trying to persuade others to come over to their side and bolster their position with numbers as though having more people in agreement can make a wrong position right. 

And what did Jesus tell them?  "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Again, so many directions I could go with this -- especially in an election year -- but I'll try to maintain my focus and keep this on an intimate, personal level. 

Our words can strengthen or destroy; they can heal or hurt; they can justify or they can condemn.

Pastor Tom has a phrase he uses quite often "Don't separate your saying from your praying", in other words, don't pray for healing and then talk about your sickness. You are being a house divided against itself. God was, and is, very focused. From the garden of Eden he began speaking salvation over mankind. He added to it throughout the centuries until everything that he spoke came to pass. If you are a house divided, if you mingle your seed, if you say one thing one minute and then the opposite the next, at best you'll stay stuck where you are. But you might actually worsen your position.

I think that we often don't realize the importance of the spoken word. We say things in a joking manner, or sarcastically, and don't realize that words are words, but more important words are seeds. And, as Pastor Susan said in her lesson last Sunday evening, "A seed is a seed, whether it's sown intentionally or unintentionally."  That's why we are known by our fruit.

Jesus tells us that  "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." You really can't hide what's in your heart. You may think you can, but eventually it will show. If you fill yourself up with the Word, and focus on the good and beautiful things in life, then you will have a tendency to see everything from that viewpoint. Because you are sowing seeds of peace, beauty and joy, that's what will grow in your garden.

Now I could really get sidetracked here by weeds... yes, even though you don't plant them, they will spring up! That's true in the natural garden as much as it is in the spiritual. But, just as in the natural, if you keep your garden weeded, fertilized and watered, you will reap a harvest!

So, if a tree is known by it's fruit, what fruit do you want to eat out of your garden? It's up to you to sow the right seed. And the way we sow that seed is by our mouths -- it is by our words that we are justified or condemned.

I think we often indulge in an incorrect view of God. We see him sitting on a throne of judgment, pronouncing a sentence on us, and punishing us for our sins and mistakes. Yes, there will be a final judgment for those who do not accept Jesus as Lord. But there is actually a law in place that justifies and condemns automatically. For Christians, we know it as the law of sowing and reaping. In the secular world, it's known as the law of karma. God set the law in motion, told us how it worked, sent his son as example and savior, and now it's up to us to follow the law or reap the consequences.

It's much like the law of gravity. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in it or not. It doesn't matter if you are a "good" person or a "bad" person. The law of gravity is. The law of gravity works all the time. It's consistent. It doesn't play favorites. When you go to bed at night, you don't have to worry about waking up on the ceiling. Likewise, if you step off the edge of a cliff, you will fall.

They will know we are Christians by our love. 

That is how I want to be known. I want people to look at my life and know that I'm a Christian. Not because I tell them I am, but because they can tell that I am through my words, my actions, my lifestyle, my love...

I'm not there yet. In fact, sometimes I get frustrated with how far I have to go. But, I will keep sowing the right seed, and keep weeding my garden, and with God's grace, His love will shine through more often than not.


  1. Had the thought that when He said that about a house divided, He was also referencing the House of Israel..He was supposed to be it's leader, but the (then) present government (Pharisees and Sadducees included) wouldn't recognize didn't stand as a nation at that time...Just a thought. One more; that the acme or highest use of the law of PMT

    1. Of the law of sowing and reaping is the sowing and reaping of the Word of God in our lives.

  2. I agree on both points, Pat. I think there are so many different levels and meanings to the Word. I think we can reap the Word of God in our lives, or we can also reap our own words in our lives.


I would love to hear your thoughts... please share.