The Power of Words
The year that I started pastoring here at West Plains I started pursuing a word throughout the whole year. I had never done it before but in 2013 I did it for the first time myself and for us as a church.
Over the past 10 years I/we have focused on:
Words are powerful. They have the power to inspire, encourage, appreciate, heal, and turn the impossible into the possible. Throughout history, words have transformed societies, people, and relationships.
One word can make a difference
When you find your word for the year, it will change the way you think, the words you speak, the attitudes of your heart, your relationships, and even your actions.
I remember when I bought a Subaru Outback how I began to see them everywhere where I never noticed them before. The same is with a word. You will begin to see it more clearly.
One word can give you clarity and focus for the challenges of a busy, stress-filled world. Just as light focused becomes a laser that can cut through steel, a life focused becomes a force that can cut through the so called normal for today.
When we combine the power of our words together we can count on them sharpening and challenging us together.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
This year I have chosen the verb. PURSUE
Defined by the dictionary as:
To follow in order to overtake, to capture. (Usually a long distance or time.)
To follow close upon; go with; attend:
To strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish (an end, object, purpose)
To proceed in accordance with
Synonyms: Such as; Seek, Follow, and Fish!
This is a word that shows action or a state of being. Just as almost every sentence requires a verb, so does every life need the pursuit of something.
In Congress, July 4, 1776, the unanimous declaration of independence had the phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “
The 13 states at the time all agreed that they should not be ruled over by tyrants, with a forced government and a forced religion. They agreed together that we have a Creator. That we have the rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness in serving and worshipping their God.
What are you Pursuing?
The Pursuit of Happiness
Remember Your Creator
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Solomon had it ALL!
Unbelievable wealth – Based upon today’s standards he was worth 2.1 Trillion. Just to get an idea, he received 25 tons of gold per year.
Fame – Kings and Queens desired to meet him.
Wisdom – Wisdom granted by God.
If it could be had, he had it. If it could be built, he built it.
And he came to realize that it was all Vanity of Vanities.
And his advice is to: Remember your Creator when you are young!
Redeem the Time
Resolve to Keep His commandments
Remember to Love God with all your being.
Jesus reiterates this in Matthew 22:
Matthew 22: 37
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Remember The Commandments
1. Don’t have any other gods (Point 1 figure toward heaven)
2. Accept no substitute (no idols) (two index fingers and bow down to the one)
3. Take God seriously (Don’t take the name of the Lord in vain)
(Hold up 3 fingers like a W remember your words – Take 3 fingers and put over mouth)
4. Be a faithful worshipper. Keep the main thing the main thing. (Remember the Sabbath, to keep it Holy)
(take two fingers from each hand and make a steeple)
Love Your Neighbor as yourself.
5. Honor Your Parents (Salute )
6. Protect Life (Shall not murder) (Two hands like Guns)
7. Affair-proof your marriage (no adultery) (Mom and Dad together and everyone else separate)
8. Have Integrity (Don’t steal) (5 fingers here and steal one form other hand to show 4+4)
9. Tell the Truth (Don’t bear false witness against your neighbor)
(4 fingers on left hand 5 fingers creating talking mouth)
10. Be Content (Shall not covet) (hands with all fingers that are reaching, give me give me give me)
The Pursuit of Happiness is about Being Right With God!
Depart From Evil
Get away from things that Destroy
Unforgiven Sin will Destroy You
In our Sunday School Bro. Deslatte has been helping us understand how the weight of unforgiven sin will drag us down and ultimately destroy us.
Remember Sampson, he thought he could shake himself free of his enemies just as he had done so many times before. Instead, the Philistines, took Sampson, gouged out his eyes, bound him with chains, and made him grind in the prison.
Sin blinds you, Sin finds you, And Sin Grinds you.
First it blinds you. You end up doing irrational things. Men and Women will walk away from their families who love them to go have some stupid fling. They abandon their families to go “find” themselves. Sin blinds you to the truth. It seems so appealing at first, but then suddenly you realize that you’re trapped.
That’s when sin finds you. The Bible says,
23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
You may be getting away with something right now, but it will catch up with you sooner or later.
The Bible speaks of “the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25 NKJV).
It’s passing . . . for a season . . . for a time. And then sin grinds you. The repercussions, like a ton of bricks, come crashing down on you: broken families, betrayed trust, a damaged witness and reputation, and devastated children with deep wounds, which they may carry for the rest of their lives.
Sin blinds you, sin finds you, and sin grinds you—that’s what sin can do.
So get away from things that can Grind you up and spit you out broken.
We travel the highways with things that can damage us if we are not careful. Take your eyes off the road and you can find yourself in an accident.
Take care of the conditions, they can cause you to slip and slid to your destruction.
You have to watch out for others too. They can take you out with a single careless move.
Does it mean we stay in our homes and never come out? No, but we find protection in Him. We seek better way.
Do Good and Seek Peace
Jesus HIMSELF is our Peace
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
We are brought near by the Blood
The verse proceeding says:
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
In our Sin we were So Far from God. We can’t come to him in our Sin.
Jesus made a way for us. He paved the way toward us having and doing Good.
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Through Spiritual Warfare we are oppressed by the devil.
What are you most impressed by?
We live in a world where we can choose what to be impressed by.
If you are impressed by something that is taking you away from God, you could very soon find yourself oppressed by the very thing that impressed you.
I am impressed by cookies. I like their size. I like their portability, I like their taste. Wait.. Maybe I love it. I am feeling really impressed now that, I just love cookies. I love sugar cookies with the icing on top, I love Girl scout cookies, I love Panara Bread cookies, I love Penn Station cookies. I think I am a cookie monster! Num Num Num. Have I mentioned that I love cookies? Now cookies even love me. They are hanging all over me. In fact they are starting to weigh me down. I can’t do as much as I used to before I became so OPRESSED by cookies. I think these cookies are trying to kill me. But it’s going to be a sweet death.
What? A sweet death? What am I talking about. I don’t want to die! I need to be free from cookies!
Can you see how something we are impressed by, we began to love and how it can begin to oppress us?
Help us be impressed to Pursue things today that will impress and challenge us BECOME more like HIM!
I need short term goals and long term goals to be a better version of a ChristLIKE (Christian) person.
We are all on this journey together to be better, to do better, DO GOOD and BE LIKE HIM!
Seek PEACE – SEEK HIM
Pursue a Word (Him)
May I encourage you today to follow me as I follow him?
Can we pray like we have never prayed?
Can we fast like we have never fasted?
Can we focus on Him and His Word like never before?
PURSUE THE WORD
John 1:1, 14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Pursuit of Happiness
Money and Power
No other thing is pursued more.
Financial world has been rocking
Banks are being shaken – Failing
Economy is being shaken – Pandemic, Storms
Currency itself is being shaken – Crypto
Last but for a season
Cannot replace HIM
Pursuit of JOY and PEACE
JOY and PEACE and POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Peace that overcomes all the Troubles!
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
So, PURSUE a WORD. Pursue and focus on HIM the giver of PEACE and JOY!
Pursue the right word for your life.
Have you ever been meaning to say one word but say another because of some outside influence?
Words are important and yet easily forgotten and mistaken.
Ask the praise team as they try to remember the words to the song. If the song leader is reading a text message while trying to sing the words just might come out wrong.
When I Think about the Lord might come out wrong because you are not thinking about the Lord but about someone feeling puny and not being able to make it to church.
I have done it. You have done it. It takes a special attention to details to stay focused.
I am looking for some people to join me this year, to SEEK HIM like never before. To focus on his WORD. To be active in prayer and fasting.
In 2 weeks we will be bringing in a Revival Speaker to encourage us in Prayer. Could we begin to prepare our hearts for what God wants to do?
How about we sow some seeds into a new spiritual growth that God wants to do at LifePoint?
Let’s Pursue a Word from God for our lives.
Look for that key in your life.
Ask God to open up his will for you.
I need a word from GOD
Who would be willing to pray this?