We have all heard the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” However, I think we know the truth about this phrase. The reality – words matter! Words power their way into the deepest parts of our being. They beckon allegiance. Informing. Influencing. Shaping. Building. Defining. No doubt we can each recall a few etched-in-our-memory, fabric-of-the-soul defining words and moments in our own journey. With or without our knowing we live them, don’t we?
While my then one-year-old sleeps for three hours at a time, and I sit down to do my first Bible study, God shows up. It begins that day. Jesus begins that day – defining and re-defining. “I am the Bread of Life.” “I am the good Shepherd.” “I show myself to those who keep and treasure and guard and attend to my words.” “…abide in Me and my words abide in you.” (Gospel of John) With tender persuasion Jesus and His word begin making their way into my mind, down to my heart. LIFE! LIFE! In agreement with the Psalmist I say, “I will never forget your precepts, because through them you gave me life again.” (Psalm 119:93, CEB)
With dogged resolve I believe God’s Word storehouses an abundance of defining words. Through them God gives shape, identity, explanation, meaning, character, scope, boundaries and form to Himself and to those He has created. Informing. Influencing. Shaping. Building. Defining. Word by word. Verse by verse. Re-De-Fining you and me.
One brick at a time Jesus, the Jewish carpenter builds and defines, brick by brick, word by word. “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on the solid rock. It was fixed to the rock. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.”(Matthew 7:24-27, The Message)
Defining words: Will to keep at it; Power to change; Courage to face battle; Motivation to pursue purpose, Wisdom to make decision, Hope in helplessness, Comfort in chaos.
Defining words fix us to the Rock! Oh hallelujah!
In the coming weeks I will have some defining words for you to download and meditate on. Please check back in the next little while 🙂