Thursday, May 4, 2023

           Consider the number of words you might speak in an average day.  The number is likely well into the thousands when all conversations and occasions, big and small, are taken into account.  How often do your conversations involve the Lord—either speaking to Him directly or about Him in the company of others?  The prophet Malachi had a wise word for us about the many words we speak.  He wrote, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.  ‘How have we wearied him?’ you ask.  By saying, ‘All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them’ or ‘Where is the God of justice?’” (Malachi 2:17).  He seems to suggest our words can be disturbing or disquieting to the Lord.  Perhaps we even offend God by what we say.  There could be several ways this is true.
            First, we could make promises we never keep and pledges that we never honor.  We can make grand promises to serve God in some way yet fall short in keeping those commitments.  We can promise to pray more, read the Bible from beginning to end, to tithe and yet fail to do those very important things.  We are usually disappointed when others break promises they make to us.  Likewise, we can “weary” God with promises that we make yet fail to honor.  We can even weary God by distorting reality with our words by calling evil good or good evil.  We can redefine sin in a way more suitable or soothing to us.    
            Second, we can honor God with the tone and tenor of our language.  James pointed this out for us to see.  He wrote, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water” (James 3:9-12).  The same mouth that praises God can often curse others.  The same mouths that praise God can often provoke others.  Lies, cursing, idle talk, gossip and malicious whispers can wreck lives, families, marriages and even the church.  Yet, we often think little about the inconsistency between the words we use in worship and the words we use in daily life.  God sees the inconsistency and calls us out for what we have done. 
            Third, the Bible teaches us to be people who can get by on few words.  Jesus said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).  We should be honest enough that we do not need to reinforce a simple answer with words that give us a little wiggle room or latitude if we are playing loose with the truth.  A convoluted answer to a simple question may be someone’s way of not speaking honestly or truthfully in response.  Our Lord is teaching us to be people of integrity and character so a simple answer like “yes” or “no” can be accepted and trusted by others as right and true.
            Fourth, we might bring weariness to the Lord when there is a long time of silence between our occasions for worship and prayer.  We have chosen and used words in many other ways and for many other reasons but it may have been a long time since we prayed or worshipped with our words.  God may be wearied by your silence and distance because you have not drawn close to Him for quite a long time.  You could change that reality today.  You could confess your silence and absence and seek His forgiveness.  The Bible warns against long prayers that seek attention and flattery from others.  But a stark lack of prayer is no better.  If you have not spoken to the Lord lately, how can you call Him your Savior?  Worship God with your words and do not leave Him weary.  Welcome Him and do not leave Him waiting.  Seek Him and do not snub Him.  Have a great Thursday!  Remember you can worship at    

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