If you’ve read my devotionals in the past, you know I love words. Perhaps my favorite word puzzle is that the English language has the words “to,” “two,” and “too.” However, it’s impossible to write the sentence, “There are three toos (sp) in the English language. We don’t have a word for the combination of those three words.
Anyway, words are fun, and words also carry power. As we see in the New Testament, Jesus tells us, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:37 ESV) and “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,” (Matthew 12:36 ESV) Why would careless words matter unless every word we speak matters?
Sensitivity to Verbiage
So, it’s evident that for our good and to please God, we need to watch what we say. Surprisingly, sensitivity to verbiage is found regarding an aspect of Jesus observed by all the writers of the New Testament. Nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus referred to as the Redeemer.
Why might you ask? Probably because the writers of the NT books, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, did not want Jesus coupled to the nationalistic view the Jews held concerning the coming Messiah-Redeemer. So, Jesus is never referred to as the “redeemer” (lytrotes [lutrwthv”]) in the New Testament. However, the theological concept of Jesus as our Redeemer is evident in the NT. For example, in Romans 4:25 (ESV), we find, “who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
Filling Our Speech With Fluff
Therefore, as we’ve seen, how we use words is very important. I heard a preacher say that one of the things that make our prayers ineffective is that we fill our speech with empty and contradictory words. We say things to our kids like, “Be careful” instead of “Be cautious.” Do we want our kids to be full of care, or do we want them to be safe? Or, do we greet someone by saying, “Hi, how are you?” But, we have no expectation or intent to hear their honest response.
If we fill our thoughts and speech with contradictions and foolish words, then why would we expect God to believe what we say to Him? If we want our prayers to be acceptable to God, we need to obey what Jesus said, and we always should say what we mean and mean what we say.
Simply by being watchful and truthful in our thoughts and words, we can be closer to God, and our prayers will be more acceptable to God. I would say that’s good news!
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