I thought I’d share with you some notes I took during a recent sermon on the power of our words.
Here is something I have been doing lately, and I invite you to see the power in this:
It seems that every time we are going through a tough trial or situation, there are certain Scriptures, or quotes (but especially Scriptures) which we cling to, we hold to. To build our faith and confidence, often “just get through,” we repeat these quotes throughout the day, at certain periods of the day, etc. I can’t imagine going through a tough time without doing this. But, how about every day-when things are going ok. Or … even going well? How many Christians do we all know who have note cards scattered/placed where they will be sure to see them. I do. Carol does. We have them placed all over the house and our office. I have placed note cards/Scripture cards on my visor out in the car or truck. In my wallet. I still do. While I have several note cards with Scriptures on “my” bureau, I often catch myself reading Carol’s cards, as she has them scattered … um … I mean, placed neatly, on “her” bureau. Often, “her cards” are just what I need as I prepare for the day. I am now being reminded that it is not just our words that have power and authority in our lives … but, other people’s words carry power and authority in our lives.
But, back to doing this on a regular basis, as part of your daily life, every day.
While I have always been an advocate of note-taking, and I mean taking as many notes as you can during a sermon (yes, especially when I’m speaking), I, honestly, had gotten away from doing this on a regular basis. So, I started taking notes again. Whether I am a fan of “Church Bulletins” or not (brutally honest, as we also supply these!) (I guess I still have a lot of the “old school” left), our church bulletins, which I make sure I receive each week, have the back page (interesting) reserved for “Sermon Notes.” Let’s face it-this is a great idea! Since I had gotten away from taking notes, this meant I no longer carried a spiral notebook with me to church. I was so classic: I started by continuing to take the notebook, and, each week, I’d take fewer and fewer notes. I even got to the point where I had decided that I was going to limit the amount of notes I’d take to one page, and one page only. This led to taking fewer notes. It would seem to almost anger me when the Pastor had a really great sermon going, and I was in danger of having to take more than one page of notes. Ok, I’ll admit it. I would become almost angry when it appeared that I might be in danger of filling a whole page of notes. Well, you know that about this time, my notebook became full. So, I just decided not to get another one. Meaning that now, I would just show up to church without a notebook at all. This led to showing up at church without even carrying a pen! The irony in this is that, as a writer, I always have to have a writing instrument with me. I have to have one in my shirt pocket, pants pocket, and if wearing a t-shirt, I will have an ink pen attached to the neckline of the tee. I have pens out in the garage, the shed, the truck (where I have pens everywhere, including stuck in the heater vents). But, when I stopped with the note-taking at church, I no longer carried one of the items most associated with my appearance. There seems to be such a metaphor in this.
Anyway, back to the point of taking notes on the back of my church bulletin: Since I was really feeling conviction for not taking notes (not for the action of taking notes, but for the benefits the Spirit knew I would receive from doing it), I did what I saw other church members do: Use the back of the bulletin for taking notes. Should I also mention that, in the days when I was an avid note-taker, with pen and notebook, that I used to frown, judgmentally, at those who would do this? So, I started taking notes on the back of the church bulletin. God would even add additional notes to the sermon, as well!
It was then that I discovered what all this note-taking was all about. I placed the church bulletin, on the inside front cover of my Bible, on top of the note cards (with Scriptures) I keep there. When I do my daily Bible reading, which is first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, the first thing I do is read at least one of the special Scripture cards (all of which pertain to something in particular I am praying and seeking God for), before I begin my Scripture reading. But, what I started doing, is reading the “Sermon Notes” from the bulletin, instead of the note cards. It is remarkable how, each day, as I read the notes from Sunday’s sermon, it exactly pertains to exactly what I am now, today, praying and seeking God’s help for. We always hear, and know, that God gives the Pastor a message specifically tailored for the congregation-what they need to hear right now. After all, that’s the point, right? The Pastor hears from God, what the congregation needs to hear. While we all know and believe this, to see it “play out” in real life is, well, amazing.
I hope this helps you. You have to read your Bible. Every day. Yes, as often as you can, and certainly make it a priority to read first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. And, keep those cards with Scripture verses where you’ll see them-every day. God will use whatever means necessary to get the Word you need to hear to you. To keep the Word in your heart, it has to enter through your head. Make sure you place His Words where your head will be. I didn’t even mention mirrors, refrigerators, doorways, but, you get the idea. And, keep taking those notes. On whatever paper necessary. I know that some of my best writing was done on napkins, inside of torn-open envelopes and paper bags. Once, I wrote a poem on the outside of one of those white paper bags on the back of airplane seats, if you know what I mean. God’s Word, and your words, whether written or spoken, carry authority.
At some point, I should include the notes taken exactly as I wrote them, on the “Sermon Notes” back page of the church bulletin:
As always, the notes followed the sermon, and some additional words Jesus gave me as I sat and listened. These are all just as I wrote them:
Jesus is King-Now! Not just in the past or future-But, Jesus is King right now!
What I say-What you say-is important.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
“Ruin and victory are in the power of the tongue.”
God’s Words bring life-Our words bring ruin.
Jesus didn’t give an opinion:
“It is written … “ “My Father says …”
What you say matters: Matthew 12:34-37.
“Whosoever shall say … and not doubt in his heart … but believe that these things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith … believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:22-24).
As believers, our words are the most powerful thing we have.
Satan has no power over God’s Word.
My words carry the authority of God.
My words release the power of God.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
We didn’t choose God first-He chose us.
My words impart salvation to the lost.
Bring your problems to God first-Not to your friends.
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