Words To Live By

Take with you words and return to the Lord.

Hosea 14:2

wordsI love words! Words are fun. Words are interesting.

Words are powerful.

Here are some interesting quotes about words:

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams (in Dead Poets Society)

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” – Blaise Pascal

“Don’t ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs.” – Hamza Yusuf

“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” – Rumi

And if you think these are just someone’s opinion about words, here’s something else to think about.

Look around you – see that tree? See the sky? Feel the raindrops on your skin? Are you looking at the moon or stars? Lean over and pet your dog or cat. Listen to the sound of bird song.

All those came into being because of words.

In Genesis 1 it says, “And God said…” and then entire universe came into being.

God used words to create life.

Satan used words to bring death to us.

Jesus said, “It is finished” and our salvation was accomplished.

Jesus said, “This is my body … this is my blood” and we receive the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation when we take – in Christian faith – the Sacrament of the Altar.

Yes, words are powerful. Words are interesting. And, to me, words are a way of life.

The prophet Hosea brought the Word of the Lord to Israel and he said, “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.” (Hosea 14:1)

About 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the Kingdom of Israel was about to be erased from the face of the earth. For nearly 300 years, the Kingdom of Israel had lived in idolatry and apostasy.

After King Solomon’s death, his kingdom had been divided between north and south. The southern Kingdom of Judah had its share of bad kings, but also some good ones. The northern Kingdom of Israel had one bad king after another.

In Hosea, God is giving Israel one more chance to repent. To return to God and the life he wants to give them.

God, through Hosea, tells them to “Take with you words and return to the Lord.” (Hosea 14:2)

Words of repentance. Words of contrition. Words that admit that the things they have made with their hands are not their gods.

These are not just to be mere words. There must be faith behind them. And in faith, true contrition and real repentance.

God’s promise is that he will forgive! He will heal. He will love.

2700 years later, Hosea calls out to us, “Take with you words and return to the Lord.

But we’re too busy taking a knee.

We’re too busy using our words to vilify and tear down.

We’re too busy using our words to destroy those who say words we don’t want to hear.

If we were to stop for a moment. Stop yelling, screaming, arguing. And listen. Listen with our ears and listen with our hearts, we’ll hear the words we’ve so longed to hear:

“I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely” (Hosea 14:4).

These are the words we long to hear. And they will be said by God because of Jesus Christ who forgives our sin and gives us new life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to choose all my words carefully. But most especially, help me to say the words, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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