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TOENCOURAGE By B.J. Stagner March 2, 2013 - Volume 1 Article 1 Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. For several years, as a pastor, I had a weekly blog titled ‚ÄúWeekly Words of Encouragement‚ÄĚ. It purposed to provide many, some words that encouraged as opposed to discouraging with news and opinions of the day. A dear friend of mine said over lunch one day ‚ÄúB.J., you need to continue with that blog and send it to as many people as you can...people need encouragement today, not the condoning of sin they receive from others...but simple, Biblical encouragement.‚ÄĚ Sadly enough, due to the pressures of pastoring and other ministry involvement I was unable to continue with a weekly column/blog as such. Through a simple text conversation last night with one of my best friends in the ministry, the Lord impressed upon my heart to resurrect and recommit the weekly article/blog/ column (whichever one desires to call it) of sending out some weekly words to encourage everyone from the pews to the pastors, the missionary to the manager, the evangelist to the educator and all between. So, as we move forward, I covet your prayers and would like to introduce to you the weekly words simply titled: ‚ÄúToEncourage‚ÄĚ. Our opening passage and most likely theme Scriptures for the next several months is Ephesians 4.29-32. The mighty missionary and Apostle, Paul, exhorted the Ephesian church to ‚Äėcontrol what you say‚Äô. I would agree that includes what we ‚Äėtext‚Äô, ‚Äėchat‚Äô, ‚Äėblog‚Äô, ‚Äėemail‚Äô, ‚Äėpost‚Äô, ‚Äėlike‚Äô, ‚Äėforward‚Äô, ‚Äėfriend‚Äô...etc (did I forget anything?). Personally I am tired of the camps and critics which twist (which comes from the same Greek word for pervert) Scripture to malign with their agenda of promoting themselves and movement. Choose whichever one comes to mind, but most of these men have only chosen such positions because they were taught that from their pastor or someone else. Brothers and sisters, such things ought not be so. We are compelled to ‚Äėsearch the Scriptures‚Äô to ‚Äėrightly divide the word of truth‚Äô. By obeying Scripture, we also properly interpret Scripture, consequently correctly applying Scripture. Paul says to us, by way of inspiration of the Holy Ghost ‚ÄúLet no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying...‚ÄĚ. My goal in this article and hence in life if not only to ‚Äėcontrol‚Äô the communication of my mouth from so much of the negative as it is to ‚Äėcontrol‚Äô the communication of my mouth to ‚Äėthe use of edifying‚Äô; thus ‚Äėlifting up‚Äô those that hear (be it electronically or verbally). You may ask why? You may say within yourself ‚Äúyeah, but we are IFB, we are expected to blast, stomp, criticize...etc.‚ÄĚ. Friend, whereas it is appropriate to call sin, sin; it is not appropriate to do so with an agenda of aligning others against brothers and sisters. Our words, are like a tube of toothpaste, once it proceeds out it can NEVER be put back. Our intentions should be examined in light of Scripture, and the true and simple question becomes: ‚Äėdo my words lift up or tear down?‚Äô. I am not attempting to make this a sermon, if so, there are hundreds of verses that support the words of the mighty Apostle Paul. There is a great reason the Apostle was so adament on this subject. Paul witnessed firsthand the result of perverting Scripture to serve an agenda: the death of a good man filled with the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles, for the most part concerns four men: Peter, Stephen, Phillip and Paul. Remember what Paul saw and heard in Stephen? The face of an angel and his final words: ‚Äúlay not this sin to their charge.‚ÄĚ It was Paul who was ‚Äėconsenting‚Äô unto Stephen‚Äôs death, yet it was Stephen that besought the Lord on their behalf to be forgiven. These are the words that proceeded from the mouth of a man full of faith and power (Holy Ghost) in the final moments of his life. He did not die as prey (reactionary), but rather a victor. In his death, the motive and movement of the greatest church planting missions resounded. The instrument utilized of God to write more books of the Bible experienced that day the great effect ‚Äėwords‚Äô possess when they proceed from our mouth. We may think we can go back and correct them, but we all know human nature is negative. Man‚Äôs nature is to sin and sin separates, that is its result and reason of existence. Words are used either as a tool to build up or a weapon to dismantle the work of God. So, this day, this week I challenge us all, to choose our words wisely. Let‚Äôs determine in our heart what effect our words will have (yes that which we say and type). Let‚Äôs ask ourselves, ‚Äėwill our words lift up or tear down?‚Äô. ‚ÄúLet no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.‚ÄĚ Ephesians 4.29
Dr. B. J. Stagner Jr.
Pastor Stagner has preached in many different countries and continues to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the manner that it is intended from the...