Jesus Cares About Your Words

Words

Jesus is Lord over all. And as the Cosmic Emperor, he reigns over Neptune, pinwheel galaxies, birds, blades of grass, and our words.

Jesus is Lord over our sentences.

The Lordship of Christ has no boundaries. There is not an area of our lives that we can rope off and tell Jesus, “Not here, bub.”

Jesus cares about our speech.

Jesus caress about what we say.
Jesus cares about when we say it.
Jesus cares about how we say it.
Jesus cares about why we say it.

Our tongue is a complicated little thing (James 3:2–10). We can’t tame it. But Jesus can.

A day will come when Jesus will raise our bodies from the dead; I think he can transform our speech. I’ll write another post this week on how our speech will change when our hearts change.

I recently preached on a sermon from Proverbs on our speech, Cross-Words: How The Crucified Speak. Here are the dozens of verses we read. You can also download a PDF of the verses.

INTRO

“The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”
(Proverbs 8:13 ESV)

“The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.”
(Proverbs 10:18–21 ESV)

“A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.”
(Proverbs 18:6–7 ESV)

“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
(James 3:2–10 ESV)

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
(Colossians 4:6 ESV)

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
(Ephesians 4:29–5:2 ESV)

“What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.These are what defile a person.” (Matthew 15:18–20 ESV)

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 ESV)

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26 ESV)

JESUS CARES ABOUT WHAT WE SAY

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21 ESV)

LYING

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”
(Proverbs 12:22 ESV)

“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.”
(Proverbs 19:5 ESV)

“Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.”
(Proverbs 24:26 ESV)

“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.”
(Proverbs 20:17 ESV)

“The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.”
(Proverbs 10:18 ESV)

“Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart”
(Proverbs 26:24 ESV)

SLANDER & GOSSIP

“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.”
(Proverbs 11:13 ESV)

“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.”
(Proverbs 20:19 ESV)

“Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another’s secret, lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.”
(Proverbs 25:9–10 ESV)

“An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.”
(Proverbs 17:4 ESV)

HURTFUL SPEECH

“A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body”
(Proverbs 18:6–8 ESV)

“Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!””
(Proverbs 26:18–19 ESV)

HELPFUL SPEECH

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
(Proverbs 12:25 ESV)

“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
(Proverbs 15:2 ESV)

“The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.”
(Proverbs 10:31 ESV)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

JESUS CARES ABOUT WHEN WE SPEAK

“Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.”
(Proverbs 27:14 ESV)

DO I EVEN NEED TO SAY THIS?

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
(Proverbs 10:19 ESV)

“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
(Proverbs 17:27 ESV)

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
(Proverbs 17:28 ESV)

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
(Proverbs 21:23 ESV)

TIMING MATTERS

“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”
(Proverbs 29:20 ESV)

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”
(Proverbs 18:13 ESV)

“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”
(Proverbs 15:28 ESV)

“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!”
(Proverbs 15:23 ESV)

JESUS CARES ABOUT HOW WE SPEAK

IDIOTIC SPEAKING

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
(Proverbs 12:18 ESV)

“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
(Proverbs 26:4–5 ESV)

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
(Proverbs 15:1 ESV)

GRACIOUS SPEAKING

“The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.”
(Proverbs 16:21 ESV)

“The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.”
(Proverbs 16:23 ESV)

“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”
(Proverbs 22:11 ESV)

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”
(Proverbs 15:1 ESV)

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
(Proverbs 15:4 ESV)

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11 ESV)

“With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.”
(Proverbs 25:15 ESV)

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
(Proverbs 27:6 ESV)

JESUS CARES ABOUT WHY WE SPEAK

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6 ESV)

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
(Proverbs 16:24 ESV)

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.” (Proverbs 15:7 ESV)

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” (Proverbs 27:2 ESV)

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8–9 ESV)

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ESV)

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