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Holy Conversation
 

Psalm 50:23  Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.

Our speech and our conversation are important to God. It is also vital to our testimony before the world. 

The word conversation means more than just our words.  It is the whole way we live in public and in our private life.  Our whole conversation is to be holy to keep from becoming a reproach to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Praise is reflecting what is in our heart.  It is a confession of what we believe about the one we are giving praise to.  When we order our conversation aright, we are choosing to live in a way that reflects what is in our heart if our hearts are right with God. 

My main message though is the conversation that concerns our speech.  The words of our mouth that usually reflect what is in our hearts. 

One of my favorite verses is this one.  Psalm 19:14  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Here we see a prayer that not only our words be acceptable in the sight of God but also the mediations of our heart.   It is possible to be skilled in saying all the right things in front of people but have a heart that desires things that are compromising and downright evil.   We may be two faced.  Being nice to people in person but stabbing in the back when they are not around.  We hope when the day comes that we stand before God that He says to us, "Well done they good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord."  I believe in order to hear those words from our savior, we have to work on what we say but make sure what we say is from a pure heart. 

God knows the mediation of our hearts even when others do not see them. We may fool people but we cannot fool God.   

Now to get back to the words that we speak and how they influence those around us. 

There is a great deal to be said about the words we speak.  In fact part of our salvation concerns our confession.

Romans 10: 9 says, If thou shalt confess with they mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Although I do not believe the modern day name it and claim it doctrine there is a lot to be said about the things we confess with our mouth.

If we go around talking negative and always complaining about how bad things are and how bad they are going to be, that shows a heart that lacks faith to believe God for miracles.  How can we ask for healing if the words of our mouth constantly confess doubt and unbelief?

When we constantly say to ourselves, I'm never going to amount to anything.  I'm never going to get a good grade in that subject or I'm never going to find a job, we most certainly will never find a job, never make a good grade or never amount to anything.  The words of our mouth are defeating us.  We could do the same thing in the spiritual. 

"That person is never going to be saved."   God will not heal him, he is too far gone."  There is no hope for so and so.  With that negative talk, I doubt that we will ever see anyone saved or receive healing. 

On the other had we can't go around confessing things if God has not revealed in the spirit that those things will come to pass.  This is where the positive confession movement went wrong.  In the charismatic churches for a while was so bent on saying positive things that people were afraid to make prayer requests because they feared speaking in the negative and God would not answer their prayer.  Some began to confess things without the spirit prompting them and claimed things that were out of the will of God and they didnít come to pass.  We canít give people false assurances but we can say.  I believe the Lord can do things that are impossible to everyone else. 

There is a woman in West Virginia whose daughter went into a coma.  She was very severely paralyzed and the doctors gave no hope of recovery.  If she recovered she would be a vegetable.  This woman wouldnít accept that verdict.  She began to pray and call different churches and prayer groups to begin to pray for the daughter.  It didnít happen at once but slowly the daughter began to move her muscles and come out of a coma.  She then began to recover and walked out of the hospital. 

I have told this before.  Something I never do is to tell someone something will happen just as words of encouragement.  One time a lady was concerned that her friend was in a car accident and was not expected to live.  From her description it seemed a hopeless case. I never have done this before but I told the lady that her friend was going to be okay.  I felt in the spirit that my words were true.  This wasnít an empty positive confession but that which the Holy Spirit witnessed in my heart at the time and for that one person.

The preacher's wife looked at me very funny because she doesn't believe in giving people false assurances.  I later worried about it and hoped that I was not in the flesh as they call it. 

Two or three weeks went by and I didnít see the lady and worried that her friend might have died and she stopped coming to church because of my words.  I saw the lady again finally.  She mentioned that her friend had recovered.  You can only guess how relieved I felt for it would grieve my spirit to tell someone something and it turn out not to be true.  That kind of thing never helps faith only hinders it when the positive confession turns out to be wrong.  But continual negative talk of doubt and unbelief also does not edify the body of Christ and is very damaging to faith.

Colossians 4:6  Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

To be instant in season and out of season is to be prayed up and ready to give an answer to anyone with whom we may have a conversation with about the Lord. 

It is true that we have to warn against false teaching and even on occasion false teachers naming names also like the apostle Paul did in order to keep people from being deceived but this must be done after much prayer and with caution.  We can't be always warning and negative without speaking often on what God can do to fix things that are wrong.  No matter how hopeless a person seems, God still has the power to change lives, save souls and fix things impossible to fix. 

We have the power to discourage or encourage with our words.  Iím not talking here of false flattery and vain empty man pleasing words.  

The bible warns against those that use flattery to gain acceptance and make people think we are their friend.  In fact it says faithful are the wounds of a friend.  A friend will speak truth and not just tell you things that make you feel better.  Yet, we can over do that and fail to make people believe that God has the answer to whatever it is that is easily besetting them.  We can be so overly critical that we discourage people.  If we constantly criticize and discourage people especially the youth and children, we will destroy them.  We need to correct in gentleness and patience, never with harsh criticism and unfruitful bashing.  We must strike a balance and seek to be led by the Holy Spirit in matters of godly correction. 

No matter how bad things are, God has the solution if we diligently seek Him for it.

Wise counsel is good. 

Proverbs 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

We need to talk to one another but even it that there is a danger of winning people to ourselves and even our church instead of winning them to Jesus Christ.  Too much counsel and not enough praying gets people into the ďI need to talk to somebody mode.Ē  This is a sure way to keep people from running the Lord for answers.  How many times to we run to the telephone when something happens instead of running to the prayer closet.  God should be our first resort, not our last resort. 

This is where we need the Holy Spirit to direct our paths and even our conversation with those that need our advice.  The Holy Spirit will lead people to Jesus Christ.  Our flesh wants to lead people to ourselves and cause them to look to us for help. 

The trouble with getting people dependent upon us is that when we fail, they will fail.  We need to seek God constantly that we are able to preach or teach the word, give our neighbors encouraging words and then step aside and allow people to find a one on one relationship with Jesus Christ.  Then we need to encourage them to seek the Lord and be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they can learn to understand and follow His word. 

This relationship with Jesus Christ needs to grow so that they can walk with the Lord even if they are separated from their church family.

I'm not getting away from the need of a good church family.  We really need that but there are times when we have to walk alone yet not alone but with the Lord within us.

We must guard ourselves from allowing any relationship with a person even a good Christian person to get in the way of our personal walk with the Lord Himself.

I for one love to listen to anointed preachers of the gospel but even that should not replace my private bible reading and prayer time with the Lord.  A couple of  weeks ago I let this happen.  I was listening to one preacher after another over the Internet.  I always pick ones I know ahead of time are true and not into false doctrine but I was still feeling drained spiritually until one preacher said that tapes and videos do not replace your own private bible reading and prayer.  I immediately saw what was wrong.  I was letting someone else do my worshipping, studying and praying.  This leads to spiritual laziness.  I needed my one on one contact with my savior instead of going through the Internet preachers.  There was nothing wrong with the ones I was listening to.  I donít listen to the charlatans.  Because of the words of the apostle Paul about how easily women are deceived, I will purposely not listen to those that teach falsely even if it is for study purposes.  I recognize the fact that we inherited a weakness from Eve that we may be more likely to be deceived so I avoid them.  Even though I picked out the good ones, it wasnít a substitute for my own personal need for conversation with the Lord. 

I love to talk to other Christians and have godly conversation with them about the Lord but that still doesn't replace the much needed time I need to spend with the Lord in private.

Praying with others is vital.  Concert prayer with other believers need to increase rather than decrease but even that does not replace our private time just with God.

We need to hold conversations with God above all other conversations.  If we don't our first love just may be who we are spending our time with instead of our first love being Jesus Christ.

A hint as to whether or not we are walking in our first love is this?

What to we wake up thinking about?  What do we think about?   What concerns us more throughout the day?  What do we talk about? What worries us the most?  What do we think about when we lie down at night?  Whatever is upon our hearts may be what our first love is.

We can say we love God first all we want, but God knows our hearts. 

What we talk about unless we are good actors, often reflect what is in our hearts. 

If we constantly think about ourselves and how we look to other people, we may be too self centered.  Our idol may not be a person or possession but ourselves.  Sometimes our first love may be ourselves also. We are to love one another as we love ourselves but our love toward God has to come ahead of that and be strong before we can even begin to love anyone else.

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Our conversation also means our conversion to our faith in Jesus and then how we live.  Still it also reflects the words that we speak.  We must speak things that becomes or reflects our faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have the power to bring reproach upon the gospel or be supportive of the gospel with what we speak.

1Timothy 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

The youth see and hear everything we say.  In front of them we may have to be careful even with joking and having fun.  What we may be kidding about, they may take seriously.  I'm one that usually believes what a person says and I take things serious.  If you say you don't like me, I will believe it even if you say you were just kidding.  Some people cannot take a joke and will take everything we say seriously.

It depends on how they grow up.  If we grow up around serious minded people who do not joke and carry on, we will take people at their word and take them seriously.

There was a man when I was a child who liked to tease children.  He would threaten to cut off their ears in jest of course.  I was terrified of him and took him seriously.  It wasn't until I was older that I realized the man was just kidding. 

The reason I say this is because of another verse:

Luke 6:45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

The reason I tend to take people seriously is because of that verse.  Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  So if a person is "just kiddingĒ they may be in reality telling all who hears what is really in his heart.

I pondered over this verse and thought, what about people who deceive.  They are saying things that are not in their hearts in order to deceive.  As I thought further on this I realized that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.  A deceiver has an abundance of words in his heart but the words are not true.  He has purposed in his heart to deceive.  In his case he is in reality speaking what is in his heart whether it is true or not.

Some people like to joke and kid around in innocence but the listener may not take it that way.  Still the bible says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks so I believe the bible.  If you say something and then say that you didnít mean it.  The bible says you should speak truth and speak things that you mean but it also tells us to meditate on right things so what comes out of our mouth is truth and not deception.   

So if someone says something to me that is very negative and insulting, then says.  Iím only kidding.  I am going to believe what they said first because according to Godís word, they are speaking from their hearts.  They may rethink what they said and be afraid of hurt feelings and immediately say they are just kidding but it is too late.  Because of Godís word I will believe what they spoke the first time.  Now I know there are the clowns that like to joke and say things just for fun but in that we need to remember what the word of God says.  Out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks and work on that so that what is in our hearts is not all foolishness. 

If we let Him, the Holy Spirit will convict us if we say the wrong things and if we meditate upon the wrong things.   We should learn to love it when He convicts us of something because it is better to repent and change now than to face the Lord and have to give an account for every idle word we speak.  If we repent and turn away from it now judging ourselves, we will not be ashamed when we face the Lord.

Matthew 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Idle means vain, empty words.  Wicked or injurious words meant to hurt in a way that is not fruitful correction or godly edifying but does harm.   Idle also means speaking without thinking and making sure our words edify. 

See how much we need the Holy Spirit even when we speak.

Titus 2:7  In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Titus 2:8  Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Now most of us know that we are to speak truth and not lie but sometimes we get into foolishness and speaking things that are downright silly.  You have to judge for yourselves if this is right or wrong.  I will only judge myself in these matters.  God doesn't let me get by with foolish speaking but I'm not going to judge someone else.   Maybe I'm around the type of people that take me at my word and foolishness would be offensive to them.  It is better not to speak that to say things offensive and cruel and destroy those for whom Christ died.  Remember Paulís words that if meat make my brother to offend, he will not eat meat.   That is godly love.  If my words will make my sister be offended, then I need to watch what I say.  Its not worth it to destroy someoneís soul or someoneís fellowship with believers. 

Again I repeat this doesnít mean that we tickle the ears and only say good things that make people happy.  A thousand times no.  Godly edifying is our goal.  Sound speech is our goal.  What we say must bring forth fruit.  Cruel jesting is hurtful and does no good. 

I certainly do not want to cause unnecessary offense and drive someone away from the Lord I claim to know and believe in by my harsh words of cruelty.  Yet sometimes we may mean no offense and someone take us the wrong way and read something in our words that we didnít mean.  That is why I like that prayer I spoke at the beginning of this topic.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight. 

If we do that, then we will begin to speak that which edifies and brings forth fruit. 

Eph 5:1  Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children:

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.

Eph 5:3  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Eph 5:4  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

What if we are eating in a restaurant and someone overhears us tell an unclean joke or make fun of someone behind their backs.  Then they hear us speak of Jesus Christ in the very next sentence.  We just ruined our testimony and brought reproach upon the gospel we believe in.

We even have to watch too much negative conversation.  Like I said before, we have to be careful to warn of false doctrine and teachers but if we are around people who need to hear the gospel that will save their souls, they do not need to hear all the faults and failures of our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  We do not have to brag and puff them up and make them seem perfect and unapproachable but we are never going to win someone to Jesus Christ by accusing the brethren in the same conversation that we are trying to tell them the way of salvation.  Speaking of puffing people up.  We can go too far the other way and keep speaking on how great a preacher so and so is and how we need to hear him or her.  The Holy Spirit is the real preacher, not the person.  It might be better just to say, so and so preaches the word and tells the truth.  One thing I do not like to hear is how so and so really knows how to work a crowd and get people to the altar.  That really turns me off because we should want the Holy Spirit to draw people to the altar, not any personality.  If we get people to the altar by hyped up music or a person who can work the crowds the conversions we are seeing my not last.  Our goal is to see the Holy Spirit and His convicting power draw people to repentance.

For so many years now we have watered down the plan of salvation and told ourselves that the way to win the lost is just to live before them and be kind to them hoping that by and by they will see Christ in us and be saved. 

If the apostles would have believed that, we would never have heard this gospel.  The only way to win the lost is by telling someone face to face how to be saved.   I use the Internet for this since I'm terrible at one on one conversation but I am planning on speaking to my neighbors. Iíve spoken to them about my church but that is not sharing the gospel.   I talk about God all the time to my neighbors on the other side but they are already Christians.  People are not going to come to Christ just because we are kind to them.  Sinners know how to be kind too. 

Granted if we are unkind, we will turn them away from what we believe but we are not going to win the lost by just being kind.  They need to hear the gospel if they have never heard.

This is no excuse for not being kind though.  If we have a neighbor and we are unkind and they have another neighbor who is kind but is one of the worst sinners on the earth, how is that going to make us look if we claim to be a Christian?  So it can result in someone accepting or rejecting the gospel but being kind by itself without any presentation of the gospel will not result in the salvation of the lost.  There may be isolated cases but the gospel message has to be given in order for a person to be genuinely saved.  

A lot of false religions give away food and are friendly so that in itself is not the way to win the lost.  We do not want to win them to us but to Jesus Christ.  If we win people just to us or to our church and fail to get them to the Lord, we have failed in our calling.  We will make mistakes and disappoint people but Jesus will not make any mistakes.  We got to get people's eyes off us and onto Jesus Christ.  This isnít easy but that is why we have the Holy Spirit.

2Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

2Pe 3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

2Pe 3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Again I repeat, holy conversation is our whole lifestyle and not just our speech but my message concerns our speech. What are we talking about when we are out in a restaurant, working on the job, talking to a next door neighbor, eating lunch in the cafeteria at school, or talking on the phone? 

Are we complaining, are we just saying idle words, are we tearing down with gossip, are we stirring someone up against another person by telling them about a person who has done us wrong?   Brothers and sisters I am guilty of many of these things but I feel so strongly that the Lord wants us to begin to edify and build up the church.  I'm talking to myself here as well as anyone who will listen.

We can read the bible and even present the gospel but if the rest of our conversation is filthy and unholy, we will not produce any fruit.  Our words will be empty and void. 

We may witness to a neighbor one day and the next day complain about high taxes, high gas prices and criticize someone at church to the same neighbor and I guarantee you that you will not win him to Jesus Christ.

This is a tough message but it is from the word of God.  You have heard the warning of touch not my anointed and having roast preacher on Sunday will cause our children not to want to have anything to do with church or even Jesus Christ but this doesnít just apply to the leaders of our churches.  It applies to all our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We should avoid having roast people for dinner.  I believe we are all equal.  Respecting leaders is needful so that people show respect when the word is preached but that church member that we bash and feel more comfortable criticizing because he is not in the leadership may become our childís youth leader or Sunday school teacher.  If the kids have heard us tearing them down, they will remember that, if that same person later becomes one of the leaders. Then we wonder why they do not want to show respect and listen to what they have to say. 

All backbiting is warned about in the word of God.  Avoid it like the plague.  Donít say anything behind oneís back that we wouldnít say to their face and if we have to confront someone face to face make sure that it is private.  We donít have to tear people down in front of the youth and the children.  An exception to that like I said before is in the matter of false doctrine or a child predator or someone who is spiritually or physically dangerous to them.  As a general rule though, gossip and backbiting will kill a church and stop revival.

1Peter 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

This means more than the words that we speak but they do include the words that we speak along with how we live.  By our words we are justified and by our words we are condemned.  

God can help us to have healthy, fruitful conversations if we just sincerely ask Him and desire to obey His leading. 

If we want healthy edifying conversation we must first receive good things into our hearts.  Remember we usually speak of what is in our hearts. 

In closing I want to quote the words;

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 


 

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