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Archive for Speech

Dec
05

5 Kinds of Gossips

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Here’s a great post by Tim Challies on the 5 Kinds of Gossips you’ll encounter in life.

Categories : Relationships, Speech
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Mar
16

The Power of the Spoken Blessing 3

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What are the characteristics of a spoken blessing?

First, I believe a spoken blessing should instill faith. The person who blesses is able to see the work of God in another person’s life and point it out. He or she observes Christ-likeness and the marks of the image of God and blesses the faith within.

Second, I believe a spoken blessing should add value to a person, affirming their potential and encouraging them to strive to build upon their potential. The blessing should stir up the passions and the gifts of the recipient, helping them to see their purpose for life and affirming their role in the Kingdom of God.

Next, the spoken blessing should affirm character. We give compliments that affirm what we do. But blessings affirm what we are and encourage us to live our lives with godly character.

Finally, the spoken blessing empowers the future by pointing to the God possibilities in life. It assists others by empowering them to rise above what others say can’t be done and to focus on what God says can be done.

What would happen to our families, our friends, and even our co-workers if we spoke blessings instead of cursings? Our tongues are like keys that unlock the potential of God within others. My prayer for you today is that you will identify one person in your life to bless, and that you will give them a gift that is greater than anything money can buy.

Categories : Blessing, Genesis, Joseph, Speech
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Mar
15

The Power of the Spoken Blessing 2

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Spoken blessings have the power to enhance, enrich, and empower the life of another person.
In the Old Testament, blessings had three characteristics:
(1) They were conveyed from the greater to the lesser, such as a parent to a child or a king to a nation.
(2) The blessing spoke of divine favor that resulted in well being or productivity, such as fertility, good crops, peace, and length of life.
(3) The blessing acknowledged that all power and blessing stems from the creator. All blessings find their source in God’s love.

In the New Testament, the emphasis shifts from the material to the spiritual; from temporal to eternal.
The words we speak over another person’s life can serve as a building block or a stumbling stone that has to be overcome.

If our words have such power, then why don’t we bless others? I think there are at least three reasons. You can probably think of more. The first reason we are reluctant to bless other is simply pride. We live in a day of shameless self promotion. We are far more interested in blessing ourselves than blessing others, even if our self afflicted blessing comes at the expense of others.

The second reason is our spirit of competition. We have a need to be first and best. Everyone wants to be a “winner,” and in true competition there can only be one winner.

The third reason is our drive to duty and performance. We relate to and evaluate others based on a sense of duty rather than devotion. We are more task oriented than relationally oriented because that is how our culture operates. “Do your duty” is the mantra of the west.

To summarize, we don’t bless one another because it’s not natural. Pride, competition, and duty are all very natural behaviors and characteristics. Blessings appeal to a higher level than the natural order of things. It’s supernatural!

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up this week’s series and offer a post that describes the characteristics of the spoken blessing.

Categories : Blessing, Genesis, Joseph, Speech
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Mar
13

The Power of the Spoken Blessing

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Jacob knew the power of the spoken blessing. After all, think of all he did to obtain his father’s blessing! (cf. Genesis 25:27-34; Genesis 27:1-40) When Jacob became aware that his time on earth was coming to a close, he called his family together to bless them. In Genesis 48 he blessed Joseph’s sons, and then in Genesis 49 he blessed each of his 12 sons according to their birth order. The blessings he spoke to his sons are framed by two descriptive verses:

“Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, ‘Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come’” (Genesis 49:1, NLT)

“These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message” (Genesis 49:28, NLT).

Blessings are an important part of the Bible. The word is used more than 160x in the first five books of the Bible alone. In the Old Testament, words of blessing were powerful and prophetic. The blessing contained elements that were able to foresee and shape the future; to change situations and alter circumstances.

How powerful are your words?
How responsible are you with your words?
Can you really shape the life of another person with the words that you use?

We have become a society that affixes labels to virtually everyone: conservative, liberal, moderate, fundamentalist, smart, empty suit, athletic, musical, redneck, generous, stingy, fat, or skinny to name a limited few. Once those labels get affixed, they stick remarkably well.

I have come to think of the act of blessing others as “affixing a positive label on a person’s life.” This week I’m posting excerpts from this weekend’s message titled, “The Power of the Spoken Blessing.” I want to invite you to follow along. You might just wind up changing a life in the process!

Categories : Blessing, Genesis, Joseph, Speech
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