Can You Hear…no… Can you Understand Me Now?

Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:

9  It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space. 10  There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. 11  But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me12  And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. 1 Corinthians 14:9-12 (NLT) 

 19  Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20  When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21  When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. 22  When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 (NLT)

917      In modico fidelis!—faithful in little things. Your job, my son, is not just to save souls but to bring them to holiness, day after day, giving to each moment—even to apparently commonplace moments—the dynamic echo of eternity.

I need to apologize to you my readers. A few of you now have said my spelling or grammar errors have made it challenging to read my blog.  I dismissed it for several reasons as to why it didn’t concern me.  This blog started out as a synthesis of my own personal devotions, which a friend suggest I put out on a blog.

This weekend, as I preached on the second Bible passage quoted above, I started to think of this blog and my sermons.  I was convicted, and realized that in, not paying attention to grammar and spelling, I wasn’t doing what Paul urges, being all things to all people, that I may win some.

I know this in terms of language, as Paul talks about in the first passage above.  Thanks to a friend I have, over the last couple of years realized that language is more than just the words, it is what they describe.  That a Bible translation or a sermon may seem to be in English, but is it in the English our people can understand clearly?  Language dialects aren’t just found based on ethnic/cultural issues, but also in our vocation and environment.  WIth all these complications, communicating is a challenge, but it is so needed!

Yes, we can use dictionaries, they could as well. We can try to understand what a word or phrase means by context, we can even rely on the Holy Spirit to “interpret” in their heart.  However, the message of Christ is too important to let my own issues cause a fog to obscure the message.

Back to my confession, if I passively or actively choose to allow something to get in the way of the message being heard, then I have failed, indeed, I have sinned.  And for that I shall seek God’s grace and mercy, and ask for yours as well.  It’s time for me to be faithful in the little things, for the sake of the message being heard.  I need to me faithful in this, so that you can hear the echo of eternity.  I need to do this, so that these sermons and posts can be heard, so that as they reveal God’s love, you can understand it.

The message is too important for any of us to allow language or culture or tradition, choice of Bible translation, personal comfort or even spelling or grammar to get in the way of it being heard, of it being understood.

People need Christ Jesus, they need to understand the incredible love and loyalty He has for those people He has created to be His people. There is nothing in life that is more important than understanding God’s love for you.

That is why Paul wants us to be all things to all people, so that we might win some.  It is not about being a chameleon, fitting in to these groups.  It is about being close enough to them to know how they think, so that we can communicate God’s love to them, even as we love them!

May we all treat that message with the care it needs, that it may be heard.

(note to help me with this – I am now running all my blogs and sermons through grammerly, and proof reading them.  Feel free to mention other corrections needed, or things needed to be explained better.)

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 9, 2015, in Devotions, The Forge and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for post. Like apples of gold in settings of silver, these words meant a lot to me on at least two counts. One, yes the misspelled words and grammar at times were annoying 😉 lol, but also, it was a confirmation to me concerning a text I just sent. Recently, I sent a text to one of my kids, I had to pause to filter those words through their eyes to see if they would be receptive. I tend to blast my thoughts, my heart and my convictions about Christ, or at least I used to in the past, but now I try to pray and filter.

    I had wanted to write “Choose faith in Jesus over fear,” but we had just had a long discussion when we talked about the fact that I receive my peace, my clear perspective and my joy from the Bible and through God’s Spirit. This child actually agreed with my advice, though they were going to get “centered” in their own way, they appreciated everything I said and did not deny that Jesus was the source of my peace. After our conversation, I just texted, “Choose faith over fear.” I wanted to scream Jesus, not just a nebulous faith in whom knows what. But, I was reminded to think, how will this be received, lovingly or pushy? I chose the later because I know my kids, and I know I am not the Holy Spirit. My job is to give the message of truth, to love, and to pray. And like you wrote so well, to speak the gospel and truth in way that the hearers may hear.

    Keep up the good work. There is a book in all of this! Love, Kath

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