February 27, 2017

Exodus 13:8 “On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.'”

In addition to the oral transmission of faith, the second purpose of this command is to strengthen the faith of the one speaking. Various studies have shown repeatedly that hearing ourselves say things can have a significant impact on us. That’s all the more reason to be careful what we say! Negatively speaking, if you tell a lie consistently often enough, you can convince yourself it’s true. That should be a powerful motivator to always tell the truth! Telling people what God has done for you, as this verse is talking about, is an excellent help in strengthening and deepening your own faith. It just occurred to me that is one reason why preachers are often known for their faith: they’re always telling it to others. By extension, that is another reason Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes on us, we will be His witnesses. (Acts 1:8) The more we tell others about Him, the more open our hearts are to Him, so we experience Him more in our own lives, which in turn gives us more to talk about! Those who refuse to share their faith with others, for whatever reason, are depriving themselves of more than they can imagine.

I am of course a pastor, but on top of that, my confirmation that God had baptized me in His Spirit came when I abruptly realized that for the first time in my life I was talking to a total stranger about Jesus, and Acts 1:8 came to my mind. As a secular teacher as well as a pastor, talking is my “stock in trade,” so to speak, so it’s a good thing the Lord gave me the “gift of gab.” However, if what I say becomes rote, same old same old, then I and my hearers lose out. Also, just because I speak freely doesn’t mean I always speak God’s truth. I am subject to the devil’s deceptions as well. I need to be slower to speak sometimes! (James 1:19) However, I must never hesitate to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) I have used faith declarations for over 35 years now, and they genuinely help. I need to listen to the truth God allows me to speak, so that it will operate more fully in me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all the truth You have stored up in my mind and heart. Help me speak it out as You intend, for my own benefit as well as the benefit of all others who hear me, so that the devil’s works may be defeated and Your will be done, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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