The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to
observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
September 9, 1990
1) Words (Tom Edwards)
2) Have You Ever Known Anyone Like This? (Gary Womack)
by Tom Edwards
What would life be like without communication? It is one of the avenues
that can challenge us, stimulate us, and help us to explore new realms
of ideas, to gain insight, and to also share our own interesting
perspectives. Through the agency of words our world can be
further developed and our horizon broadened. Often it is because of a
lack of this that many relationships cease to grow and are consequently
impaired. Husbands and wives need to keep open the proper channels of
communication, not only with themselves, but also with their children
and others around them.
Being able to express her ideas and to have others impart knowledge to
her, made the dark and silent world of Helen Keller a brighter place in
which to dwell and enabled her to hear of many helpful and fascinating
concepts. It was communication, the ability to link up with another in
thought and understanding, that helped young Helen to replace her
fitful and chaotic ways with serenity and an organized creativity.
Words can serve as a manifestation of one's inner being. Jesus states
in Matthew 12:34 that "out of the heart the mouth speaks...." and also
shows of the need to have the proper heart for this in Matthew
12:35-37; the passage reads: "A good man out of the good treasure of
his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil
treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle
word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of
judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words
you will be condemned."
One doesn't have to be as wise as Solomon to realize that "A word fitly
spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Prov.
25:11). Consider also the following by this great wisdom writer:
"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes
it glad" (Prov. 12:25). "A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and
a word spoken in due season, how good it is" (Prov. 15:23). "The
thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of
the pure our pleasant" (Prov. 15:26). "Pleasant words are like a
honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones" (Prov.
16:24). The apostle Paul, in writing to the Colossian brethren, states:
"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may
know how you ought to answer each one" (Col. 4:6).
Dee Bowman makes some interesting remarks concerning good communication
and why many today have not excelled in this area. The following is an
excerpt from one of his articles in Christianity Today, February 1990:
"A good conversationalist relies on the truth and has no time at all
for that which is not documentable. He extends civility and courtesy to
those involved in conversation with him by listening carefully and with
interest. He does not question the motives of his participants nor seek
to intimidate them or make them in any way uncomfortable. He does
not make more of their statements than they would agree to. He is
careful of their feelings, but is candid and open when he
objects...Great conversation, once thought to be a supreme delight, has
fallen into disuse and is almost a thing of the past. Conversation
today is mostly one-sided and requires little skill, due mainly to the
popularity of television. Most people today are listeners at best and
viewers at worst. Consequently the skill required to be a good
conversationalist is restricted by a lack of experience. Vocabulary,
logical deduction, semantics, fidelity of reproduction have all
suffered from the lack of stimulating conversation. Furthermore,
disagreements today can cause almost irreparable breaches because of a
failure to discuss things and, thus, bring about a common understanding
of terms as well as a satisfactory explanation of motives. It is hard
to accuse a man of poor motives or question his integrity when you must
look him in the eye to do it."
We need to each strive to develop in the art of communication,
realizing that part of this consists of not just being the painter who
uses the proper strokes to add just the right definition with his
palette of words, but also in being the canvas of a good listener.
Yes, the world is filled with such a wide variety of fascinating
subjects to discuss, but let us not forget the most important message
of all -- the word of the Lord, as revealed within the Sacred Volume.
This is the gospel message that has the power to change the eternal
destiny of one's life -- a revelation that manifests the way to heaven
above, and a message that imparts joy and comfort to the heedful
believer while living in this world below. As the apostle Paul wrote to
the Roman brethren, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for
it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who
believes....(Rom. 1:16). Why not allow God to communicate to you
this day through His Divine word? He can change your life. Now isn't
that something worth talking about?
Have You Ever Known Anyone Like This?
by Gary Womack
Mom and dad arrived at the football stadium after a hair-raising race
through traffic only to discover the game already in progress. The
children grudgingly entered the stadium with their parents who were
little more enthusiastic than they. They sat on the back row, thankful
that all of the front seats at the 50 yard line were filled. (They
never liked to sit where they felt like they were being watched.) They
didn't pay attention to the game. They were too busy playing with the
baby on the row in front of them for such trivial things as the game.
Besides, they felt that this was the best time to trim their
fingernails, talk to one another, and read the program that was handed
to them at the gate. They didn't participate with the fans in the
cheering either. In general, they felt the time was a boring waste.
On the way home, they complained about the "lousy game" and the fact
that they didn't get anything out of it. In fact, they were not sure
who played in the game. They had quite a lot to say about Mr. Hypocrite
who sat next to them, like how he never lets anybody know
he's a football fan except when he goes to the game (and then he
out-shouts everybody else). "Not only that," they complained, "he NEVER
came over to teach us the game or invite us to go to the game with
him." They also complained about how hot the stadium was, how hard the
benches were, and how long the game lasted. They vowed not to go back
that stadium to see another game because the referees were too
narrow-minded. (They think their rules are the only ones and
everybody else is wrong.) It sure would be good to get home and relax
after such a boring experience. At least the whole day wasn't
wasted -- they could watch TV the rest of the day.
Unrealistic, isn't it? Have you ever known anyone like this? If you
had, undoubtedly you would have thought them to be quite strange.
I wonder how strange some "church fans" look to God?
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel,
for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the
deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ
(Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water
for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith;
(Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland,
Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards