If these stones could talk

In rooms that may have seen a lot of action or secrets, one might wonder what the walls would say if they could talk. Since much of what is recorded in the Bible took place outside or in tents, if these walls could talk isn’t really pertinent. But there is something else that was present at pretty much every major biblical event. Stones.

Rocks, not even precious ones, hold great importance in scriptures. Jesus himself is referred to as a stone.

The stone the builders rejects
has become the capstone.

Luke 20:17 (quoting Psalm 118:22) (NIV)

In Joshua 22:10, the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh built an altar of stone to stand as a witness to future generations that they worship the Lord.

In Joshua 4:7, Joshua commanded that twelve stones be taken from the middle of the Jordan River that Israel had just crossed. Those stones would become a memorial to Israel for all God has done for His people.

Elijah, in 1 Kings 18:31, took twelves stones to repair the altar of the Lord.

In 1 Samuel 17:40, David selected five smooth stones to take with him into battle against Goliath.

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem for the passover, his followers shouted his praises. The Pharisees, as usual, weren’t impressed and wanted Jesus to silence them. He refused.

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:40 (NIV)

I don’t think that Jesus meant every inanimate stone laying on the ground would suddenly find its voice. I believe Jesus was referring to every stone set up as a memorial in God’s name, every stone used in the name of the Lord, every stone that stood as a witness to God’s glory and greatness.

And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.

“See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.

Joshua 24:26-27 (NIV)

If we keep silent in our praise, I believe that God truly can make these memorial stones speak out. They have been made witnesses to miracles and wonders—the very things we should be proclaiming at every opportunity.

We may wish to know what the walls of The Oval Office may have to say if they could talk, but we shouldn’t have to wonder what the stones would say. We should be saying it for them.

Read: 2 Samuel 10-12, Luke 19:29-48

20 Questions

As I began writing today, my page began to fill with one question after another. So today, take some time and read through these questions. Try to answer them for yourself truthfully.

  1. What kinds of things do you say on a daily basis?
  2. Are they good things or bad things?
  3. Do you believe your words to be neither good nor bad, but neutral?
  4. Are you talking to others about yourself?
  5. Or are you talking about the grace of God in your life?
  6. What are the things that are pouring out of you?
  7. How often do you take the time to reflect on your own words?
  8. Do you examine the things you say as much as you do what others say?
  9. When you think someone else should be correcting their speech patterns, do you apply that same thought to yourself?
  10. Do you ever try to change your thought process so that your words will reflect that change?
  11. In all your daily talk, how much does God come into play?
  12. Do you talk about Jesus like a friend or like he’s a distant relative or a mere acquaintance?
  13. When you tell someone you’re a Christian (and I hope you do), are they surprised or is it just a confirmation of everything else you say or do?
  14. Are your words a result of what you believe?
  15. Do you speak because you believe?
  16. If your words reflect what you believe, listen to yourself, what is it that you truly believe?
  17. Do you believe in yourself?
  18. Or do you believe in Christ?
  19. Do you project your own glory?
  20. Or do you reflect God’s glory?

We don’t go around preaching about ourselves; we preach Christ Jesus, the Lord. All we say about ourselves is that we are your servants because of what Jesus has done for us. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made us to understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (NLT)

But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, and so I speak.”

2 Corinthians 4:13 (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: Proverbs 21-22, 2 Corinthians 4

Tell me about it

When was the last time you got excited about something you experienced? For me, it was last weekend. My football team won. And not only did they win, they kicked butt. They walked all over my pastor’s favourite team. This was no ordinary win, either. This win marked the first time in several years that my team didn’t have a losing record. Our wins and losses for the season are currently tied. Halfway through this season, they’ve now tied the number of wins they had all last season. I was pretty excited. So what did I do? The next day, I donned my jersey, my team-coloured flip flops, my team cap and bandana. I waltzed into church and waited. I knew my pastor would notice. We’ve got quite the rivalry going—especially since his team had played the first seven games of this year undefeated. He noticed. I didn’t have to say much, my clothing and smirk got the point across.

My point in all this? I experienced something exciting. I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to let people know that my team isn’t a losing team anymore.

If I can get that excited over a bunch of grown men throwing a ball and launching themselves at each other, how much more excited should we all get over eternal salvation? When something good or exciting happens, we should talk about it! We should let everyone know!

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts.

Psalm 145:4 (NLT)

It may be in style for parents to let their kids make all their decisions on their own, but where does that get you? Kids make poor choices. You don’t even have to be a parent to know that. How do kids learn to make good choices? Their parents tell them. They talk about good choices. They talk about the rewards that come with making good choices. Their parents lead them and guide them along the path that leads to a good, healthy, and prosperous life.

There may be those that would say loud proclamations aren’t for the Church. We should be humble and quiet.

Praise the Lord!

How good it is to sing praises to our God!
How delightful and how right!

Psalm 147:1 (NLT)

Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
they will sing with joy of your righteousness.

Psalm 145:6-7 (NLT)

How will the world ever hear about all the good things God has done if we refuse to tell them? I believe that the measure we talk about what God has done will be the same measure in which we will experience God. The more we talk about miracles, the more we expect to see miracles. But if we never talk about it, how will we ever learn to expect it?

All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will bless you.
They will talk together about the glory of your kingdom;
They will celebrate examples of your power.
They will tell about your mighty deeds
And about the majesty and glory of your reign.

Psalm 145:10-12 (NLT)

If God has done something, anything, in your life, talk about it. Ask others what God has done in their lives. Talk about it. Boldly share the story of God’s wonderful goodness and just see if you experience more.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 145-147, 1 Corinthians 11:1-15

 

Whiner

Let’s face it, at some point we will all go through a time in our lives when we’re disappointed. When life doesn’t live up to what it was supposed to be. A time when we feel let down, left out, or left behind. Many would have you believe that you can’t go to God with these feelings. That God won’t listen to your complaints. Well, guess what? He will.

God doesn’t only want to be your God in the good times. He wants to be your God all the time. And that includes the crappy times.

Read through Job 10. The man has gone from praising God for all his blessings and wealth to pretty much collapsing in the floor in a tantrum. He’s lowered himself to whining to God about his situation. But here’s the thing—he’s still talking to God. Though he feels like God has completely abandoned him, he’s still talking to God and hasn’t turned from God.

It’s okay to feel down. We all do sometimes. And it’s even okay—more than okay—to let God know about it. He already knows how you feel, after all, and is probably overjoyed when we come to Him in our low times. It means that He still means something to us. It means that we still have a measure of faith that He can do something about our situation.

Not only did Job not turn from God, he still listened to the wisdom of his friends. Many of us have a tendency to push away the people who are most able to help us. The last thing you want to hear when you’re in a bad situation is someone who isn’t in that same situation. But, Job still allowed his friends to try to talk some sense into him. They corrected him. They encouraged him. And, amazingly enough, he still listened. How do I know this? It’s all written down. The entire book is a conversation between Job and his buddies.

The moral of the story is this: it’s okay to be a whiner to God sometimes. He can handle it. But it’s not okay to be a whiner all the time. As difficult as it may be, you still have to allow yourself to be encouraged and corrected.

Daily Bible reading: Job 10-12, Acts 8:1-25

Reminder

Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Exodus 2:23-24 (NLT)

He remembered His covenant promise. Do you think that God—the God who knows everything—really forgot His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Do you think that God required a reminder? “Oh, shoot! I totally forgot about them. I was so busy doing my own thing somewhere else.”

I don’t think so.

So why did Israel have to cry out?

My youngest niece is three. She’s the cutest little thing. But sometimes she gets it into her head that she’s not going to talk. She’ll gesture and grunt, but refuse to speak. Can she speak? Sure, there are times when you can’t get her to stop talking. But when she wants or needs something, she needs to ask for it, not point and grunt.

I think God is the same way with us sometimes. He knows what we need. He’s never ignorant of that. But He wants us to ask. He knew what He’d promised to Israel, but He wanted them to remember what He’d promised.

This is one of the reasons that, when I teach Bible study, I put stress on learning the “In Him” scriptures. Learn what God has said about you and to you. Know who you are in Him so that, when you’re going through a rough time, you can remember and say, “Hey God, you said you’d be here. You promised me healing. You promised me comfort.”

He doesn’t need the reminder. We do.

Daily Bible reading: Exodus 1-3, Matthew 15:21-39

Digest

Did you know that Jesus talked about the digestive system? It’s one of those topics many may say, “Oh, Jesus would never talk about that.” He did.

Don’t you understand?” Jesus asked him. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body.

Matthew 15:16-17 (NLT)

Yup, Jesus even referred to poop. Who knows, maybe that’s how he even said it to his disciples.

In this case, the disciples were wondering what Jesus meant when he told the Pharisees that you aren’t defiled by what you eat (there were strict Jewish laws regarding food and the eating thereof).

But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands could never defile you and make you unacceptable to God!

Matthew 15:18-20 (NLT)

How you choose to eat your lunch has no effect on your salvation. But what you allow out of your mouth when it comes to speech can have eternal repercussions.

Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.

Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)

The moral of the story is to worry less about what goes in to your mouth and how it gets there and more about what comes out of your mouth. Whatever goes in your mouth will come out of your body. But what comes out of your mouth is a sign of what is rooted in your heart.

Daily Bible reading: Genesis 4-50, Matthew 15:1-20

Every Day

I’m not good at talking to people. Socialising is about the last thing on my list of things I enjoy doing. When it comes to sharing the Gospel, I’m usually at a complete loss as where to start.

And I’m quite sure I’m not alone in this struggle.

But I wonder what would happen if we all worked on it? How many people could we reach if we just started talking about Jesus. Not as some far off being we sort of believe in, but as a real person whom we have a real relationship with.

In the book of Acts, the apostles were imprisoned because they spoke of Jesus. When an angel came to let them out, he said:

Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.

Acts 5:20 (ESV)

Of course, we know that this Life is Jesus. They weren’t commissioned to speak some of Jesus’ words or just the ones that they liked, but all of his words.

By the end of the chapter, the apostles had been called before the council, beaten and let go, and told not to talk about Jesus. So what did they do?

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Acts 5:42 (ESV)

Do you think that maybe we could work on talking about Jesus? And not just about him, but speaking his words. His words of Truth and Life. It’s going to be a challenge for most of us.

But if we don’t speak all the words of this Life, who will?

Can I get a Witness?

The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.

John 12:17 (ESV)

Had God done great things on your behalf?

Don’t say, no.

You can’t say, no.

All you need to do is read through the Psalms.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.

Psalm 85:12

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly

Psalm 84:11

I praise you for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works:
my soul knows it very well

Psalm 139:14

If the crowds that had seen Jesus do great things had never continued to bear witness, to talk about what they had seen, the Pharisees would have had no reason to capture and kill Jesus. If Jesus hadn’t been crucified, he couldn’t have been raised from the dead. If Jesus had never been raised from the dead, we would not have eternal salvation.

Never take for granted the power of talking about what Jesus has done for you.

Daily Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 1-3; John 12:1-19