Did You Know?

Three men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

134 Killed Mali
At least 134 individuals have been killed, and 55 others injured, in an ethnic Peuhl village in Ogossogou, Mali. Among those killed were small children, pregnant women, and the elderly. An ethnic Dogon militia, who are Islamic extremists, is believed to be responsible for the attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
417 Killed in Mozambique
At least 417 individuals have been killed in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai. Approximately 300 others have been killed in Zimbabwe and Malawi as a result of the cyclone. There is also severe flooding, which has contributed to the many deaths, and risk of further flooding. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the safety of all in the regions. Please pray for all affected.
Flooding in Australia
Northern Australia has been struck by Cyclone Trevor, with another storm, Cyclone Veronica on its way. Cyclone Trevor has already caused significant damage with strong winds and rains. There have been nor reports of injuries or deaths. While Cyclone Veronica is not expected to make landfall, flooding is still a major concern. Please pray for all who have been, and could be, affected. Please pray for safety.
1 Injured in Nice, France
At least one elderly woman has been injured during a banned “Yellow Vest” protest in Nice, France. The 73-year-old woman was struck over the head with a metal post in an incident captured on video. She sustained a skull fracture and bleeding next to the brain. She is currently in the intensive care unit. During the protest, soldiers were deployed to help police maintain security. Please pray for healing. Please pray for any others that may have been affected. Please pray for peace.
Last Islamic State Stronghold Falls
The terrorist group known as the Islamic State no longer holds any territory, and thousands of its fighters have been captured in recent months. However, many fighters continue to carry out operations in secret. Please pray for peace. Please pray for all that have been affected since the Islamic State came to power.
3 Killed in Nebraska
At least three individuals have been killed as a result of severe flooding in Nebraska. Thousands have been forced from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri due to flooding. Further flooding is feared as temperatures increase and snow begins to melt. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for all those affected.
Protests in Morocco
Thousands of teachers are protesting in Morocco over working conditions. Among their demands are permanent contracts, better working conditions, and the rising cost of living. An overnight sit-in was broken up by police in riot gear with water cannons. Please pray for peace.
Protests in Algeria
Protests have been ongoing against current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. President Bouteflika was planning on running for a 5th term in office, despite his declining health, however, he has announced that he will not seek another term. He has been in office since 1999. Protests initially began against his seeking a 5th term, but now protesters are demanding that he step down immediately, arguing that his health is allowing others to rule through him. Please pray for a peaceful resolution.
49 Killed in Mosque Shootings
At least 49 individuals have been killed, and 20 others injured, in two shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Police also discovered explosive devices nearby. Officials has designated this incident as a terrorist attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.

After God created Adam and Eve, He gave them simple instructions to follow - Do not eat (Genesis 2:16-17).  They failed to follow these instructions were tossed out from the Garden of Eden into the harsh world.  But God did not abandon them.  While not specified, the Bible indicates that He provided further instructions to Adam and Eve about how they were to live their lives in a pleasing manner to Him (Genesis 4:1-7).  

 

When the Israelites left Egypt, God realized the need for further instruction; clear cut rules for the Israelites to follow.  Thus, God delivered to Moses, by word, instructions on nearly every facet of life.  Ten of these instructions, from which all other instructions stem, are called the 10 Commandments.  Two of those commandments were instructions on how we are to use our words.  God knew that power that words hold.  He used that power to create the world we now live in!  Because of that power, God wants us to be aware and accountable of what we say.

 

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain…You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  (Exodus 20:7,16  ESV)

 

The first commandment to instruct on how we are to use words, focuses on how we are to use the Lord’s name.  “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”  (Exodus 20:7)  Upon hearing this commandment, most people think that we are not to use the Lord’s name as a curse.  After all, how would you feel if people starting using your name as a swear word?  God’s name is Holy!  Just like your name, it is His identity, which is greater than we can comprehend!  Sadly, it is nearly impossible to turn on a television show or movie and not hear His name, or His Son’s name, taken in vain.  

But the commandment is not quite so simple.  By becoming a Christian, a follower of the Lord God, our entire lifestyle is to change - including how we use words!  Yes, we are not to use the Lord’s name in a blasphemous way, including swearing, but the commandment does not say, “don’t swear,” it says, do “not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”   If we proclaim to be followers of the Lord, but our lifestyle, and our words do not reflect our proclamation, then have we not defiled the name of the Lord?  False prophets were condemned for falsely using the name of the Lord to legitimize their words.  We too are expected to uphold the name of the Lord in both actions and words.  God’s name should only be used in worship of Him!

 

But this was not the Lord’s only instruction on how to use our words; “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  (Leviticus 20:16, ESV)  This commandment is often simplified as “do not lie.”  As before, this simplification is correct; we are not to tell lies, about anyone, for any reason, in any way.  But also, as before, people often try to skirt the meaning and intent behind the commandment.  People may say “gosh darn it,” “golly gee,” or “gee whiz” as an attempt to avoid swearing using the Lord’s name, however the meaning and intent behind the words is the same.  In the same way, lies can be told through a lack of words or the concealment of certain information.  Lying is not only achieved by stating a false fact.

 

Further, this commandment tells us that, again, our entire life is to be changed by entering into a relationship with the Lord.  Jesus was asked by a man in Luke 10:29 who exactly his neighbor was.  Jesus responded over the next eight verses by telling the story commonly known as the Good Samaritan.  The concluding point of the story is that everyone is our neighbor, even our most fiercest enemy.  We should not lie to, use our words to trick or deceive, spread gossip, or tell falsehoods about our neighbors - anyone!  The effect of these words have consequences.  False words can alter perceptions, change opinions, and harm those about whom we are speaking.  

 

Through these commandments, God prodded instruction on how our words are to be used.  God’s instructions are realign and applicable to all.  God’s power and wisdom is demonstrated through His instructions, which grow with us.  His instruction can be simplified for the youngest listener, but as we grow in in wisdom and knowledge, our understanding of the full meaning of His instructions also grows.

 

Words have power!  Words have the power to create!  Words have the power to deceive and manipulate!  Words have power in silence!  Words should be used carefully!  Words reflect our heart!  Words have the power to instruct!

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Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ can anyone hope to separate themselves from the power of sin in this world. Through Him, all things are made new. For a complete listing of readings, please download our Bible Study.

 

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