As I was challenged by God's Word tonight, I was struck with the seeming disparity between the language that goes into our minds and the language that comes out of our mouths. Whether you are at a great conference like T4G or New Attitude or attending your regular church each week, there is a diet coming your way of godly language. Romans 12:2 teaches us that these words of God are supposed to transform us as our minds are renewed through the scriptures. I have definitely partaken in a great diet of godly Biblical messages from the conference already, and I still have Piper to come my way tomorrow. But whatever we are hearing from these resources, there are times when it doesn't go beyond our minds. This plays out in several ways.
An example of this I experienced this weekend was the conversation in our car after a great message from Mark Dever on the Authority of Scripture. You would think that after being challenged by God's Word, the conversation would be reflective of that. Imagine eating a wonderful shrimp scampi with garlic and butter and lemon. You enjoyed it and now the taste lingers with you even after the meal. When you talk to your friends, they smell it on your breath. What you have eaten lasts longer than just the meal. Listening to a message should affect us the same way. Others should be able to tell by our countenance, our spiritual aroma if you will, what we just listened to and it should rub off. If you listen to a great message, or even just an adequate message that accurately reflects God's Word, you should have a desire to speak about that to others. If you quickly are involved in conversation about your favorite episode of the Office, or the latest contestant booted from your reality show, after hearing from God's Word, there is something wrong with your spiritual digestive system.
Our old pastor, Bob Whitney, called this parking lot vomit. He said that many people hear God's Word, eat of it in the service, then, like a bolemic that wants to appear healthy but doesn't want the implications of eating to affect them, they vomit what they have heard in the parking lot before they get in their cars and are soon talking excitedly about the big game coming up or the lunch that is cooking. What is wrong with us, and I include myself in this, when we hear the Word of the living God and remain unchanged? That is how a non-believer is described in James 1:22-25. They hear the Word of God, but it changes nothing about how they live. Where is the delight and the joy it brought the Psalmist of Psalm 119?
We need to return to a love of God's Word, whatever the source. We need to enjoy receiving the Word from sermons, worship songs, books, and most essentially, the Bible itself. If God's Word isn't transforming our conversations, which are small things, how can we expect it to change our lives. Matthew 12:25 tells us that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If you were to record all of your conversation for just one day, would you be proud of the kind of heart that is reflected in that? I'm not sure I would. We must cry out to God that He restore a love for His Word and that it becomes a treasure again to our souls.
I am so thankful that God is reawakening a love for Him and His Word in my heart through this weekend. I pray that the effects will be long lasting. How wonderful would it be if we were known for having profitable, uplifting, encouraging, challenging, and Biblical conversations. The things of this world that we get so caught up in are passing away. We get so invested in T.V. shows about people we don't know and lifestyles we will never have that those people become our focus. We must shift that focus to the eternal. Speech that is truly edifying is speech that focuses on the everlasting. I pray that for myself as I endeavor to love God more.
Grace and Peace...