Ecclesiastes 3 says, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to keep silence, and A TIME TO SPEAK.
Last time we considered the fact that a Christian ought to be able to keep his mouth shut, namely at those times when his tongue would shoot out deadly poison. On the other hand, what we'd like to focus on today is the fact that there are time when we ought not hold back, namely at those times when our words can be a well of life. Let's take a look at 4 such opportunities we ought not let pass us by.
Psalm 40:9 says, I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O, LORD, thou knowest.
Why don't we make it our purpose and prayer to never miss an opportunity to declare the saving gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! May the Lord fill our hearts with boldness and resolve to make known HIS saving power!
- Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 107:2).
- I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians: both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Romans 1:14-16).
- [Pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
Proverbs 27:5 says, Open rebuke is better than secret love. And 28:23, He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
There are times when I am wrong and in need of correction. There are times when you are wrong in need of correction. This is one of the main reasons God has placed us in the body of Christ together. Let us not be afraid to (lovingly) take a friend aside and point out some sin or error in his/her life. We'll all need it at some point or another. A true friend knows that it'd be better to risk the anger or resentment of that friend who needs to be rebuked than to allow that friend to continue down a path that leads to destruction. Are you more concerned with your friend or with yourself?
- Iron sharpeneth iron: so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).
Proverbs 31:9 says, Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
We're so quick to jump to our own defense and many times hesitant to speak in the defense of another. Too often we give ear to gossip that either we know can't be true or have no way of knowing if it is true. Instead, let's make it a point to turn a deaf ear to the gossiping tongue and speak up on one another's behalf.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Let's determine in our hearts not to miss a chance to speak an encouraging word to a brother or sister. The Holy Spirit instructs us to seek to excel to the edifying of the church (1 Corinthians 14:12). May we each look for ways in which we can build up the body of Christ. Many times it's as easy as talking to a brother or sister about how God has blessed, or provided a need, or given you strength, or an answered prayer, or showed you something in your Bible reading.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17).