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Friday, November 01, 2013

Acts 2:1-13 (Pt. 5)  Thought/Prayer:  Just the Right Language.  Topics:  2 at end.

“Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place.  Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.
“Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky.  When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.  They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans?  How do we hear, everyone in our own native language?  Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!’  They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, ‘What does this mean?’ Others, mocking, said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’”  WEB (Read this scripture and more at

Well, we don’t have to become idiotic to use idioms!  Glad for that because we all use idioms to color our speech, so to speak :).  Idioms are those ways of speaking that include understood meanings from words that are not saying that understood meaning.  If I “clock out,” it has nothing to do with carrying a clock out the door; rather, it involves indicating the time of leaving work.  To “cogitate” has nothing to do with cogs in a wheel: cogitating is pondering deeply about something.  To press someone for information has nothing to do with throwing him on the ironing board for a good smoothing-out.  Idioms are just ways of speaking, indirectly or with added informative aspects.

God put idioms into our Bible.  “He [Jesus] replied, ‘In the evening you say, “It will be fine weather, for the sky is red;” and in the morning, “It will be rough weather to-day, for the sky is red and murky.” You learn how to distinguish the aspect of the heavens, but the signs of the times you cannot.’” (WNT)  Most people of that time probably understood that when someone said “. . . for the sky is red . . .”, that they were speaking of oncoming weather.

“God’s Word is a two-edged sword”(Heb. 4:12).  Surely everyone would know that this means his Word can have more than one meaning or effect, just as a sword that is honed on both sides of the blade. 

Can we use such words or phrases when speaking with someone else about our Savior?  Of course we can.  And it’s up to the Holy Spirit to give us the words we need . . . the words that will mean the most to that person needing the Lord, the person about whom we care deeply unto salvation.  Jesus used sheep as an example of those who follow him.  Sheep are good at following their leader.  So, if we were to share with someone from a farming background, for example, they would understand that when we follow Jesus, we are in a characteristic of sheep.  (And, Jesus used the lovely illustration of going to find the lost sheep, and paintings show Him coming home with it around his shoulders.)

Lord, help us to know when to use language that is figurative, such as with idioms . . . help us to know the portrayals and words that a person will understand from their background, from their unique experience in the world.  Thank you for giving us language that can apply to all people, everywhere . . . the exact people You call, colorfully, to follow You.

Topics:  Pray for understanding of how to speak with someone regarding the Lord, with the just right language, even idioms, to reach them.
Foreign missionaries—- that they will stand for LIFE issues.

Posted by Gail Richardson on 11/01 at 10:28 PM
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