Message From Matt |September 21, 2018

“I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.  For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.” – 1 Corinthians 16:17-18

Are you refreshing?

Don’t you love being around people that are like a breath of fresh air?  Whether it’s their positive outlook on life, or the fact they always seem to have a smile on their face even in adversity, or by the kind things that they might say when you need it…those types of people are refreshing to be around.  The Apostle Paul had a moment in his life that he needed to be around people that would lift him up and he found it in some guys from the church of Corinth.  Paul was away from the church and had needs that needed to be met, and these guys met the need!  I’m not sure what they did but the effect of it was that Paul (and the church) was refreshed by what they did…and probably also by what they said.  When I read these verses in 1 Corinthians I can’t help but reflect about my own life!   Am I saying and doing things that are honoring to God and refreshing to others?  

Are our words refreshing?

Everyone knows that the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me ” is a lie…right?  Words can hurt worse than sticks and stones and the wounds last longer.  Quite frankly, I don’t always say or do the right things!  In fact, I have often said the wrong thing and hurt others or there have been other times I didn’t say the things that I should have said.  Although I will feel terrible when I put my foot in my mouth, I have noticed that I can still easily repeat that process over and over.  The Book of James is chock full of the truth about the problems our tongues can cause…
  • “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” – James 3:5 
  • And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity…it defileth the whole body…it’s set on fire of hell” – James 3:6
  • “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
  • Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” – James 3:10

But then our tongues can also be used for good…

  • “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” – Proverbs 16:24
  • “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29
  • “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

We should focus on speaking refreshing words…

  • “let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in the sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
  • “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  – Proverbs 18:21

Is your life refreshing?

I long to be a person that isn’t controlled by the environment around me.  Meaning, no matter what someone says or does, I am not going to let their actions dictate my actions!  I want my life to be steered by God and not by anyone or anything else and be refreshing to be around and not a drag!  I want my words to reflect Christ and my actions to be powered by the Holy Spirit and my life to be grounded  in the Word.  I desire to be refreshing!  

I know that I am not what I can be, but I believe that God will help me each and every day to be a person that isn’t a taker but a giver!  I want to use words for life and not death!  What about you?  If your words haven’t been as they should – change them!  If you are thinking negative thoughts ask God to help you renew your mind!  If you are not refreshing someone today, ask God to help you and then see the difference He will make in your life and the lives of those around you!  If you see that someone has a need, do your best to meet that need – the benefits to them and yourself are so great!