“I assent not to men, even though multitudes concur in their declarations; since we are taught by Christ himself, to yield our faith, not to the doctrines of men, but to those which were preached by the prophets and revealed by Himself.”—Justin Martyr
“I would not that you should give credence to my simple declarations of these things, unless you obtain from the Scriptures a demonstration of what I preach. For the saving efficacy of our faith arises not from any eloquence of ours, but from the demonsration of the Holy Scriptures.”—Cyril of Jerusalem (AD 313 - 386)
I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall I ever achieve again so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God – that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem capable of giving; to help me to be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.
I felt that in preaching the first thing you had to do was to demonstrate to the people that what you were going to do was very relevant and urgently important…
I started with the man whom I wanted to listen, the patient. It was a medical approach really - here is a patient, a person in trouble, an ignorant man who has been to the quacks, and so I deal with all that in the introduction.
I wanted to get to the listener and then come to my exposition.
“The achievements of the Saviour, resulting from His becoming man, are of such kind and number, that if one should wish to enumerate them, he may be compared to men who gaze at the expanse of the sea and wish to count its waves.”—
God intends that we be people who use words to encourage one another. A well-timed word has the power to urge a runner to finish the race, to rekindle hope when despair has set in, to spark a bit of warmth in an otherwise cold life, to trigger healthful self-evaluation in someone who doesn’t think much about his shortcomings, to renew confidence when problems have the upper hand.
Christians are commanded to encourage one another. Because words have the power to affect people deeply, it is appropriate to consider how to encourage fellow Christians through what we say.
Words can encourage, discourage, or do nothing. Shallow words accomplish little, death words discourage, and life words encourage. We must learn to speak sincerely with positive impact, using our words to help other Christians pursue the pathway of obedience more zealously.