Wow! Is this needed today! Life-giving words!

1Sometimes you read something that LEAPS off the page (or in this case, the screen).  Here is a devotional featured on Ann Voscamp’s website – so desperately needed!

More Than a Conversation: Discovering the Power in Life-Giving Words by Mark Batterson

During a fragile time in my teenage years, I was given the gift of life-giving words.

I was kneeling at an altar when a missionary put a hand on my shoulder and started praying over me.

Then his prayer turned prophetic: “God is going to use you in a great way.”

It was only one sentence, but I’ve held on to those words through thick and thin. And I’ve tried to flip that blessing by speaking life-giving words to others.

One of the most powerful blessings you can bestow on another person is well-timed words.

Remember the woman who broke open her alabaster jar of perfume and anointed Jesus? Remember the way the Pharisees and the disciples criticized her?

Jesus counteracted their criticism with the gift of life-giving words: “Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Mark 14:9).

Can you imagine the way those words buoyed her spirit the rest of her life?

“It’s our job to declare God’s praises and pronounce God’s blessings.”

Those are the kinds of words you have tattooed on your body or inscribed on your tombstone! Jesus blessed her with prophetic words, and they were fulfilled one more time with your reading of them just now.

As children of God and followers of Christ, we assume the mantle of the Old Testament priests who administered the blessing. We are part of a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)!

It’s our job to declare God’s praises and pronounce God’s blessings.

Blessing and cursing are not compartmentalized biblical concepts. They are two very different ways of life, two very different ways of treating people.

If the transcript of your life were read aloud, what would your words reveal?

How do you talk about people when they aren’t present?

Do you berate them or brag about them behind their backs?

How do you talk to people when they’re present? Do you put them down, or do you look them in the eye and compliment them to their faces?

I have a three-inch-thick file that is filled with kind notes and thoughtful letters that I’ve received from readers of my books and from people I have the privilege of pastoring. Why do I keep them? Because every word of encouragement is a keepsake!

“Every word of encouragement breathes new life into me.”Every word of encouragement breathes new life into me.

In light of the power of words in our lives, does it come as any surprise that the Enemy of our souls is called the Father of Lies and the Accuser of the Brethren?

He speaks lies that can suck the life out of us.

How do we overcome his lies and his accusations? According to the writer of Revelation, we overcome them “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony” (Revelation 12:10–11).

At first glance, one of those things is not like the other! I would not put my testimony on par with the precious blood of Christ, but it’s one key to overcoming the Enemy.

Your testimony of God’s work in your life has the power to set other people free!

That’s how powerful your words can be.

“Your testimony of God’s work in your life has the power to set other people free!”
How? Well, if God did it for you, He can do it for them. And if God did it before, He can do it again.

A number of years ago, I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. When we got to Dead Woman’s Pass, I had a throbbing headache caused by oxygen deprivation.

At that elevation, the atmosphere has 37 percent less oxygen.

Fortunately, our guide pulled out a can of pure oxygen. As I inhaled, the headache went away.

Life-giving words are pure oxygen.

The right words at the right time can change everything.

They can even change a life.

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