Thursday, February 18, 2016

Learning to Speak in the Heavenly Father's Family

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled (Luke 11:14)

In this passage, Jesus cast out a demon.  The demon caused this poor man to be mute. This was an awful fate, for we were created as God’s image bearers to reflect the character of our God, and as it is abundantly clear in Scripture, our God is a God who speaks, unlike the mute idols that say nothing (Ps. 115:4-5).  We were created to speak to God in prayer and praise, and for God to our fellow men. 


Sadly, many of us are like this mute man, saying little to our Lord in prayer, praising Him seldom with our lips, and rarely speaking and singing the Word to others (Col. 3:16; 1 Pet. 4:11).  We may not be physically mute, but even worse, we are spiritually mute.  We were created to "articulate creation's response to the Creator," and to "talk with God as a son with a father."   But we are spiritually mute till we are born from above as his children.  Jesus can change us and open our mute lips, just as he changed the mute man in Luke 11.  The key to unlocking our mute lips is to enter into the kingdom Jesus brought by his death and resurrection.  We enter this kingdom by hearing and believing the word of the gospel (Luke 11:28). 

Once we have entered Jesus’ kingdom by faith, his kingdom life begins to work in us, for by the Spirit we are joined to the crucified and resurrected King. As we learn from him and eat at his table, in other words, as we worship him (Scripture and especially Luke's Gospel defines worship as table fellowship!), we are conformed to his image, so that we become like him. Psalm 115 teaches us that we become like the one we worship (Ps. 115:8). Though it may be slow, the heavenly Father's little children begin to speak his name, learn the language of his family, and put off the profane and unclean language of this present evil age.

If we worship mute idols, then we will have little to say to the true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ or little to say on his behalf.  But if we worship the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit, then our lips will be opened to become what we were created to be---men and women who honor God with their whole being, including their lips.  May the resurrected Lord deliver us by His Spirit from the prison of our silence, even as he delivered this poor, mute man in Luke 11.

Father, Open Lips to Speak

To the tune: SAVANNAH (http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/UMH/385).  Meter: 7777.  Based on Luke 11:14.  Words: William Weber, 2011. (after sermon, speaking God's word, bearing God's image, becoming like the thing we worship)

v. 1
Father, open lips to speak,
for Your glory we would seek.
Free from idols that are mute,
may our mouths for You bear fruit.

v. 2
We were made to give You praise,
glorify You all our days.
But the devil longs to halt,
mouths that Christ the Lord exalt.

v. 3
Just as Jesus opened lips,
freeing men from Satan’s grip.
So we pray to speak God’s Word,
that to Him men might return.

v. 4
By the Spirit Jesus won,
now His kingdom has begun.
Blessed are all who enter in,
kingdom life in them begins.

v. 5
What we worship we become,
like the Lord or idols mum.
Hearing, speaking Lord, we seek,
ears to hear and mouths to speak.

v. 6
Father, help us learn Your speech,
slow we are so would You teach.
Take away our words profane,
learn to speak in Jesus' name.

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