October 20, 2013 – October 26, 2013
“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 183–195; Gospel Workers, 121–123.
“His [Christ’s] calm, earnest, musical voice fell like balm on the wounded spirit.” The Review and Herald, March 5, 1901.
1 SPEAKING WITH LOVE
- What can we learn from the acknowledgment of the chief priest’s officers with respect to Christ’s manner of speaking? John 7:46.
Note: “His [Christ’s] tender compassion fell with a touch of healing upon weary and troubled hearts. Even amid the turbulence of angry enemies He was surrounded with an atmosphere of peace. The beauty of His countenance, the loveliness of His character, above all, the love expressed in look and tone, drew to Him all who were not hardened in unbelief. Had it not been for the sweet, sympathetic spirit that shone out in every look and word, He would not have attracted the large congregations that He did.” The Desire of Ages, 254.
- How can we reflect the divine method of speaking? II Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 12:2.
Note: “Jesus is our example. His voice was musical, and was never raised in high, strained notes while He was speaking to the people. He did not speak so rapidly that His words were crowded one upon another in such a way that it made it difficult to understand Him. He distinctly enunciated every word, and those who heard His voice bore the testimony that ‘never man spake like this man’ (John 7:46).” The Review and Herald, March 5, 1895.
2 SPEAKING WITH AUTHORITY
- While Christ had a melodious, loving, and earnest voice, how did He exhort and present cutting truths when needed? Matthew 7:28, 29; Luke 4:32; John 2:15, 16.
Note: “In the work of soul-winning, great tact and wisdom are needed. The Saviour never suppressed the truth, but He uttered it always in love. In His intercourse with others, He exercised the greatest tact, and He was always kind and thoughtful. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave unnecessary pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He never made truth cruel, but ever manifested a deep tenderness for humanity. Every soul was precious in His sight. He bore Himself with divine dignity; yet He bowed with the tenderest compassion and regard to every member of the family of God. He saw in all, souls whom it was His mission to save.” Gospel Workers, 117.
- Why was Christ successful in motivating a change in people’s lives? John 13:15.
Note: “What He [Christ] taught, He lived. ‘I have given you an example,’ He said to His disciples; ‘that ye should do as I have done.’ ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments’ (John 13:15; 15:10). Thus in His life, Christ’s words had perfect illustration and support. And more than this; what He taught, He was. His words were the expression, not only of His own life experience, but of His own character. Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching, power.” Education, 78, 79.
“Through the help that Christ can give, we shall be able to learn to bridle the tongue. Sorely as He was tried on the point of hasty and angry speech, He never once sinned with His lips. With patient calmness He met the sneers, the taunts, and the ridicule of His fellow workers at the carpenter’s bench. Instead of retorting angrily, He would begin to sing one of David’s beautiful psalms; and His companions, before realizing what they were doing, would unite with Him in the hymn. What a transformation would be wrought in this world if men and women today would follow Christ’s example in the use of words!” The Review and Herald, May 26, 1904.
3 BREAKING DOWN PREJUDICE
- What method did Christ use to break down prejudice and find access to the mind of the multitude? Matthew 13:34, 35.
Note: “He who has paid the infinite price to redeem men reads with unerring accuracy all the hidden workings of the human mind, and knows just how to deal with every soul. And in dealing with men, He manifests the same principles that are manifest in the natural world. The beneficent operations of nature are not accomplished by abrupt and startling interpositions; men are not permitted to take her work into their own hands. God works through the calm, regular operation of His appointed laws. So it is in spiritual things. Satan is constantly seeking to produce effects by rude and violent thrusts; but Jesus found access to minds by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He disturbed as little as possible their accustomed train of thought by abrupt actions or prescribed rules. He honored man with His confidence, and thus placed him on his honor. He introduced old truths in a new and precious light. Thus when only twelve years old, He astonished the doctors of the law by His questions in the temple.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 189, 190.
- How was Christ able to melt away the animosity of the Samaritans? John 4:4–26, 39–42.
Note: “Christ did not wait for congregations to assemble. Some of the grandest truths He uttered were spoken to individuals. Listen to His wonderful words to that one woman of Samaria. He was sitting by Jacob’s well as the woman came to draw water. To her surprise He asked a favor of her. ‘Give Me to drink’ (John 4:7), He said. He wanted a cool draught, and He wished also to open the way whereby He might give to her the water of life. …
“How much interest Christ manifested in this one woman! How earnest and eloquent were His words! They stirred the heart of the listener, and forgetting her errand to the well, she went into the city and said to her friends, ‘Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ’ (verse 29)?” Gospel Workers, 194, 195.
4 SPEAKING WITH THE ERRING
- When considering how to deal with sin-sick souls and backslidden church members, what can we learn from Christ’s treatment of the accused woman in John 8:3–11?
Note: “As the dew and the still showers fall upon the withering plants, so let words fall gently when seeking to win men from error. God’s plan is first to reach the heart. We are to speak the truth in love, trusting in Him to give it power for the reforming of the life. The Holy Spirit will apply to the soul the word that is spoken in love.” The Ministry of Healing, 157.
“It is not Christ’s follower that, with averted eyes, turns from the erring, leaving them unhindered to pursue their downward course. Those who are forward in accusing others, and zealous in bringing them to justice, are often in their own lives more guilty than they. Men hate the sinner, while they love the sin. Christ hates the sin, but loves the sinner. This will be the spirit of all who follow Him. Christian love is slow to censure, quick to discern penitence, ready to forgive, to encourage, to set the wanderer in the path of holiness, and to stay his feet therein.” The Desire of Ages, 462.
- Give some scriptural examples of how Christ reproved His disciples. Matthew 16:8; Luke 9:55; 24:25–27.
Note: “Jesus reproved His disciples, He warned and cautioned them; but John and Peter and their brethren did not leave Him. Notwithstanding the reproofs, they chose to be with Jesus. And the Saviour did not, because of their errors, withdraw from them. He takes men as they are, with all their faults and weaknesses, and trains them for His service, if they will be disciplined and taught by Him.” Education, 91.
“God desires your words to be life-giving. Not a word of irritation is to be spoken. However provoked you may feel, keep back every word that would stir up the evil in another heart.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 144, 145.
“There is often a great temptation to talk of things which do not profit the speaker or the hearer, but which bring evil and barrenness to both. Our probationary time is too brief to be spent in dwelling upon the shortcomings of others.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 135.
5 THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION
- What was the secret of Christ’s perfect communication skills? Isaiah 50:4, 5.
- How long did Christ persevere in His communion with God, and why? Luke 6:12.
Note: “From hours spent with God He [Christ] came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others. His words were given Him fresh from the heavenly courts, words that He might speak in season to the weary and oppressed.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 139.
“As a man He [Christ] supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.” The Desire of Ages, 363.
- What results are to be reaped daily through devotional time spent with God? Isaiah 33:2.
Note: “Some are seen to come forth from their daily communion with God clothed with the meekness of Christ. Their words are not like a desolating hail, crushing everything before it; they come forth sweetly from their lips. They scatter seeds of love and kindness all along their path, and that all unconsciously, because Christ lives in their heart. Their influence is felt more than it is seen.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1159.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How are we to make our voice resemble Christ’s voice more closely?
2 In what way will people be motivated to follow Christ?
3 How can you break down the walls of prejudice?
Copyright © 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.