Pleasant Words to God
In a recent message, we talked about the need to use pleasant words when we talk with other people.
That need is taught in the Bible.
To refresh our memories, the point was made from Proverbs 16 that pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health for the body.
From Proverbs 12 comes the point that rash words can hurt as much as sword thrusts, so we are to make sure we use our words wisely so we can bring healing to others.
In Ephesians 4 is the teaching that our words are to be edifying and gracious. Our words are to build each other up as we speak with kindness and encouragement.
We are to use pleasant words when we talk with and to other people. In this message, let’s expand that to our need to use pleasant words when talking with and to God.
The need for that is taught many places in the Bible. One that popped into my mind was the first part of the passage that gives us what we know as the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:9-10.
We know the words.
“Our Father.” That is a recognition that God is for everyone. He is not just for me. God is our Father. And what a wonder the word Father represents. A father is to love and care for and watch over and provide for his children. The second word in the Lord’s Prayer is a proclamation that God is ready and able and willing to provide all those benefits for us, which He will provide to all who accept Jesus as Savior
“Our Father, who art in Heaven.” What a reminder of the position of God. He is a resident - He is the controller - of Heaven. That wonderful place is His home. And yes, through the Holy Spirit, He is here with us as well, but His home is Heaven. That is an explanation of His power.
“Hallowed be Thy name.” Honored - revered - is God’s name. Stating that to God is one way for us to use pleasant words in our conversations with Him.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” How pleasant those words must sound to God as we express our wish - our hope - our prayer - that His will be done. What a recognition that we realize His will is better than our will.
God is our Father, here and in Heaven. He is to be honored. We are to want to see His kingdom and His will be done in us, through us, and around us. Expressing all that is part of using pleasant words in our conversations with Him.
But there are other verses in the Bible that give us additional specific ways to talk to Him and with Him that show our love and our encouragement for Him. In fact, I have come across several, a few of which will be highlighted today.
Let’s begin with proclaiming God is the Creator.
We know God is the creator. His creation of everything - the earth, the rest of the universe, birds, animals, fish, people - is recorded in the first part of the Book of Genesis. But listen to what Nehemiah wrote, maybe a thousand years later.
At one time, Nehemiah, an exile from Israel, was the cupbearer for a foreign king. Nehemiah was the one who drank from the king’s cup before the king drank from it. That was done to make sure the king was not poisoned.
Nehemiah was a trusted servant. In his position, he developed a closeness to the king. A closeness that resulted in the king giving Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of that city that had earlier been destroyed.
Nehemiah proved to be a great organizer and inspiring leader. Proof of that was the completion of Jerusalem’s wall in just 52 days.
After that, for a while, Nehemiah went back to the king’s service, but he was then allowed to return again to Israel, where he called the people of God to repent of their sins so they could once again be in God’s favor and receive His blessings.
In Nehemiah 9:6, here is what he wrote. Words that were designed to convince people how great God is. “Lord God, You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.”
God is the creator. Of course, telling that to God is not giving Him a news flash. He already knew it. He still does know what He accomplished.
What Nehemiah wrote is not news to God, but it was and is our recognition of what God did. Expressing it to God, thanking Him for His creation, is pleasing to Him. Such words are pleasant words to Him and for Him.
We are going to practice saying pleasant words to God. We will do that with each of verses to be highlighted. Let’s do that together. Lord God, I praise You because You made the heavens and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it and in the seas. You give life to everything. I join the multitudes of Heaven in worshiping You.
Proclaiming to God that He is the creator of everything and thanking Him for His creation and for life is one way to give Him pleasant words. Let’s be willing to do that often.
And hey, some of the people to whom God gave life are not very nice, to Him and to others, but that is not God’s fault. It is the devil’s fault. It is sin’s fault. Let’s still thank Him for creation. Thankful words are pleasant words to Him.
Other pleasant words?Proclaim He is the only God. Words to that effect come from Isaiah 45:5.
Isaiah was a prophet who did his work for God 250 or so years before Nehemiah lived. He spoke against people’s disobedience to God.
It seems few people like to be told what they are doing wrong. That led to Isaiah’s difficulties as a prophet, but he stayed true to God.
Here is what Isaiah wrote in the first part of 45:5, which is actually what he received from God. I will paraphrase a bit to fit the fact we are using these words to speak to and with God. “God, You are the LORD, and there is no other. Apart from You, there is no God.”
Throughout history there have been people who have come up with other gods. The ancient Romans had lots of gods. The ancient Greeks had lots of gods. That is still true today in some cultures, and there are some who interpret some in today’s American culture as worshiping nature or money or their own power.
But there are no other gods but our one true God. The God of the Old Testament and the New Testament - the God we worship today and every other Sunday - is the only true, real God.
Let’s practice saying those pleasant words to God. God, I praise You because You are the LORD, and there is no other. Apart from You, there is no God.
Those words should be helpful to us, reminding us there is no one and no thing except our God who is worthy of our worship and our loyalty and our trust and our service. But how good it is for God to hear us say we recognize He is the only God. Those are pleasant words to His ears.
Other pleasant words for God - that He is Almighty - can be found in Psalm 89:8. “O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O LORD, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.”
Almighty refers to complete power. Who else has such power? No one and no thing. The Psalmist asked, “Who is like You?” That is a rhetorical question, meaning the answer is already known. In this case, the answer is “no one.”
How do we express our confidence that His mighty power will continue? The words, “Your faithfulness.” We will have another praise of God centered on faithfulness, but it means He sticks to His word. So much so His faithfulness surrounds Him. The benefit for those of us who believe in Him is that we are protected and guided and encouraged to keep recognizing and proclaiming that God, who created us and everything else, is the only God. That being the only God, He is all-powerful.
Let’s practice. O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty. Your faithfulness surrounds You. So I praise You.
God, You are the Everlasting Father. That is also something God likes to hear proclaimed by us, His people. That truth was also expressed by the prophet Isaiah, this time in verse 6 of chapter 9.
There are other titles given to God in that verse. Titles that would, centuries later, be fulfilled by Jesus.
Wonderful Counselor. Counselor denotes He wants to work with us to make sure we are healthy mentally. That He encourages us to do what we are supposed to do, including spiritually. He is a wonderful counselor. There is no one better at watching us and encouraging us.
Mighty God. We touched on that one earlier in this message. He is Almighty God.
Prince of Peace. Not necessarily peace with other people, though that would be nice, but peace with God. He is the prince. The one in charge of peace with God.
And Everlasting Father.
As mentioned earlier, father is supposed to be a good, positive word. Fathers are supposed to care for and love and provide for and protect their children. Calling God Father means we know He is willing and able to do all those things, which He did through Jesus and still does through the Holy Spirit.
Everlasting. That means He is our Father all the time. Not just when He feels like being nice. Not only when we, His children, happen to be worthy of His love. But all the time and forever. In the past, now, and for all time.
Let’s practice. God, I praise You because You are the Everlasting Father.
As our Everlasting Father, God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit - the great three in one - will show us love. That is recorded in I John 4:16.
“We know and rely on the love God has for us.” What pleasant words those are to God. How much He must be pleased to know we are aware of His love and are willing to rely on it. That we know and rely on the love God has for us.
“God is love.” What a promise from God for us. “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in Him.”
That speaks of a close relationship - a spiritually intimate relationship - that is available between God and us. God wants that relationship. When we say and mean it that we want it, too, those are pleasant words to God.
Let’s practice. God, I praise You because You are love. Help me to live in You. Please live in me.
God is love. That needs to be proclaimed, However, God is also the God of justice, which was written by Paul in Romans 3:26.
When we think of justice, it is easy to think about the punishment God will inflict on those who do not accept Jesus as Savior. In fact, that will happen. Those who sin now are liable to justice now. Those who do not accept Jesus before they die will receive what they deserve when they die. What they will deserve is a sentence to Hell for all eternity.
That is part of what justice means. God and Jesus will mete out spiritual justice on sinners and non-believers. But listen to what Paul wrote. “God justifies [He has justice for] those who have faith in Jesus.”
Here, justice has a different meaning, which I have heard described as treating us “just as if.” When we accept Jesus - when we believe in Him - it is just as if we are right with God. We are right with God because accepting Jesus allows Him to take our sins away. Being seen by God as blameless, we are right with God.
Let’s practice. God, I praise You because of Your justice, including justifying all who have faith in Jesus.
One more example of pleasant words for God. Words that proclaim He is faithful. We touched on that blessing earlier. Here it is again.
This one takes us back to the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 7:9, where this was written. “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God.” I am sure God likes to hear that we, His people, believe in Him, and in His Son Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit - again, the three in one. But why can we believe in Him alone? “He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
Notice there is a condition. We need to love Him and keep His commandments, but when we do those two things, He will keep His covenant - His commitment to His people. In this case, His commitment to love His people.
And listen. God loves everyone, without exception. He wants the best for all people. But His covenant is with His people - those who love Him and obey Him. For His people, there is the promise of blessings now and Heaven later. A commitment we can rely on now and always. Why? Because He is faithful.
One more time, let’s practice. God, I praise You and thank You because You are faithful, keeping Your covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love You and obey You.
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A father writes that his son is learning to count. He counts everything from toys to trees. He counts wildflowers on his way to school and the toes on his dad’s feet.
The dad adds that he tends to become so immersed in things that need to be done, he often forgets to count. To count the good things around him. Things like new friends and answered prayers. And, as we have discussed today - say it with me - our God is the creator, the one and only God, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the loving God, the God of justice, and the faithful God.
Let’s say those things to God often, which are and will be pleasant words for Him to hear.
Today’s closing song is verses 1 and 4 of Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again:
Gladly forever adore Him.
A few weeks ago at Wednesday evening Bible study, a lot of needs were expressed. People were ill, a fellow pastor is anticipating yet another back surgery, the wife of another fellow pastor is going through many surgeries, at that time two scheduled the next day, the wife of yet another fellow pastor had just passed away.
After the sharing of all those prayer requests, someone made the point that we should move beyond the negative and also remember the blessings of God. He was not diminishing the significance of the needs. They need to be shared so we can know how to pray for others. But may we remember there are many, many good things going on as well.
May we share those with God, too, thereby proclaiming the pleasant words to Him that we know He is the creator, the only God, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the loving God, the God of justice, and the God who is faithful.
Let’s use pleasant words in our communication to and with God. Amen.