Words……we probably forget the importance of words.  At least we take them for granted.  Language, communication….what would it be life if we had no words.  “Words cannot express……..”  is a common phrase basically untrue since we express everything with words.

Words instruct, warn, cajole, encourage, lift up, put down, hurt, help and even condemn. Words are important! In one way or another, I have always made my way through life with words.  I am a crossword puzzle nut! Word plays fascinate me.

There is a ton of trivia about “words.” For instance, what are the most misspelled words?  Well, “misspell” is one.  Others include “receive, occurrence, and dumbbell”…..how did that one get in there.  I probably would misspell many were it not for the spell checker in this computer! 

Surveys conclude the most beautiful words are; “mother, passion, smile, love and eternity;” while the ugliest are; “cacophony, gargoyle, and victuals.” Wow, who in the world figures out all that stuff????? Remember your typing exercise…..all 26 letters of the alphabet in one sentence…? “A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Here’s one for you.  What is the longest word in the English language?  Ready….try pronouncing this mouthfull: PNEUMONOULTRAMICROPSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS. (45 letters, a lung disease) Someone said SMILES is the longest word because there is a “mile between the two S’s”. Red Skelton joked that the longest word is the “word” that follows the announcement: “And now a “word” from our sponsors.”

Big words, little words, we communicate with words. Sometimes little words a chock full of big meaning…..like the little word “IF.” “If” is generally followed by a “then.” “if this……”then” this. If is often a word of regret or followed by feelings of failure….”If Only…..”

Preachers hear a lot of “IF’s:

” If we were a larger church then we could…..”

“If I didn’t have to work so much I would…….”

“If my husband/wife treated me better then……”

“If I had known then what I know now…..”

“If I had……If I were……If I could……. “IF” is a little word with big meaning.

The Bible is full of “If, then” phrases; actions with consequences. Many times we ar told the IF you worship other Gods THEN you will be destroyed. “If you shut your ears to the poor, you too will cry out and not be heard. (Prov. 21:13) “If a man will not work neither let him eat.” (Col. 1:23) “If any would be my disciple he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”  (Mt. 16:24f) “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John14:15) “IF we obey his commands, we know him.” (I John 2:5)

Many will stand before God one day and plead ignorance.  “God, if I really knew you were real I would have been different.”  “Were you really serious about that Christianity stuff?” “Did you really expect me to……..?”  “If I had known, I would have…….”  You fill in the blanks.  It is my experience that most people know more scripture than they are willing to live.  Most know more of what God expects than are willing to do it! So really, in a nation of Bibles and freedom to worship, can one really plead ignorance?

You need to come to grips with the reality of the existence of God, Jehovah, the creator.  He is due honor, respect, worship and obedience. You need to understand His Son, Jesus died to give hope of eternal life. He established His church to be His family on this earth.

It is clearly stated that “Unless you believe” Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God, you will die with all your sins still weighing against you. Paul wrote some Hebrew Christians and asked them how they hoped to escape if they neglected such a great salvation.  Salvation planned, proven, testified to and provided for by God himself. (Hebrews 2:1-4,9) What?  Just plead ignorance!?

All God’s wonderful blessings are “in Christ.” Including: Eternal life, freedom, victory over death, grace, faith, Eternal salvation------all “in Christ.”

How about some “Grace”…..In Christ!

Need some eternal Salvation?.......In Christ!

How about a measure of peace, happiness, and abundant life?......In Christ!

OK, OK so I ought to be “In Christ.”  How do I do that.

Well, obviously before you receive you must believe! You must be willing to confess that before people turning from wrong ways to right ways. But nowhere does scripture say that puts you “in Christ.” Only one thing does….it’s stated in two different scriptures:  Romans 6:3 “as many as were baptized into Christ have been baptized into His death.” And Galatians 3:27 “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” If one argues: “But baptism is not essential to salvation,” he might as well argue salvation is not “in Christ.” I am just a simple, county preacher but I cannot understand how one can miss the point.  “Arise and be baptized and WASH AWAY you sins.” (Acts 22:16) Repent and be baptized in order to have your sins remitted” (Acts 2:38) Is that an overemphasis on a non-essential element in saving my soul?  I think not……simply a statement echoing God’s will.

One of the big IF’s in the lives of most people is: “If I could just start over, I would…..”  Well here is the good news.  When you follow the will of God: “If anyone is IN CHRIST he is a new creature, old things are passed away.” You can be new again, slate wiped clean, start over and do it right, bury your past and look forward to a bright future.  All of that is IF….you are in Christ. Man’ that’s a big, little word.  By Jim Kelly, His Servant

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