What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time.
1. Who was the most encouraging person in your childhood / school years? Can you remember and quote one thing they said to you? Why was that so memorable?
2. Use your words to build. Read Ephesians 4:29 out loud. Now read it in the New Living Translation here. Compare the two by discussing what “corrupt” speech might mean. What type of talk “builds up”? What do you think “give grace to those who hear” means? Heart check: is there a relationship where you have trouble “building up” someone? (Note: for a quick look at / comparison of MOST English versions of this verse, click here.)
3. Speak what could be instead of what is. During the trials right before Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Him three times. Jesus knew it was going to happen. He had warned Peter. After His resurrection, He returned to Peter. Read John 21:1-19. What are your first reactions to the closing verses? Discuss how Jesus was encouraging Peter in spite of the specific details. Is there a situation where you need to choose to focus on the “what could be” instead of the current, disappointing facts of the matter?
4. Use your words to revive. Read Proverbs 18:21. Have you considered that your words, remarks, and observations have the power to bring eternal and spiritual life (or death) to others? How can what you choose to focus on and give voice to, change someone’s perspective? Think of a lost friend and how you might “speak life.” Now, let your heart break for an “enemy” whom your words might have injured. Ask God if He has any next steps for you, regarding either person that came to your mind.
This week, the message had three main points based on Scripture. “Use your words to build.” “Speak what could be instead of what is.” “Use your words to revive.” In each Biblical account below, which points are exemplified. What things that we would expect to find (such as actions, words, or attitudes) are missing in each interaction?
5. Read John 8:1-11
6. Read John 4:7-30