For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
Sometimes people forget the power of words.
Sixty-year-old Venezuelan neurosurgeon, Manuel Alvarado, is not likely to ever forget that truth. Last October Dr. Alvarado was flying out of the Miami-Dade airport. That was when the ticket agent asked him if he had any explosives in his baggage.
Dr. Alvarado said, "C-4." When the agent asked if C-4 was a gun, Alvarado said "No, it's an explosive." The attempt at a joke was a mistake: a big mistake. Immediately, Dr. Alvarado saw the power of his words.
* airport security was increased;
* four airlines delayed their flights;
* numerous passengers missed their connections all around the world.
As for Dr. Alvarado, there is good and bad news. The good news is he is not being charged with having made a false bomb threat. The bad news is his bad joke has cost him more than $89,000 in fines.
Yes, words can have power. Of course, you knew that, didn't you?
There was anger in the Lord's powerful words when He demanded of the new sinners, Adam and Eve, "What is it you have done?" (See Genesis 3:9-19.) You have heard God's powerful justice expressed in His ruling: "You are dust and to dust you will return."
But there is also powerful comfort to be derived from the words of the angelic messenger who announced to our lost world, "I have good news of great joy. Unto you is born in David's town a Savior Christ the Lord" (see Luke 2:10-11).
But the powerful words of salvation are not confined to Jesus' birth. Stand with the women at Jesus' empty tomb and listen to the angels whose words are powerful enough to change our future and eternity. That Sunday the angel shared, "He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay" (Matthew 28:6).
With those powerful words, the Lord lets us know that Jesus has conquered sin, defeated death, and broken the devil's stranglehold on humanity. Those powerful passages bear witness to God's truth, which tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the power of Your Words, which are based on the level of Your commitment to save a lost world. Now may my words glorify and offer thanks to You, for the love we have been given through Jesus' sacrifice and victory. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries