I ka ‘olelo no ke ola, i ka ‘olelo no ka make
Last week we hosted Hawaiian night at Amplify. I went all out and even learned some Hawaiian for the night. It means in speech there is life, in speech
there is death. Ancient Hawaiian’s believed that a kahuna ‘ana’ana, which we would call a witch doctor, could pray someone to death or counter another’s death prayer. The
saying tells the Hawaiians that words can either be a source for healing or destroying and so we need to be careful with our words.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Remember those words from the playground? Wouldn’t it be great if that saying were true? Just imagine, words bouncing off you like bullets off of Superman. Sadly, that’s not the case.
Words are a weapon that can damage us beyond belief. In fact Scripture says our words can be as sharp as swords, and as deadly as arrows (Psalm 64:3). The wrong word, spoken at the wrong time can cause a lifetime of hurt. I have witnessed firsthand the power of words. I’ve seen them ruin careers, split up families, cause division in churches and separate life long friends. And I am not alone, we have all seen the same. As Christians there are five powerful facts that we must realize and take to heart about words.
First we have to realize that careless words can bring hurt and destruction into the lives of all involved. In Proverbs 26:20-22 it compares gossip to kindling for a fire and food that brings nourishment. Take a moment and read that passage and think about those words. It’s saying words can quickly start a fire and that those words can grow in our lives. But even beyond this life we are accountable for the words we speak. Matthew 12:36 tells us that we will all give account for “every careless word they have spoken.” on the day of judgment. It’s not just our deeds, but our words that will echo in eternity.
Gossip and hurtful words pose another danger to a Christian. The second thing we must know is that words used inappropriately will harm our daily walk with God. To put it bluntly: how can we expect growth everyday in our relationship with God, who is love, when we speak unloving words about His creation. Check out Psalm 15:1-3. David is telling us what a person who walks and dwells with God is like. The NASB says “nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend.”. Let’s not forget the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus taught us that we should show mercy, but even more than that He taught us that everyone is our neighbor, regardless of race, nationality, age, gender or anything else.
Thirdly, we must choose not to use hurtful words. That’s right folks, personal responsibility! The Holy Spirit is our guide and companion, gently nudging us, but He does not control our actions and speech. Ultimately it’s on us. In 1 Peter 3:10, Peter tells us “whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.” Got that? God will keep watch over your heart, you have to keep your tongue behind your teeth.
This is where it starts on a more positive note. The fourth item on the list has something in common with the third. They are not just things we should know, but actively do on a daily basis. And the fourth thing is that we must replace our careless, damaging words with positive and productive words. Since Jesus bought us back from death, shouldn’t our words speak life? Proverbs 12:18 says “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” All of us have uttered words we wish that we could snatch back out of the air. But there’s no magic net to catch them back. Our words must be uplifting and encouraging. Too many time we mask our cruel words under the guise of “correction”. Don’t believe me? Read Ephesians 4:29, thats in the Bible by the way, and none of us can deny the truth it holds. Take a minute before you move on. Ask yourself this question, is my speech helpful or harmful?
The fifth and final fact is flat-out awesome. God is our refuge against hurtful words. Psalm 31:20 says “in the shelter of Your presence You hide them from the intrigues of men, in Your dwelling You keep them safe from accusing tongues.” Our identity is found in Christ and not in the words and opinions of men. When we walk upright and holy lives, and guard our tongues against slander and gossip, God is our shelter and shield against the words of men. Did you see that personal responsibility thing again? God is our refuge, but He expects is to live a holy life.
To sum it up, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
Six months ago Stacy and I started planning and dreaming about what God would have us do in Dundee. Since we were starting fresh we wanted to give the student ministry an exciting name, something that really spoke of who we are. We decided on Amplify Student Ministry. After we picked the name I started developing logos, branding, and wanted to come up with a cool tagline for the new group. Ideas flooded my head, but in the end I started planning around “LIVE LIFE LOUD”, inspired by the song of the same name by Hawk Nelson.
It started as just a cool ay to communicate with the students, a clever piece of marketing. But than it turned into so much more. God began pouring dreams and vision into me of how Amplify should be, of what our purpose as a student ministry would be, and it all revolved around LIVE LIFE LOUD. It just wasn’t for our group though, it was for each individual student and leader that would be involved in Amplify, and this week I laid out what Amplify is going to be to the students and also to their parents.
Here is what Amplify Student Ministries 3-fold purpose is:
- John 10:10
- Genesis 2:7
Amplify students are going to LIVE. Jesus came so the we could live life to the full (John 10:10), and we fully intend to do so. That means we are going to be alive. We will go more places, have more fun, play more games and laugh more than anyone can possibly handle. One of the primary tools of satan is to spread the lie that serving God equals not having fun. We don’t have time or room for complaining, gloom and doom, or negativity; because we are going to live.
We are also going to focus on where that living starts. Genesis 2:7 tells us that our very breath of life comes from God, and that’s where we begin living. Focusing on discipleship and learning what living a Christ-centered life means. Amplify is going to LIVE!
- John 4:14
- Matthew 28:16-20
- Acts 1:8
Amplify students are going to give LIFE. We are going to bring life to those who are dead, to share the living water (John 4:14) that Jesus promised and to do our share to fulfill The Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20). And we are going to do this in two ways.
Speed The Light
In 2013 Amplify has pledged to give and raise $1800 for Speed The Light to assist missionaries with their transportation and communication needs in the field. We are going to give weekly, collect pop cans, run, cook spaghetti, rake leaves, shovel sidewalks, collect spare change… whatever it takes to reach our goal and to do our part to make sure our missionaries get the equipment they need to share the love and light of Jesus in their respective mission fields.
Missions & Outreach
We will be active both locally in our own communities and also abroad. We have already started, even just missions day trips like we took in October to clean up the riverfront in Dundee are part of our missions and outreach strategy. We will start locally because Dundee is our Jerusalem (Acts 1:8), and before we can ever hope to impact the world, we must impact our homes, schools and cities. The ends of the Earth start on our doorsteps.
- John 4:23
- Romans 12:1
Amplify is going to be LOUD in our worship! We will be a group of students and leaders who intentionally and eagerly worship God, both with joy and volume (Psalm 71:23)! Our lives will point to this ultimate purpose: to make Jesus famous, to shout His name to every corner of the Earth!
But our volume will not only be in our voices and instruments, but in the way we live our lives as well. Our worship will be more than the songs we sing, or lifting our hands, or bowing down before God. All of these are acts of worship, we will worship with our very lives (John 4:23).
To truly LIVE LIFE LOUD our everyday actions must match up with our heart of worship (Romans 12:1). That means everyday on Facebook. Everyday with our parents. Everyday at our schools. Everyday with our friends. Everyday that we face temptation to give in to sin, that we will LIVE LIFE LOUD, declaring who Jesus is and stomping on the neck of the devil.
Whenever we meet you hear “Live Life Loud” by Hawk Nelson. It’s our anthem, meant to fire you up and get you excited. But it is not our theme.
In musical composition a theme is the material, usually a recognizable melody, that part or all of a song is based. Our anthem is “Live Life Loud”, but our theme is what our purpose is, what you read above. That we will live our lives to the fullest. That we will bring life to those who are broken and lifeless. That we will be loud in our worship of our Savior. That is the purpose of and behind Amplify Student Ministries. Get ready to LIVE LIFE LOUD!