In July of 2019, just over fifty years ago, we saw one of the greatest achievements of mankind take place when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. This was a remarkable achievement by a massive team of scientists and engineers culminating in the first visitation to a place other than planet Earth.
But it was the words of Neil Armstrong that have rung down through the decades, and will continue to affect mankind forever when he said,
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
And then consider the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in his, “I have a dream…” speech, on August 28th, 1963. It was a defining moment in the civil rights movement and one of the most iconic speeches ever made.
Both of these were powerful words that still resound through the hearts and minds of many people, and not just in the realms of space travel and civil rights, but also in many of the endeavours of the human race.
Imagine if Neil Armstrong had said, “Wow! This is so cooool to be walking on the moon!” Or if Martin Luther King Jr. Had started his speech with, “Gee, it’s great to be here!”
Would they have had the impact they did? Not likely! Both events would have just been a blip in history, but otherwise unremarkable.
It was the power of their words that carried people forward and inspired greater things to follow.
Great leaders understand the power of words. They know that if they are to galvanise the people around them to action, and have them all pointing in the same direction, then it is the power of words that will get things done.
Consider the leaders on the fields of war who will stand, walk or ride in front of their army to motivate and fill them with the encouragement and strength to face their foes. It is the power of words that lift the hearts of the soldiers, giving them the courage to forge ahead and fight the good fight.
Political and business leaders do the same to try and align people to bigger, better and greater things. Good leaders work with their people to lift them up and not tear them down. They encourage their people to push just that little bit harder to achieve greater things. Things of which those people can be proud.
But bad leaders can also use words to tear down and damage others.
They are bullies who damage and destroy. Their words too are powerful if we allow them to have an effect on us.
Children taunt one another and will defend themselves saying,
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”
But they are wrong. Zig Ziglar once said it best in a modified version of this children’s taunt.
“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will break my heart!”
Perhaps the most powerful words ever spoken were those of Jesus Christ. His words and teachings have echoed down through the centuries and resound as strongly today in the hearts of people as they did when He first uttered them two thousand years ago.
The power of His teachings has never been diluted or weakened. When we remember His words and feel them in the depths of our spirit, we are lifted up in the knowledge that He is still teaching and strengthening His people today.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John chapter 3, verse 16)
These are amongst the best-known words in the Bible and they speak volumes about God, about His love for us, about Jesus’ sacrifice, and the promise of life to those who believe.
And we see why by the reaction of the people who heard His Sermon on the mount, which ends with these words.
“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matthew chapter 7, verses 28-29)
There are no more powerful words in the world than those spoken by Jesus, who, after all, is and was the Word of God. He spoke with power and authority as the Son of God, who He is. It was by His word that the world was established and that we have life today. And it is by His word that we have the promise of eternal life with God in the future.
So let us consider His words deeply and listen to Him, for His powerful words lead to peace, joy, salvation, and ultimately, eternal life.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375