The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, January 12, 2012
Apples of gold in a pitcher of silver!
Brooksyne arranged a bowl of real Granny Smith & Red Delicious Apples in her
Paul Revere Silver Bowl. I added the "golden" apples!
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"Fitly Spoken Words"
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures (settings) of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29).
When I graduated from Truman High School in Independence Missouri I received a book called "Apples of Gold", a popular book given to graduates at that time. Brooksyne received one as well but can't remember the occasion. We wouldn't be surprised if other readers from our generation may recall the same book. It's a collection of inspirational stories and quotes. The title is based upon our daily Scripture text. (Note: The book pictured at the left is not the book I received: A. I'm not that old. B. It's not even the same book. But I just happen to like old books!)
Today we want to consider and challenge you in regard to how our fitly spoken words may be "like apples of gold in pictures of silver" or, as expressed in the New Testament words, "helpful for building others up according to their needs, benefiting those who listen."
Several years ago I attended a businessmen's breakfast meeting and heard Ed Herr speak. Ed, also a friend of mine, shared several illustrations from his own life that I believe really connected with the large audience. He recalled a very discouraging time, as a child, when his mother noticed him crying. She offered several fitly spoken words of healing wisdom that left a lasting impact on him. Many years later he had a similar opportunity to share fitly spoken words of wisdom with his own daughter during a time that she was discouraged.
In my own life I recall some fitly spoken words in a conversation with my Dad while in Bible College. It is such a poignant memory that I can still recall the precise placement of the pay phone in the dorm lobby. I was recovering from a serious injury and my progress seemed so slow at the time. My dad was a man of few words but he had just the right words at that time for a discouraged son.
I'm sure that we've all been recipients of "words fitly spoken." The word "fitly" in the text translates a Hebrew word found only once in the entire Bible which conveys the sense of "in season." The New American Standard Version uses the phrase, "a word spoken in right circumstances." The Amplified states, "A word fitly spoken and in due season".
I am intrigued by the phrase, "apples of gold in pictures of silver". One commentary states, "a word spoken with propriety, opportunely and suitably to the occasion, is as much in its place and as conspicuously beautiful as the golden fruit which appears through the apertures of an exquisitely wrought silver basket."
These are God-ordained words that go right to the heart to meet the need for that season. God often uses others to bring these words to us. I can think of many times in my life when I have received a word fitly spoken.
I surely hope that I have offered many fitly spoken words as well, although I really believe we are very often unaware at the time that we have offered them. What a powerful aspect of personal ministry is offering these words to others. Who needs to hear such a word from you today?
As I reflect on my own life and times when I have been the recipient of these words it occurs to me that generally they are very brief. I encourage you to reflect on times in your own life when someone has been a blessing in sharing such words with you. Seek to allow the Holy Spirit to enable you to be a dispenser of fitly spoken words!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, You know the exact number of words that will flow from my lips today; some of them meaningful while others are simply forgettable words. Would You make me sensitive to those who need caring words. Help me to look not only to my own interests but also to the interests of others as I offer words fitly spoken to those who need to hear a word from You through a servant like me. Amen.
Reader Note: Last year we shared about the Kember Scripture prints in the footnote of this message. An alert reader must have seen this story and sent me a photo of a Kember print she just purchased. She writes, "I found this print at a local thrift store here in Chattanooga, TN. I've attached a copy of the front & back of the print so you know it's a Kember. I love vintage & even more, I love the Word of God. This verse is actually one of my life verses, so I was all the more excited to find it! Grace, it's all God's grand grace & this verse encapsulates the Word & God's provision for us. Blessed man to print these out & share His message with the world! I would love any updates to the montage."
Several years ago I received an email from his grandson with this very interesting note about his grandfather: "He made over 4 million of those Bible verse texts, they are still available today. I am working on writing a paper on his ministry. The amount of glass panes he used for the texts is 3.9 million Square Feet! Equivalent to the area of 80 football fields! The amount of framing wood he used stretches over 3,000 miles!"
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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