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by Randy Becton

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    Several years ago, Florence Littauer wrote Silver Boxes: The Gift of Encouragement, based on Ephesians 4:29. One translation reads this way:

You must stop letting any bad words pass your lips, but only words that are good for building up as the occasion demands, so that they will result in spiritual blessing to the hearers.

    Paul had no doubt that Christians’ speech differed from the world’s negative, nasty, rage-filled and slanderous talk. The ones redeemed by Christ would get rid of “the world’s obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking.” (Ephesians 5:4) The world would hear a new, wholesome style of communication.

    Mrs. Littauer was asked to speak to a group of children about living for Christ, and she chose to use a verse that was a very important part of her family’s life. As she began her explanation of Ephesians 4:29, she asked the question, “Is it possible that some of the good families in this church occasionally say things to each other that are not kind?” The children answered, “Yes” and then began to discuss how they could think more about saying nice things to others. One young man said, “Our words should be like building blocks and no one should knock the stack down with negative words.”

    Florence explained to the children that when our words come out they should be like “little presents all wrapped up to be given away.” The idea of “presents” brightened them all up, and one precious little girl stood up, stepped into the aisle and said loudly to everyone, “What she means is that our words should be like little silver boxes with bows on top!” Florence said, “What a beautiful thought! Our words should be gifts to each other, little silver boxes with bows on top.”

    From this experience Florence wrote Silver Boxes and fifteen other books, on themes that emphasize rising above adversity, choosing hope over despair, and maximizing faith to succeed in every area of life. She is a “dream booster” and encourager.

    I want to share a personal experience with you about the power of affirmation to shape our lives. Recently, I was invited to my alma mater, Lipscomb University, to be named the “Alumnus of the Year.” It was a deeply moving occasion, because only God could have brought those people into my life who encouraged me to live for Jesus Christ and to follow Him through all the circumstances of life, knowing that He would never fail me. All throughout the Homecoming celebration I thought of the “special people” God had graciously provided to encourage me. Memories met emotions and my heart overflowed with praise to God, my Father.

    I remembered so many that I am choosing not to name or describe, but I will tell you that I am seeking to give “silver boxes with bows on top” to those coming along — so that I can pass on the blessings that were given to me. Jesus Christ be praised today and forever for giving His life as a sacrifice for my sins, to bring me into right standing with God!

    Sometimes I’ll be having lunch with the guys and the topic of “legacy” comes up. When my turn comes, my heart is full because the question is so much on target. I say my legacy will be a Godly wife and Godly children, in-laws, grandchildren and the joy and hope that more and more will fall into love with Jesus. I’m wiped out when Steve Green sings, “Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.” My personal goal is to follow Jesus all the way, helping my family long for a family reunion with Jesus and the saved from all time. I want everyone there.

What legacy do you want? What is your secret spiritual yearning?
    And by His mercy, I’m placing this prayer before Him: “Lord, bring all, without the loss of one.” I know that the One who left the ninety-nine to go back to find the one is faithful!

    But I also want another legacy — one of mercy and compassion for hurting people. I want to be more like Jesus and treat people the way He did.

    What legacy do you want? What is your secret spiritual yearning? Let’s talk about these things! It’s safe to talk. Try talking, and you will find that your fears of being “looked down on” or criticized are unfounded. We’ll simply be on our knees, on your behalf and ours, praying for fresh strength, for forgiveness, and for new power to answer Satan’s lying whispers with Jesus’ Name.

    The most comfortable place for me to be is down on my knees, receiving cleansing, mercy, and being held closely to Jesus by His strong arms. Think about these words from an old song: “Where could I go but to the Lord?” That’s where I go every day.

    Take a minute; consider your legacy and how encouragement can have a “ripple effect.” And don’t hesitate to write to me and tell me your response to these thoughts. I need all the “silver boxes” I can get! Don’t we all? Let’s speak those encouraging words that result in a “Spiritual blessing to the hearers.”


Are you presently experiencing a new life? God’s word says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This new life is a free gift of God through faith Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about this life that only Jesus can give you, sign up for one of our Bible courses. Wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve done, you can begin again. You may also contact Herald of Truth at info@heraldoftruth.org if you have questions about becoming a new creation.

 
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      © 2002, Herald of Truth and Randy Becton, Herald of Truth. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Randy Becton
      Publication Date: April 9, 2003


 
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