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SAYINGS THAT LIVE ON

“In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”
Acts 20:35

Although my father died many years ago I still hear his voice. In a way I feel my father is with me. I do that because my father had wonderful sayings that live in me. My dad never set me down and said, “I want to teach you,” but in the course of everyday life he passed on wisdom of the ages. He might do it while clearing the dinner table, playing catch, putting me to bed, or riding in the car. Now, many years later, I can hear my father saying:

  • “Just begun is half done.”
  • “Many hands make much work light.”
  • “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
  • “Waste not, want not.”
  • “We live and learn.”
  • “There’s a big demand for good boys.”
  • “If you ever get into trouble you can always come to me.”

Like Mark Twain said, tongue in cheek, I too am amazed at how much my father learned since I was fourteen. My dad’s sayings still guide and encourage me, and often help me pick up broken pieces. I think of my father’s sayings as “time released capsules” making more and more sense to me with time passing.

What do I mean by the word “saying”? My dictionary defines “saying” as: “a short, pithy expression that generally contains advice or wisdom.” Jesus also had short, pithy sayings people keep on remembering; sayings like, “Go the extra mile,” “Turn the other cheek,” “Render unto Caesar,” and “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.”

Long before the Gospels were written or were ever collected in one volume, people passed down sayings of Jesus. At the top today’s eVotional is a ‘Jesus Saying’ Paul quotes to Christians in far-off Ephesus: “…remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive. The Ephesians likely did not have Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, or His Upper Room Discourse, but they did know many of His short, pithy sayings.

As I think of the lasting power of sayings for people, I think of the psalmist who wanted to pass on life wisdom to his children and grandchildren. Consider the psalmist’s words in Psalm 78:1-4:

1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3 things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
(Psalm 78:1-4)

Note that the psalmist says he will tell godly wisdom to “the coming generation” in “a parable” and “dark sayings”, which are translated elsewhere as “riddles” (see Psalm 49:4). The psalmist knows children and youth like sayings or riddles that make them think. So too, Solomon labored in the Book of Proverbs to craft short, pithy sayings that his children would ponder and remember.

All of this leads me to ask myself, and to ask you, what “sayings” have been powerful in our lives? What sayings would you like to pass on to others? What sayings do you want your children and friends to remember as they talk about you?

Our words are powerful for building up and tearing down. In fact, Solomon even came up with a saying about that! “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

Thanks Dad for passing on to me sayings that are still guiding me today! I want to pass them on to others!

Grace and peace,
Tim

Thank you for visiting the home of Water from Rock, a ministry of Christian renewal.

We take our name from the Bible’s story of the archetypal Exodus journey during which the people of God came to a place in the desert wilderness where there was no water. Yet, it was there in a hostile wilderness that they experienced God’s provision of water for them and leadership into a new future. We trust in a God who still provides, renews and leads His people.

You will bring water from rock for the community.
Numbers 20:8

Rooted in the Word

We are a ministry of Christian renewal rooted in the Living Word, Jesus Christ, as He reveals Himself through His Written Word, the Bible. Through the Written Word we encounter the Living Word in the incomprehensible wonder of His love. We are mindful that knowledge, even of the Bible, “puffs up” while love “builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). We engage the Scriptures seeking to love more and know more of love. We purpose to search out God’s Word with both our minds and our hearts.

Ecumenical in Outlook

We honor all followers of Christ who have gone before us, and all who are among us now. We have much to learn and receive from all who have a lived experience of God’s transforming love. By reaching out to embrace the universal Body of Christ we strive to balance orthodoxy (right belief) and right living (orthopraxy).

In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.
(Rupertus Meldenius, 1582 – 1651)

Experiencing the Living God

We thirst to know God and not just to know about Him. We long for a living experience of God. We believe that God breaks into our world on the holy ground of His Word, and seek through His Spirit a living encounter with Him there. We daily aim to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength (Mark 12:30).

The arms of God be around my shoulders,
The touch of the Holy Spirit upon my head,
The sign of Christ’s cross upon my forehead,
The sound of the Holy Spirit in my ears,
The fragrance of the Holy Spirit in my nostrils,
The vision of heaven’s company in my eyes,
The conversation of heaven’s company on my lips,
The work of God’s church in my hands,
The service of God and the neighbor in my feet,
A home for God in my heart,
And to God, the Father of all, my entire being. Amen.
—Fursey of Yarmouth, 6th century Irish monk

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