CALL WEEKEND FOR SENIOR PASTOR CANDIDATE DR. ROBERT STEPHENS - DECEMBER 10 & 11

Speaking with Love

By Pastor Bob Rhoads

Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT):

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.  Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

What comes to mind is how we choose to communicate.  There are many ways to speak, not just with words but with action.  You may be used to speaking and hearing things every single day. But not with me and every deaf person around the world, we see “speaking” on a very different level.  I was born deaf, so I see things differently. I can’t hear you talk but I can see your actions.  Unfortunately, it can be misleading.  I grew up thinking that those hearing people are not interested to meet me and have a chat.  Because their actions show differently when they walked down the hallway or in the multipurpose room.

When a person speaks, you share through your emotions, attitudes, and behaviors, even your gestures.  I often find how a person’s words do not match their behaviors and actions.  It gets difficult because I want to find goodness and kindness with God’s love especially among believers in church.  That’s why Paul emphasized how we need to grow more and more like Christ.  We have learned from those Bible stories how Jesus attracted prostitutes, tax collectors, beggars, and sinners according to the Pharisees labeling them.  Jesus was spreading God’s love, not by word but by action.  He was getting popular among the crowds.  You can imagine how frustrating the Pharisees were because their actions do not match at all.  It is easy to read them with such pride and arrogance in plain sight on their “sleeves.”  

When deaf people come to church, they can see those “Christians” differently.  Therefore, it is harder for the Deaf to know God in a personal way.  They don’t see God’s love in action.  They need to know that Jesus loves them, and He wants them to know Him personally.  Do you remember the story about a deaf young man being brought to Jesus in Mark 7?  Apparently, the deaf man was frightened among the crowds “looking” at him.  So, Jesus took him away from the crowds to be alone.  I believe that Jesus was able to calm his spirit by looking at him in the eye and placing his hands on his shoulders.  Jesus didn’t say anything yet until he was able to relax a bit.  All He did was to touch him, look in the eye and show His love.  No words at all.  Nothing.

Today, many deaf people are struggling through life because they have been oppressed many, many times.  No one was able to approach them with love in action, not even church…. unfortunately.  There are a lot of Deaf who do not know those stories in the Bible because no one did not take the time to share.  It doesn’t have to be in a spoken language.  Only 2% of the Deaf knows enough about Jesus and His love for them but 1% do believe by faith and walk with Him daily.  There are 98% of the Deaf around the world who do not know Jesus yet.  They have been tossed and blown about by every new teaching.  They have been left confused while growing up.  Even parents struggled how to meet their needs.

A simple word or action, even with eye contact is what a deaf person needs to know that someone loves them dearly.  There is hope for them, even with COVID.  Let’s change that for 2022.

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