When Jesus said that He had been speaking in figures of speech,, He was referring to the parables He had used to explain things to the disciples and His followers.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand—Matt. 13:13 (NASB)
For the rest of His time on earth before the Crucifixion, He would only be teaching His disciples so He could now speak plainly to them. Jesus is starting here with an explanation that from now on, they (and now we) have to do the praying (led by and assisted by the Holy Spirit which He is sending). This is all based on the love of God for His children. God’s children are those who believe and love His Son, Jesus Christ. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. Now, we know that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us and the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us. This isn’t “pie in the sky” or “get rich quick” praying, this is agreeing with what God Himself (after all, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God) is praying for us. This is down on our knees, heartfelt, fervent “get me through today” prayer. We just need to get plugged into the current and access the power that God has made available to us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
When Jesus returns to earth, the dead in Christ shall rise first, then those of us who are still alive will join with them to meet Jesus in the air. Others will arise from the graves to experience judgment and the second death, which is eternal damnation in hell. Jesus sets a great example for us to follow. We should never attempt to do anything on our own. Even though He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, He still says what His Father says and does what His Father does. if we do the same thing, then we can know that our actions are just and our words are true. The Holy Spirit living in us testifies of the Father and of Jesus. He knows our minds as well as the minds of the Father and the Son so the Holy Spirit can guide us in our actions and our speech.
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will—Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Lots of us often have trouble putting into words what we want to say to God in our prayer times. It helps me to think of it as a conversation that a small child would have with their parents. I can tell God anything that is on my heart in any respectful words that I choose and He will listen patiently. He desires that time of fellowship with us. He already knows what we want to ask and He already knows His answer. The purpose of the prayer is to let us know what He already knows. How does He do that, if we just put our list of “wants/needs” before Him and go our way? Remember prayer is not a speech, it is a conversation and God has something to say to you. He doesn’t need to think about it over night, He already has the answer.and understands it perfectly. Spend some time just marinating in His presence and God will reveal His answer in His own time. Lean on Jesus and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. — James 1:26, 27 NIV
In the days that James lived and penned this book through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, people were weighed down with ritualistic religions. They were bound by rules that said “you must do this”and “you must not do that”, particularly, in the areas of eating and drinking. Those that did a decent job of following the rules considered themselves to be “religious”. They attended the services at the temples or synagouges and prayed at the right times, etc. Much like today, when we go to church on Sunday morning for a couple of hours and mumble a few (if any) prayers or spend anytime reading the Holy Scriptures during the week. We seem to feel that if we do those things, we are fulfilling our duties as Christians. We can spend the other 166 hours of the week doing whatever we please. We can gossip, criticize and say and do all kinds of things. We Christians would never steal, kill or destroy, we don’t commit the “big” sins. But the two areas in which we do fall short are in our speech and in our “not doing”. Jesus gave us a solemn warning about the things we say:
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” — Matt. 15:10
We must take this warning seriously and be very careful of what we say.
There are also many verses about how we should treat others. Jesus says that if we see a brother or sister in need and take care of that need for them, it is the same as doing it for Him. If we don’t take care of that need, it is the same as refusing to do it for Him. Helping others is how we show them the love of Jesus Christ. It is these actions that will draw others to Jesus.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. — 1 John 3:16, 17
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.—1 Cor. 1:4-9 (NIV)
Paul reminds the Corinthians and us of what God has done for and is doing for all of us. Because Jesus died for them and us, we are saved by grace. Not only have we been saved, we have already been given access to heavenly knowledge and speech. All this to confirm the testimony that Christ is alive and lives in us. Just as the Corinthians had access to every spiritual gift they needed, so do we. As they waited and we wait for the return of Jesus, there is nothing we need that is not available to us now. And we can add to all that, the fact that Jesus has the power to keep us blameless until He returns. That is His promise to us and God has never failed to deliver on His promises. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.—2 Tim. 1:12 (NIV)
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.–Ephesians 5:15-20 (NLT)
In Psalm 53, the Psalmist says that the fool says that there is no God. We, as believers can know for sure that there is a God and that He loves us very much. We need to live a lifestyle that reflects our belief that God is real and that Jesus is alive. We must be very careful in our actions and words. The words that we speak can be live giving or destructive. That is our choice. So, our words and speech should not be a knee-jerk reaction to a situation. Our words should be wrapped in love. We can only live this lifestyle, if we are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Focusing on and meditating in God’s word will cause us to be joyful and our hearts will naturally sing praises to the Lord. We must be careful not to take our blessings for granted. We should always have an “attitude of gratitude”. Always giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Drink deeply of God’s Word, walk wisely and speak with wisdom.
7 Remember your leaders who taught God’s message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way. Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules about foods, which do not help those who obey them.–Hebrews 13:7-9 (NCV)
Not only is Jesus our example, we have many others in the Scriptures. People who were inspired by God to write His Word so that it would be passed on from generation to generation even down to us today. We must keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus and His Word and not be led astray by strange and false teachings. We are not to be caught up in discussions about rules and the traditions of men. They are useless and will only serve to push people further away from the Gospel. Jesus Christ never changes and neither should the message that we speak and give life to by our lifestyle. Our speech and lifestyle should be the same as Paul’s. 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.–1 Cor. 2:1, 2 (NKJV)