The Westside family mourns this week in the passing of a faithful brother, Jim Powell. In the leading of a public prayer, it was not uncommon for him to use the sentence used in the title of this article. He was thankful to have a God who would, “Say what He means and means what He says.” When he said it, the words might have brought a wry smile to your face, but the more thought that is given, it might be good for each of us to ask the personal question, “Have I stopped to show gratitude for a God who says what He means and means what He says?” We should be the most thankful for a God who has not withheld His will for our lives from us and will never fail in His consistency (Titus 1:2). With that, consider a few areas that we can appreciate God saying what He means and knowing that He means what He says:
Regarding Marriage and family – We teach our young people God’s plan for marriage as being one man and one woman for life. It is taught because that is what God has outlined in His precious word. When asked a question regarding divorce, Jesus made heaven’s plan clear as it had always been in the mind of God from the beginning. “He who made them, in the beginning, made them male and female and said, for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh,” (Matthew 19:4-5). We are not left to wonder what the intentions of God are in the matters of marriage or in the matters of divorce and remarriage. God has said what He means. Jesus would go on to say that, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery,” (Matthew 19:9). Brother Jim would remind us that God means what He says and it is not left to man to change what God has made clear in His word.
Regarding Salvation – The Bible alone teaches man where he came from, why he is here, and where he is going. The book of beginnings, Genesis, teaches that God made man in His image on the sixth day of creation and when completed with creating that day, “God looked at what He had made and indeed it was very good,” (Genesis 1:31). Man was made perfect, but when of age and guilty of sin, is separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). With humility and the overflow of love and gratitude to God for His mercy and grace, the Bible teaches that the offering of Jesus Christ allows one to be saved (forgiven of his sin). While sinners, Christ died for the ungodly and has allowed sinful man the ability to be at peace with God (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:13). God says what He means and means what He says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mark 16:16). The saved are added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:47). Brother Jim would remind us that God means what He says and if it is God who has lovingly provided man with a plan to be saved, whatever He says to do we must be willing to obey.
Regarding Eternity – The running joke with Brother Jim and so many was how Jal, New Mexico, where he was from, was “God’s Country.” What he now knows better than any of us is that no words could truly describe “God’s country.” Through the shedding of the blood of Jesus and our obedience, sinful man can have the hope of going to be with the Lord, and that death for the faithful really is gain (Philippians 1:21-23).
Jesus said there is coming a day when all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – and those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29). God has said what He means and truly He does mean what He says. It is not left to man to decide what is right and wrong, God has spoken and what He has said is what will be used to judge where each one will spend eternity. Jesus said that His word will be the standard all must use to measure their life by (John 12:48). All will one day stand before Jesus who was raised from the dead and will judge all (Acts 17:31). Yes, if Brother Jim could stand one more time and speak, it seems he would quickly remind all who would listen, “God says what He means and means what He says.” How grateful we all should be for this great truth!