Levi Lusko - Speak Like A Wolf

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I Declare War Series
1. Think Like A Wolf
2. Speak Like A Wolf
3. Act Like A Wolf
4. Fight Like A Wolf

So the year was 1997 and I vividly remember standing on the linoleum floor in the kitchen and I looked at the refrigerator. It's one of those that has two sides and a little compartment for water and ice. I remember the water. You couldn't get water out of, I think for years it hadn't been a filter replaced in that, anybody ever have one of those refrigerators? And so, it's like, you can get water there but no you can't. And so you had a Brita filter in the refrigerator. That's where you got the cold water from. I distinctly remember that I had been eating a peanut butter covered Eggo waffle with syrup and I had made it into a sandwich. I think I'd finished my homework or at least had looked at it in the backpack and decided against doing it.

And I had something on TV. And it was a rerun of sorts and it was one of those commercial breaks that I had to sprint to get something to eat because there wasn't DVR and it wasn't on Netflix to where you could just pause it. There was a day, believe it or not young people, where we would do this thing called the sprint for a snack. And you would run as fast as you could in socked feet. You would slide across the linoleum. You could end if you timed it just right at the fridge where you'd open the door to see if there's anything to eat. And you would prepare yourself your delicious snack. And you would have to run back as fast as you could with your food, jump over the back of the sofa, land in perfect position. And I did all this, believe it or not, barely missing any of the show that had begun again, with my peanut butter covered Eggo sandwich waffle covered in syrup also. And I ate it. I ate it all. I ate every last bit. And then it kicked in, the need for milk. Oh. The deep burning need for milk.

Now, I don't know where you sit on the subject of milk. These days, it seems like milk has fallen out of public popularity. I open up the door to our refrigerator the other day, this is not made up in any way. And there was milk that comes from macadamias. There was milk that comes from almonds. There was milk that comes from bananas. There was milk that came from chocolate almonds. I have never heard of a chocolate almonds but there was chocolate almond milk. I counted six different kinds of milk in, because there was coconut milk. There was also coconut water, which is somehow different than coconut milk. And all of these milks were looking at me but there was not a drop of actual milk to be found. But back when I was standing at the fridge and seeing the Brita filters to the right and seeing the orange juice to the left. Tropicana probably, which I don't think there is orange juice in Tropicana orange juice. But that's not to be confused with Sunkist orange juice, which is even worse because from that all you get is very, very, very thick saliva.

But basically I recall that as I ran to the kitchen, forgetting now about the episode because I was like, at the crisis moment between needing milk and choking to death. You can get peanut butter lodged in your throat in just such a fashion to where your life flashes before your eyes, just for a moment, and your eyes bulge out just a little bit. And I thought I'm going to die watching Saved by the Bell reruns and eating peanut butter on waffles inappropriately at 4:23 PM on a Tuesday. And I don't like milk, actually. I don't ever drink milk. I'll put milk in protein shakes or have it in cereal. But I have to need milk to actually drink milk. So it has to be one of those moments where it's like, break glass drink milk is a necessary evil. I don't know where you sit on the subject of dipping things into milk but I'm judging you in my heart if you dip anything. You're like, cookies? No, don't dip anything into any liquid you're going to be drinking, biscotti into coffee? No, gross. I don't like anything floating around. I don't want to meet friends at the bottom of my drink.

So I have texture issues. My issues have issues, OK? Right. And if you've read books, that much is clear. So basically I found myself now at the refrigerator in my socked feet. And I was gulping down milk. Yes, it was straight from the carton. Don't judge my journey. I'm a work in progress. But I found myself gulping it down. And the cold relief of an ice cold drink of milk when you really need it, there's almost nothing more precious than that. Maybe when you finally get to that rest stop on a road trip. There's another moment that is equal to the milk dilemma and I won't go into it in case your church doesn't have potty humor. But if your church does have potty humor, you know what I'm talking about. Wow.

So I was probably four or five gulps in. I was nearing the end of the gulps that I was going to be taking on that day when something sent a signal to my brain that things weren't well. And I couldn't put my finger on precisely whether it was the sourness or the texture. But I had already chugged a substantial portion of the milk when something said to me, self, things aren't well with this milk. And what you are doing, it's not good. And at that point I began to think about what was happening and I realized this milk ha turned. This milk is not your friend. This milk is bad. And so I immediately stopped and I looked at it and indeed this was not days old. This was more than a week old. I'm drinking this milk and it was precisely at that moment that I just realized my mouth was full of curdled turned cottage cheese milk.

I'm telling you what followed next was me dislodging gum in my small intestine that had been there since the second grade I puked so hard. I found myself at the sink. The Eggo's were gone. The milk was gone. I'm telling you I nearly got a plunger and Ace Ventura'd the situation because I was so horrified. Dan Marino, laces out. I mean I was just deeply, deeply disturbed and scarred by the story that day of what had come into my mouth. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us there's actually something more dangerous than eating or drinking something that's bad and it's speaking something that's bad. Notice what Jesus says in Matthew 15:10. He says, "it's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you. You are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth". And that's why if we are going to win the war with ourselves, we have to learn to speak like a wolf. We have to learn to speak like a wolf because we're tempted to make the problem an external one.

And that's why we've said in the series there might be a devil. We believe there is. There might be problems with the enemies in the world that come against you but the truth is we are our own worst enemy. And in one of the most sinister fronts this shows up is the words that we speak. I believe that the words that you speak can sabotage the life that Jesus died for you to have like few other things. The enemy's not without. Let me tell you something: we have met the enemy and it is us, OK? In many different ways. Now, what is it going to take to speak like a wolf? I did a little research. Wolves, of course, we think of them howling. And when you think of a wolf, you think of them... Could you give me a howl? Every location, church online. That's pretty good. That's pretty good. I'm trying my hardest to teach my son, Lennox, to howl.

So every chance I get I'm howling. And sometimes he'll howl a little bit. And I did a little studying in preparation for the writing of the book and we did even more getting ready for this series. And we uncovered some pretty cool stuff about wolves howling. Like, did you know that when wolves howl, they intentionally achieve something called dissonance. Now dissonance is basically, well, it means that they're pitchy on purpose, right? Right, you're pitchy on purpose. You're like I'm sitting next to someone in church today. They're pitchy. They must be a wolf. They were pitchy on purpose. That was a joke. But basically when wolves howl, they don't try and harmonize. They actually avoid harmonizing. Why? Because it makes them appear more numerous than they really are. If they all harmonize, you'd only hear that one united sound. But when you hear them in this thing called dissonance, you can't tell.

Is there five or is there 50? It makes them sound more numerous than they are. But that's not the only thing about wolves and communication. Because they don't just only communicate with their howling. They also communicate with scent. They also communicate with body language. I found that basically wolves have so many more ways to communicate than many other animals do. Why? Because they have a very varied facial gestures that they're capable of. In fact, there's a belief that their facial expressions are used to communicate with one another within the pack family. And they're constantly interacting with each other not just through howling not just your facial expressions but also through touching with each other and their tails. And they affirm their family bonds. And they're basically able to stay united because of the way that they speak. But when it does come to howling, that howl can be heard from a long ways away. Up to 10 miles, that's how far the wolves howl can carry.

Now, when we speak about our actual communication, none of us are probably capable of communicating for up to 10 miles away. But we do, they say, speak about 5,000 words per day, which is a lot. And so the wolf is powerful as he howls. You are powerful as you speak, on an average day, 5,000 words. And like a wolf, you communicate non-verbally too. In fact, experts estimate that only 7% of our communication is the words themselves. Only 7%. That leaves 93% of what we say each day being our body and the tone with which we communicate. Which puts us at a detriment these days in the day of comments, in the days of text messages because you don't know, at face value, what is said in that communication. And so we have to realize there's incredible power. And if you add all that up, so now you're talking about all that you communicate through your body language, all that you communicate through your facial expressions, all that you communicate through the tone, and the way that you present yourself to the world.

And then you take the words themselves. We have a lot. We have a lot that's there on the table. And words are weighty. Can you say that aloud with me? Words are weighty. They indeed are. In fact, they're so weighty and they should become more weighty to you. Like just the sense of like, OK, this is valuable, right? If you go to a Christmas party where they do the white elephant, part of what your strategy might be is pick the heavy one up. And of course, someone might've stuck a brick in the bad gift just to throw you off. But generally speaking when you think of something being heavy, it's powerful, it's expensive, it's worth something. I want you to think about your words as being weighty. That's what it means to speak like a wolf. And this should sober you right up to know that of all those 5,000 words that you will speak on any given day, all the communications that come through your thumbs, on your phone, or your fingers through an email, the Bible says that we will give an account for every idle word that's spoken. Wow.

That at one point in your life, as you stand before God, it will not be to determine your place in your getting to Heaven. It will be to speak about your place in Heaven. Because this is with a mind to rewards. And I don't think that, in church services, we talk enough about rewards. We talk so much about getting to Heaven, which is only accomplished through Jesus. There's only one way to Heaven and that's trusting in God's son. Because Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me. So you can't earn your way to heaven. But the Bible does say as His sons and daughters, the way we live our lives it does have a one to one impact on our reward in Heaven. So a part of that is going to be us giving an account for the words that we spoke. God wants you to understand your words are weighty. Your words, they matter.

And how you'll be rewarded in Heaven, it could even be what job you have in Heaven. It could be what clothes you wear in Heaven. I know you're like, really? Yeah, literally it says that these in Heaven are wearing the righteous acts of the saints. So if someone said what we're weaving on Earth, we'll be wearing in Heaven. So there's a connection. And part of that is whatever the potential reward would have been being tabulated against the words that we spoke. Think about all the words, the idle words, juh, juh, juh juh, juh, falling into place. as you stand before God to answer. Why'd you say that? Hey, on this day. Hey, yeah. Imagine on the screen pulling up that text to your sister. But why'd you say that? Why'd you say that? Why'd you say it? Not with a harsh eye but with the mentality of, I gave you this powerful gift. How did you use it and what did you do with it? He loads your Instagram account. He starts scrolling through. He's like, you want to talk about that one? You're like, nope. I don't want to talk about that one. Even the stories? No, no, no, those good. Those disappear after 20, Yik Yak? Oh yeah, he'll pull your Yik Yak up. And you're deleting Snapchat off.

They're all going to come up, every idle word. In fact, Eugene Peterson, who now is in Heaven but worked so hard and was such a precious gift as he gave to the body of Christ the message translation. That statement will stand before every idle word before God. Look how he put it in his version. He said, "every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of reckoning". Wow. That's intense. Yes. That should hit you like it hits you. You're like, that's gnarly. It should be gnarly because God gave you something powerful and he wants you to use it for good and not for evil. My whole sermon in a sentence: if Jesus is the Lord of your life, then he should be the Lord of your lips too. And it shouldn't just be well, Jesus is the king of my heart. No, he should be the King of your lips too. Everything that comes out of your mouth should bring praise and bring glory to God and not bring destruction.

Three different ways that we should realize our words are weighty. Number one, jot it down, your words impact other people. Know this about your words, how you choose to use them, your allotment, $5,000 per day, those impact other people. You're like, because we might say to ourselves. Oh it's cool, I was messing around. I was just messing around. I didn't mean that. No offense, bro. You totally ripped into someone. Just totally eviscerated someone. Just totally mocked someone. Oh, that outfit? Hey, the 80's called. They wanted your blah, blah, blah back. Which we'd have to update because these new decades just keep swinging back around. So like, that's a compliment now. Ha, ha, ha, joke's on you.

And I think that we're such a sarcastic, mocking culture and we can be so quick just to kind of make ourselves feel comfortable by tearing someone else down. And when we feel we're not at ease, I need to assert my place into this moment or into this conversation. And the easiest, cheapest way to do that is just say something at someone else's expense. Ha, ha. What we're saying is, aren't I important? Don't I matter? And let me just tell you something, there's a better way to get there. Bless someone. Encourage someone. Build someone up. That's the kind of person that's always in demand. Notice someone else. That tendency, and let me tell you something, I have 10 fingers pointing at me and 0 at you today because this has always been my Achilles' heel. And I write a lot about in the book about how I, throughout my whole life, have caused problems with my tongue and then the check comes and I don't want to pay for what my tongue ordered.

And so let me just tell you something, and one of the reasons I had to write this book and go through this journey to be able to speak to you in this way is because this has been something that's held me back. And I have seen God grow me in this area. I've got a long way to go but I've seen growth. And I want that for you as well. So let sink in. Your words, they're not a joke. They impact other people. You don't get to just scrub them away like, I didn't mean that. But you said it and it impacted the people who heard you. And the text messages that went out and the e-mails that went out and you copied everyone in as you berated that person or whatever it was, hung them out to dry, threw them under the bus. Let me just tell you something, your words, they impact other people. I picked out, I could have picked 20 but I picked 3 just to show you the impact your words can have and are meant to have.

Look at the first one. It says, this is from Ephesians 4:29, it says, "watch the way you talk let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps. Each word is a gift". So ask yourself the question before you're about to speak to somebody. Is this word a gift? Is this a gift? Are they going to feel like, man, because you know how it feels when you receive a well-wrapped gift. In that moment, you like, almost don't even want to like, so you want me to open it now? You know you do but you say it like, do you want me to? Like, when you receive a well-wrapped, your name's on it. When you open your mouth up to speak, let other people feel like that. Let your family feel like you just handed them a gift and they just received a present. And not in the Billy Madison way where it's flaming and on their doorstep. That's the gift some of us are leaving for people. Proverbs 18:21, "words kill. Words give life. They're either poison or fruit". Then He says, "you choose".

And you do every time you talk. You're choosing to spit venom or you're choosing to speak a gift, something that can give life. Colossians 4:6, "let every word you speak be drenched with grace". Let it be drenched with grace. Grace is unmerited favor, by the way. Grace is not ever deserved. So if your rationale is I'm mean but you don't even know. They're way bigger of a jerk. Grace is something someone doesn't deserve. So let the way you speak drench them with something that they don't deserve. Something that they're unwilling to give. Something that they probably desperately need. And that's why they're acting the way that they act. Let your words be drenched with grace. And then look at this, "tempered with truth and clarity" because there is a time for speaking hard things.

There's a time for different conversations. There is time to tell someone, hey, you were rude and that was mean and that hurt my feelings. There was a time to say I love you so much. And just between us, as friends, here's something I think is holding you back. Take it for what you will. I'm not saying there's not a time for that. We're not just going to walk around saccharin elves, you know? But God has called us to use our words in a way that build people up and don't tear them down. Back to wolves a little bit. One of the books I read in preparation to writing this book was a book called "The Wisdom of Wolves". And it was by these two researchers who spent six years living with a wolf pack. That's commitment. That is dedication. Literally, they lived amongst a wolf pack for six years so that they can write and learn. It was the most extensive study ever done. From the inside out they learned about all the wolves behavior.

And one of the things they said about the howl, I love. They said, the wolf often uses the howl as a way to get the members of the pack worked up and excited before they would go out on a hunt. And I just got to thinking about how cool it is that they're almost like rallying each other like, here we go. We got it. We're going to kill the deer. It's like, Yeah. And like, the wolf's like, no, I don't feel it. In this fashion. Yeah I don't know. And I just wonder like, do the people in your life feel like the way you open your mouth up and howl at them causes them to feel excitement about what God's called them to? They believe the best is yet to come and that God is for them and not against them? And that He has a good plan. Are they getting texts from you that is basically like, what's this text? And they're like... Love it.

I just wonder if God has not just given us this tongue so that we might encourage each other towards good works. Because it is a hard world and people are going through difficult stuff. And God, listen to me, God loves the people in your life so much he put you in their lives. And he gave you the tongue he did so that they could be better off because of the way that you speak and because of the way that you're a representative of Him. And I got to thinking about how, in my life, there's been words that have stuck with me, words that weren't so kind, and words that even maybe weren't intended to be super mean but they just stuck with me. I haven't been photographed for about four years without lotion on my knees. Not once. Not one time. Because I was at Disneyland with my daughter, Clover, and we saw Mickey Mouse just sitting there and we felt bad for him. So we thought we'd take a picture with him and cheer him up.

And so we got in line and when we got to him, he hugged my daughter, Clover, and I stood there next to him and, well, I think we have a picture right here actually. Basically, yeah, come on. 1, 2, 3. Aw. Aw. That's what you should be saying but there was quite a few people, when I posted it on my Instagram account, who noticed the ashiness of my knees and just pointed that out to me over and over and over again. And I would like to say that I hadn't noticed it but I had. I noticed it when the picture was taken. It was one of the first things I saw. I said, those knees could use a little hydration. And yeah, I thought it's a picture about atonement. It's about my daughter and it's about Mickey. It's not about my knees. This isn't about me. And I was like, I was a little sensitive about putting it out there. And literally, within minutes, I had confirmation that I looked like a crocodile. And it's such a small, little thing.

Ashy knees. Ash much? Knees much? You're like, lotion much? You're like man, that boys knees need some lotion. And every single one. It took all my strength to not pull the photo down. I left it though. I'm proud to say I just left it up there because I don't care. And I do, I care a lot. Way more than I let on. And yet, literally for several years since that moment, there has not been a time when I've been in shorts where my photo's being taken where I'm not like, my knees, my knees, my knees, my knees. And it's just a funny little thing, the way those words have stuck with me in such a small way. And another thing about life giving words that I've heard.

And the first thing that came to my mind was a few years back when we were getting ready to release my book, "Swipe Right" and we were talking with a friend of ours who's an author. And I had said just an offhanded thing like, ah, well I'm not a great writer like you are, because she's an amazing writer. And I said that. And she literally stopped. She put her finger on my face and she said, take that back, captain. And I was like, what? She goes, that thought, that's not life. You are a great writer. And then she went on to say, I've never seen a male author understand a female mind like you. And I said, let me just clear this up. I don't understand women at all. But she said, well, look, no, no. Understand what I'm saying to you.

I'm saying most men who write can't put themselves in the head of a female so they write primarily from a male perspective. But as you write, I've noticed on several occasion, instance after instance where your application speaks specifically to things that is how a woman would look at it. But then you're effortlessly able to jump over and then speak to men as well. And that's very rare and that's the spirit of God. So don't you say you're not a great writer. God made you to be a writer. Yes. And I was like... And I'm telling you, if that didn't put some go go juice in the tank the next time I sat down to write. I'll get my inner girl on. I'll get my inner guy on. I'll do whatever God called me to do in the moment, right? So those words gave me life. Those words gave me strength and so I put some lotion on my knees and I wrote my next book and here we are today. Come on, in Jesus' name.

Is this encouraging anybody? All right, so your words impact other people. Jot this down. Number two, your words impact the future. Your words can literally alter the course of history as the future is changed because of how you speak. So no big deal but huge really huge really big deal also at the same time. In fact, didn't Jesus say, if you're willing to speak faith, if you're willing to literally say it to a mountain to move? That mountain's going to be jacked. He didn't say because you're going to think about the mountain moving. He said you'll speak to the mountain. You'll speak to a difficult story. I believe the way you talk in a difficult situation has the ability to cause the impossible to be done. I've seen it happen so many times. And I believe a part of this is just what happens inside of us when we speak with faith in the midst of difficult days, right? And that's what Jesus wants us to hear that promise and think about. He's saying that impossible things can be done when you speak faith in the midst of the storm.

Now sometimes the impossible thing being done is you continuing to believe in Him in the midst of your storm even when the impossible thing that you believe for doesn't happen. Because He's not saying you're going to get every single thing you want because our heart is to pray. Thy will be done not mine will be done. So we're not in some warped reality distortion field where we say, my Honda Accord is now a Ferrari. And there, proof, well, what do you know? The mountain got moved, right? That's not what we're talking about here. We're not believing that our faith is some sort of bottle that we rub and a genie pops out to grant us our three wishes, right? Jesus Christ, He didn't come so we have the blank check for any dream. For many of us, as we follow Him, we go through hard days.

And when those hard days come, the way we speak in the midst of our crisis, the way we speak in the midst of our difficulty, it can cause something that feels impossible. The whole world would say that's impossible to be done in Jesus' name. Where you have more to give and more to serve in the midst of a chemotherapy treatment. That's an impossible thing being done because of how you speak about it. I'm not here as a victim. God sent me into this hospital to get my chemotherapy today. I dare someone to discourage, to park next to me and get their IV bag plugged in. Their catheter dripping, their chemo because I'm going to encourage them. I'mma bless them. I'mma pray for them. I'mma bless these nurses. I'mma bless this doctor. I this didn't happen to me. God sent me in here to save life. It's how you speak to your difficulty. You can't be a victim and a victor at the same time. And how you speak can change the future. Literally alter the course of history. How you speak in difficult times.

In the book, I talk a lot about the word "good". Good. Good. You can face hardship and say, "good". Good. Not that it is good always. Something horrible happening isn't good but when you say "good," you believe and God's going to do good in this. Good. Some hardship? I'm good. Hardship, come speak it right there. Good. That's going to be the end, meaning the devil's not getting the last word in this. Meaning that, at the end of the day, God's going to work all this crap together for good. That's two weeks in a row, I'm sorry. I said "crap" last week too. OK, but next week, you just watch, it's not coming out of my mouth. No unwholesome talk is coming out of this mouth but only which is good for necessary edification that made progress through the ears, right? My words are going to be a gift and not a brown bag on fire. All right, so, Shampoo is better. OK, so conditioner is better. Stop looking at me, swan.

All right, so, Wow, back to the Bible. Your words impact the future. Third and finally, your words impact you. Other people, the future. Even the words as they're coming out of your mouth are changing you. And that's the danger of speaking death and not life. It's not just your children. It's not just your co-workers who are going to suffer. It's not just the people on the receiving end of your salty comments and your critical tweets and your harsh words. It's also that as they come out of your mouth, they're changing you in the process, impacting you in the process. Why is that? Well, practically speaking, the person you speak to more often than anyone is you. Because, they say, the majority of talk is self-talk, external self-talk. If you actually add up the words you speak every day, a lot of it is just muttering and grumbling and talking.

And you kind of get up and say, oh man, LEGOs. Ah, LEGOs! We just kind of mutter it. We just kind of talk and we just kind of talk and we kind of talk. And we go through things and kind of say things to ourselves and we speak to ourself. And I just got so sick of the voice in my head that speaks to me. I got so sick. At a certain point, this is probably six years ago when I really started to pay attention to the words that I was speaking to myself. And this connects us now to last week because so many of the words that I was speaking was coming from negative thoughts that I was thinking. And I had a turning point. I remember where I was. I remember I was in my car. I remember I was about a hundred yards from a stop sign. And as I sat there in my car, I literally just kind of stopped and I said to myself, I was a hundred from a stop sign. I shouldn't have stopped but I did.

There was no one behind me and I just stopped. And I literally had this kind of breaking moment where I just realized, I said it out loud. I said, whose side are you on, voice in my head? Whose side are you even on? Because I started listening to this and it was like, you're the worst. And why are you so bad? And this is terrible. This isn't going well. And I just said, whose side are you even on? Wow. And I decided, on the spot, to fire myself as my personal critic. And I rehired myself two seconds later as my own coach. Come on.

And there's a big difference between a critic and a coach. A critic just sits there on the sidelines and says, bad job. They have nothing invested. They don't care if you win or lose. A critic just says, bad. They just pass judgment on what just happened. But a coach is in your corner. A coach is going home with you. A coach cares very much about the outcome. A coach has skin in the game and blood and sweat, and tears on the line. A coach is saying, come on, you can do better. Yeah, that was a mistake. Yeah, you got knocked down a little bit. But come on, you can do this. Remember your training. Stick to the plan. You got this. Eye of the tiger. I mean, the coach is different thing. And my life has been a lot different having me in my own corner as a coach. Choosing to remember I speak life to me.

And I catch my wife talking bad about herself and I'll say this to her, she could finish this sentence for me. I'll say, don't you talk about my wife that way. Don't you talk about my wife that way. And when I hear talking about herself, I have to encourage her. And she'll do the same to me. Actually more what she does is she smooths out the frown marks between my eyes. But I'll tell her, don't you talk about my wife that way. Because we need to learn to speak life to ourselves and not just to other people. Because Jesus died for you too. He died for everybody who would speak death about. But he died for you too. He loves you. You're His prize. He cares about you. You're the apple of His eye. He's got plans for you. He's got your name written on his palm so don't you speak bad about someone who's written on Jesus' hand. And now to you, all right? And His eye is on you.

In all of your talking, perhaps the most important words that you could say today are, "thank you". Thank you. Thank you. Say it to God. Say it with me, thank you. Thank you. It puts a smile on your face. It picks you up a little bit. It's a humble thing to say because you're thanking somebody. And I think sometimes we don't receive help from others because we don't have to say thank you. Because we realize it kind of puts us in their debt a little bit. Thank you. It's so important to God. All through the Bible we find it. Enter His presence with Thanksgiving in your heart. This is the will of God, that you would be thankful in everything. Clap your hands all you people. Sing to Him. Be thankful to your God who made you. I think there should be an attitude of gratitude that marks our lives.

And here's the coolest thing: it will change the course of our lives as well. Because one of the reasons people take antidepressants is so that they'll release into their system dopamine and serotonin. But they've actually done studies and they've found that those two things actually spike in your system when you say the words, "thank you". So perhaps, for some of us, and I'm not saying there aren't those of you who need prescriptions as well. But what I am saying is that all of us could do with a bit more of what God knows is going to be released in our lives when we, His people, are a thankful people who don't walk in entitlement but walk with an attitude of gratitude. In Jesus' name.

And, Father, we pray that you would help us to realize yes, we should watch out for spoiled milk. But far more important are the spoiled words that come from our lips. And if we'll allow you to change our heart, then that will change what comes out of our mouth. Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Even as we're praying now, if there's any among us who would say, I respond to this message. Hearing this, I want to use my words for good and not for evil. Either you're saying, I'm convicted about how I've spoken or you're saying I just want to renew my commitment to speaking encouraging life filled words. In fact, I'm describing every Fresh Life location, every church participating, church online, podcast. Could I just ask you to raise your hand up? Just your way of saying, this was for me and I want to use my lips for good not for evil. I want to be kind to my little brother. I want to be nicer to my wife. I want to build people up and not tear them down. I want life to be created and to be spoken anytime my voice is heard. Thank you, Jesus, for what you're doing in our hearts. Fill us with your strength as we seek to live this out.

You can put your hands down. I want to now just take a moment to give an invitation for anybody who's here this week and you've never given your heart to Jesus. Let me just tell you something: the most important words that could ever come out of your mouth would be ones where you call Jesus your Lord. There was a man who had spent his life as a criminal, as a sinner. And in his dying moment he looked over and Jesus just happened to be there as they were both crucified on crosses by the Roman Empire. And the last words that we know of this man ever speaking was to say to Jesus, Lord, remember me when you enter your kingdom. He called Jesus a king. Called him Lord and basically said, I don't deserve anything but I trust you. And Jesus said, today, you're going to be with me in paradise.

Let me just tell you something: those simple words coming out of your mouth to call Jesus your Lord, the Bible promises it's enough to receive salvation. There's not enough good works could ever do to fix yourself because you're a sinner, just like I am. But that's why Jesus died on the cross for you. And if you, with your mouth, speak words asking for forgiveness, telling him he's Lord, he'll save you. He'll make you new. And then you'll have a brand new lease on life. A brand new life itself to encourage people that he puts in your path. So I want to ask, if that's the case, would you like to give your life to Jesus right now right here? Would you like to pray with me inviting him in to be your Savior? If you do, I want you to say this prayer out loud after me. Mean it in your heart but let it come out of your lips. Let Heaven hear you. Say this:

Dear God, I know I'm a sinner. I can't fix myself. Please come in to my heart. Make me new. I give my life to you in Jesus' name.

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