Words Create Worlds
By Andy Jones

My daughter Emma and her husband recently visited us so Emma and I could run a marathon together. The evening prior to the race, my son-in-law nonchalantly commented, “Best wishes to Emma on her race, especially, since she’s pregnant.” And that was how my wife and I discovered we were expecting our first grandchild.

Since then, onesies have been purchased, apps have been downloaded to track the child’s development, and grandparent nicknames have been proffered. With a simple sentence, my son-in-law opened a new world where my wife and I experience the joy of being grandparents. 

Words have magical powers. They can start fires and extinguish them (James 3:6, Proverbs 15:1). We’ve all spoken or received words that changed our lives. It’s amazing how even a small utterance can have big implications: 

  • “Will you marry me?” 
  • “I’m pregnant.” 
  • “You got the job.” 
  • “The house is yours.” 

Words create worlds. New worlds where we are spouses, parents, employees, and homeowners are summoned by using the right words. 

God used words to create the world. And he still uses his Word to give people new life. As people made in his image, our words contain power like his words contain power, though to a lesser extent. The Bible says Christians are people who keep a “tight rein” on their words (James 1:26), ensuring our words give life (James 3:10) and create a world seasoned with grace (Colossians 4:6). 

As the editor of a denominational magazine, I am conscious that the words we choose to publish have power. At byFaith, we want to create a world for our readers through the words we publish. 

What sort of world is byFaith seeking to create?

  1. A world where Christians feel connected. The PCA is one branch of Christ’s body but it spans a large geography. It is difficult for church members in Crystal Springs, Mississippi to feel connected to church members in Whitefish, Montana. But we think byFaith can be a helpful resource to inform and introduce the wider denomination to people, insights, and ministry efforts underway in places less proximate to them. Through news, profiles, and interviews, we want to celebrate the gifts and graces Christ has spread around the PCA. 
  2. A world where Christians are edified. When the apostles wanted to strengthen the faith of fellow Christians, they wrote letters. Words are a powerful tool in helping others grow in Christlikeness. At byFaith, we invite gifted brothers and sisters from across the denomination to reflect on various topics and issues from a Reformed perspective. Our hope is readers will find insights that will aid their maturity as God’s children. 
  3. A world where Christians are encouraged. When my daughter and I ran our marathon, family members stationed themselves throughout the route to cheer for us. One of the repeated imperatives of the New Testament is “encourage one another.” We need the voices of others to spur us on to love and good deeds. Whether it’s through articles or devotions, we hope byFaith functions as a denominational cheering section, encouraging Christians to persevere in their callings. 

In short, byFaith aims to be a source of good, true news of how Christ is at work in, through, and even beyond the PCA. 

We live in a culture fueled by tribalism and cynicism. Instead of directing our attention to the good, true, and beautiful, we inhabit digital echo chambers whose algorithms reward immediate indignation over prayerful deliberation. It seems a poor business plan to create content designed to edify and encourage in such a marketplace. 

Yet, the very reasons which should dissuade us are the same ones convincing us of our necessity. The Bible calls us to be part of the resistance and refuse to conform our habits to the prevailing disregard for the power of words. As the temple of God’s Spirit, the Christian’s speech is to be characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22). 

Words create worlds. My hope is God will use the words of byFaith to create a world where your faith is strengthened until the day it becomes sight. 

Andy Jones is editor of byFaith and assistant pastor of Rock Creek Fellowship (PCA) in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

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