Today, we will be reading from the book of JAMES. So if you want to open your Bibles to James, chapter 1, we will begin in a few minutes.
The book of JAMES was written about 48 years after Jesus ascended back into Heaven. And even though there were several men by the name of ‘James’ at that time, it is highly believed to have been written by James, the brother of Jesus.
James wrote this letter to Christians everywhere as a teaching. He was teaching us the practice of being good Christians. He says if we have real faith, we will show it by acting as Christians should act. James gives practical advice in this letter about things that still bind us today; things like quarreling, showing favoritism, speaking negatives, bragging, and how we need more patience and more prayer.
A lady was late for work and she was driving behind a man who was intent on not exceeding the speed limit. She would get close to him and honk a few times but it didn’t do any good, as he just kept the same speed.
They were approaching a light, and it turned yellow as they got to the intersection. It was one of those times when you could still get thru if you pushed the envelope a little. Well, this man slowed down and stopped as it turned red.
This was the last straw for the woman. She went ballistic and started yelling, blowing her horn, cursing, and much worse. A policeman pulled up and ordered her out of the car with her hands in the air. He arrested her and took her downtown, where he put her in a holding cell.
About two hours later, he came back and let the now calm woman out. He apologized to her and said he verified the car was hers. She asked him why he arrested her in the first place. He told her that when he pulled up behind her she was cursing and yelling, calling names and much worse. He said he looked at the Christian license plate holder, the silver fish emblem, and the honk if you love Jesus bumper sticker and said he thought it was obvious that she had stolen the car from a Christian.
Sometimes, Christians react to the circumstances around us in such a way as to appear like we are not Christians, don’t we? What kind of impression do you think that makes on other people who hear us talk about Jesus but not working at showing Jesus?
Let’s read JAMES 1:19-27
‘My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word, but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
‘But the man who looks intently into the word of God, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it, will be blessed in what he does. If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.