Summary: Continued exposition of the book of James exploring how believers respond to truth.
EXTREME MAKEOVER – Part Four
“A Faith Lift”
James 1:19-27 - ©Dr. Larry L. Thompson (2004)
“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 perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he 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.  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 1:19-27
In today’s study James presents a third extreme makeover necessary for every true believer. I call this makeover, “A FAITH LIFT” Let’s review the extreme makeovers to date:
• The first makeover was the Christian’s RESPONSE TO TRIALS (1:2–12).
• The second makeover was the Christian’s RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION (1:13–18).
• Today’s makeover is the Christian’s RESPONSE TO THE TRUTH revealed in the Word of God (1:19–27).
Today we live in a society that is marked by duplicity and inconsistency among those who proclaim the name of Christ. There is a great divide between what we say we believe and what we do with the truth.
When the true disciple hears God’s Word, there should be affection for the truth and a personal desire in his heart to obey the truth he has received. One of the most reliable evidences of genuine salvation is a true hunger for the Word of God. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1
FITZ: EXTREME EXAMPLE: Cue: “Today’s extreme example demonstrates the danger of duplicity and the powerful destructive nature of the tongue.”
In today’s text, James focuses on two major tests that reveal a need for “A FAITH LIFT!”
• Our Faith is not Marked by a Proper RECEPTION of the Word! (1:19–21)
• Our Life is not Marked by a Proper REACTION to the Word! (1:22-27)
Illustration: Dr. Phil’s assessment of the American male:
“Men in America change wives every seven years, change cars every three years and change friends every three hours.” Dr. Phil. While this is a bit trait I would say the real problem in America is not how much we change but how little we change, especially as Christians! Think for a moment how much truth has been proclaimed through this ministry in the past 97 years we have been in existence. I promise you the men of God who have proudly proclaimed God’s truth from this pulpit have shared enough truth to impact not only South Florida, but our entire state, nation and world. The problem is not that we don’t have enough TRUTH; we don’t have a heart to RECEIVE the truth we have!
Listen to me this hour: “The greatest threat to America is not communism, socialism, humanism or even terrorism; the greatest threat to our nation is the tragic discrepancy between what Christians proclaim and what they practice.” Pastor Larry Thompson
We live in a culture where Christians want the THRILL of feeling right but reject the WILL to live right! A newborn baby does not have to be taught to hunger for its mother’s milk, and the newborn child of God does not have to be taught to hunger for God’s Word, which is his spiritual food and drink. That is the natural impulse of his new spiritual life, of his new creation. I urge you today to join with me in making one promise related to this message… I will not think about any other person but myself as I receive this word of truth today. With this promise committed let’s examine the process for today’s extreme makeover and what it means to have “A FAITH LIFT?”
I. A LIFE THAT RECEIVES THE WORD (1:19-22)
“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.”