Summary: There are three things that James teaches us in this passage: He wants us to know that God is good, to take out the garbage, and not just hear the Word: do the Word.
JOURNEY THROUGH JAMES #3: BE DOERS OF THE WORD
INTRO TO JAMES:
“James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.” (James 1:1, NKJV).
• Review first week: James = the half-brother of Jesus and a leader in the early church.
• Review last week: We learned that life is hard but God is good, and how to have joy.
THE BIG IDEA: There are three things that James teaches us in this passage: He wants us to know that God is good, to take out the garbage, and not just hear the Word: do the Word.
I. KNOW THAT GOD IS GOOD:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (James 1:17-18, NKJV).
• The foundation must be to know the love and goodness of God.
• The very next verse says: “So then, my beloved brethren…”
• Do you know and believe the love that God has for you? You are loved by God!
• “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
• ILLUSTRATION: God’s love is what motivates us to live right!
II. TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE:
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:19-21).
1. Be quick to hear. Be a good listener. Listen to God, and to people.
2. Be slow to speak. We have two ears and one mouth – listen more than you talk!
3. Be slow to get angry. This doesn’t mean we never get angry.
ILLUSTRATION: Sample Warning Labels
THE BIBLE = BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH!
• "Warning: This product can burn eyes." -- On a curling iron.
• "Do not use while sleeping." -- On a hair dryer.
• "Caution: Hot beverages are hot!" -- On a Starbucks coffee cup.
• "Please keep out of children." -- On a butcher knife.
• "Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.
• "Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage." -- On a portable stroller.
• "Do not drive car or operate machinery." -- On Boot's children's cough medicine.
• "Warning: May contain nuts." -- On a package of peanuts.
III. DON’T JUST HEAR THE WORD: DO THE WORD!
“22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25).
1. Hearer #1: Those who hear the word but don’t obey. They are self-deceived.
2. Hearer #2: Those who hear the word and obey. They are blessed in their deeds.
• Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep (do) it!” (Luke 11:28).
• MIRROR ILLUSTRATION: Don’t deceive yourself! Look at the mirror and change.
• Jesus Himself said: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matt. 7:24-27).
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.” (James 1:26).
• James tells us that if we don’t watch our words, our religion is useless.