Summary: When communications fail, relationships will fail.
Let’s continue our worship of God by listening to what He has to say to Christians through James. Open your Bibles to James in the New Testament….
About 2000 years ago, God spoke through James to Christians persecuted in the MidEast. They were persecuted for their faith in Christ by the government and their old religion. Persecution of Christians is happening today, even here in America; therefore God speaks to us today.
So let’s look a little closer at v19-20. We can note 3 important actions Christians must do, v19: be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. In a way they are connected to one another but one can be slow to speak and slow to anger but still not be quick to listen; so let us look at each action! But before we do that, let’s ask this question: Why should we do these actions according to God?
v20: God desires from Christians a righteous life!
What does righteous mean??
Righteous is the opposite of wrong-choices! Righteous means always right! Righteous means making the right choices before God.
Why does God desire a righteous life from Christians??
a. God desires His children to be like Him! 1 Peter 1:16…. Be holy…..
This is why God gave us Jesus Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:21 - God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Now, if God already sees the Christian, Believer of Jesus Christ, as righteous, what is God really telling Christians in James 1:20??
God desires Christians to live righteous! Christians are to walk the talk! How often do we really think about this? If you and I claim to be a Christian, we should live like one! (repeat) God desires His children to be like Him.
Now, what will the world think if Christians don’t live like one??
And so, this is another reason why God desires righteous living from Christians;
b. Christians are to represent God!
c. Righteous living is the right way to live! Righteous is the opposite of wrong-choices! The wrong way to live is detrimental to one’s self and those around them!
And so, according to James 1:19-20, how does a Christian live righteously?
1. Be slow to become angry! What does this mean? First of all, what’s the opposite of slow??
And so, we are not to be quick to anger! Let’s think about this a bit more; in general, what brings anger from within us??
In general, we get angry when we don’t get our way! And so, how should we slow our anger? Watch your ego and give the situation to God! We live righteously when we humble ourselves to God!
We are to be slow to become angry and we are to
2. Be slow to speak. Does this mean… we are…. to… talk….. reeeeeaaally sllllooooowwww? What is God really telling Christians here about being slow to speak?
Yes, if we are quick to listen, which we’ll talk more about in a moment, we should be slow to speak; And when we speak, what’s important is not what we say BUT what the hearer is really hearing. (repeat) It is all about good communications. To live righteously is to love people and we love people by communicating properly. And what is the most important part of communications???
To live righteously is to love with good communications by
3. Being quick to listen! Does this mean we should respond by saying “I heard you already!!”
What is God saying?
First of all, what does truly listening mean??
Listening is part of communications. Communications is a transfer of information! Communication involves transmission of information and reception of the information (listening)! But just because information was transmitted and received, does it mean good communications was achieved? Good communications is a key to loving relationships which is the way God wants us to live. What makes good communications?
Good communications involves: the right information sent (be slow to speak) and that information is truly received and understood (be quick to listen)! But how can the sender know that the right information was understood??
A good listener should tell the sender what they understood!
In preparation for our celebration with Communion, let’s do an exercise in being quick to listen. Without opening your Bibles, be quick to listen in what I will read; I will do my best to be slow in speaking and then I will give you an opportunity to tell me what you heard.
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.