Summary: Today I want to focus on the power of words and learn a lesson from James on the importance of making sure our words are always bridled – always kept in check.
Opening Video: The Church Matters!
Series: James – Let’s do it!
Thesis of Book: The message of the book is “Let’s do it – live the faith – put it into action! The half-brother of Jesus is speaking to the scattered Jewish Christians across the nations – they were scattered right after Stephen was killed. James tells these Christians and us today “You have to do more than just talk about your faith - you have to put your faith to work for the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven.” In other words, what you do with your faith matters in the here and now and in eternity so put it into action! Faith with no deeds is dead!
Key verse of book: James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Summary of lessons from Chapter 1- We put faith into action when:
…We persevere through the trials and grief of life and in the midst of it get His inner joy and peace.
…We control the pressure moments of life with faith and not anger and in the process find freedom in the Spirit.
…We listen and do to be what God has called us to be and do.
Summary of lessons from Chapter 2 – We put faith into action when:
…We put our faith into motion when we choose to fight against favoritism, prejudice mindsets and discrimination.
…We put faith into action when we love, accept and forgive others. Cook states, “When love, acceptance and forgiveness prevail, the church of Jesus Christ becomes what Jesus was in the world: a center of love designed for the healing of broken people and a force for God” When faith is released to action it impacts people’s lives, transformation happen’s and people are set free! It releases revival!
Sermon 3: Wild Thing – James 3:1-12
Thesis: James tells us that if we want to pursue perfection in Jesus then we need to control our tongues and make sure the words that come off it are fruitful Godly words. The warning he throws at us is the uncontrolled tongue leads to the whole body being set on fire by hell’s flames.
Opening Illustration: Have the tongue in the box covered. Ask people to guess what powerful force is in the box?
Tell them this has been one of the most powerful forces in this world in which we live it can either bring life or death into relationships. It can either bring harmony or chaos into relationships. It can either bring peace or war. It is one of the most feared and praised forces in the world and each one of you possess one of these little atomic tools. This week in James 3 we are going to discover just how dangerous this weapon can be if it is not kept in check. Let us read James 3:1-12.
Texts: James 3:1-12
1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Proverbs 12:18: 18Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 18:21: The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
James 1:26: 26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.