Summary: 2nd part in the series faith that works. Listening is one thing, but being doer's of the Word is where we live above our own strengths and live in God's obedience and grace
Listening and responding to the Word of God
James chapter 1:19-25
Last week we begun a study in the book of James. A series called “A faith that works.” Most people today have a faith that is not working. In fact, they cannot even define their faith, because most of the time it is all over the place. On fire one day, beaten down and depressed the next. Mountaintop one day and the valley the next... sometimes all in the same day. We agreed by all the amens last week that faith is an action word. You live faith. You walk in faith. You have to step out into faith. When faith isn’t active, it is dead. Dead faith does us no good, and God says that it is impossible to please God with dead faith. Read James 1:19-25
James gives us a new lesson this morning. Listening to and responding to the Word of God for our lives. That is not easy to do. Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. Most of the time it is the opposite. Quick to talk. Slow to listen. And aggravated when people don’t hear what we are saying. I was at a pastor’s meeting on Wednesday and you can imagine 15-20 pastors having a discussion. Everyone quick to comment. I found myself getting aggravated because I was not getting my fair share to talk. I was not the main speaker. The problem is most of the time, we listen enough to wait for our time to talk. We don’t absorb what is being said, because our minds are focused on what we will be saying. My wife Becky and I were in a restaurant, she says to me “you did not hear a word that I just said to you.” I had to apologize to her, I was waiting for my opportunity to tell her something. If we are doing this in our everyday life and in everyday situations, it is no wonder that when it comes to God’s Word, we don’t really hear it. We don’t respond to it because our minds are focused somewhere else. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. I believe it is because we should be listening 2 times as much as we talk. That principal will definitely help us in our lives with people we come in contact with. It will also help us in our spiritual life with the Lord Jesus. Speak little or be slow to speak..God says that to us because we cannot listen well when we are talking. Listening intently is how we absorb what is being said. Becky has learned to reel me back in when I go off the deep end. You talk about prayer, which most people admit to doing on a regular basis. Truth be told, it is seldom a conversation, it is usually monologue between you and God. We try to tell God what we think He needs to know. The Hebrew Rabbis had a saying that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Our tongue is put behind a wall of teeth. Some say that is where we get “bite your tongue”. A protection that we will not say something stupid.. Eccl. 5:2 “So let your words be few” don’t talk so much, because you are putting your foot in your mouth. Proverbs 13:3 “The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent.” I know that we all know people that we had one opinion of them and then they began to talk. Ruined the whole thing God gives us the problem- keep quiet. Don’t just talk for the sake of talking. God gave us instruction- what we need to do. God calls for action- you heard what I said, what now I’ll give you the points to write down right up front this morning.