Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This message is aimed to remind individuals that what they say is very important

Mastering My Tongue

James 3:1-12

Richard M. Nixon served as the 37th president of the United States.

He was a polarizing figure who won the presidential office by a landslide and then later resigned in disgrace just 21 months later.

His disgrace culminated with the Democratic party getting their man, Jimmy Carter, into the White House.

The victory of the Democrats came about because they learned of attempts where their conversations were to be “bugged.”

Watergate occurred on June 17, 1972 when five men attempted to break in to the Democratic national headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex.

The men were arrested, after police were notified by an alert security guard, as they were in possession of cameras and electronic surveillance equipment.

They were suspected of attempting to tap the telephones there in order to gain the upper-hand on the Democratic campaign.

When the Democrats realized that President Nixon among others was attempting to “bug” their conversations, that is they were listening in on their conversations, in an attempt to win the election.

We need to learn a lesson from Watergate.

If we are going to win the battle of Mastering our Mouths, it will come when we realize that God is “bugging” our conversations.

Listen to the words of Jesus:

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:36-37

God knows everything you and I say and when the Day of Judgment comes, God will replay our words.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

James 3:1-12

In a lifetime you and I could fill a library with the words we have said.

It is estimated that the average person says around 30,000 words every day.

We fear nuclear weapons.

We fear the bird flu,

The Ebola virus,

and the possibility of biological weapons.

We fear powerful weapons of mass destruction.

Yet, the tongue is one of the most powerful weapons in the world and there is no inspection of it!

We all know that big things come in small packages.

In these verses, James gives us 6 pictures of the tongue in these passages:

the bit;

the rudder;

a fire;

an animal;

a fountain

and a fig tree.

You can put these 6 pictures into 3 classifications that reveal the power of the tongue:

The Power to Direct,

The Power to Destroy,

The Power to Delight.

1. The Power to Direct

(James 3:1-4)

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

James 3:1

Eugene Peterson paraphrases this 1st verse of James by saying:

“Don’t be in any rush to become a teach … Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards.”

One of the joys of my life is that God can use my mouth to bless others, to Direct others.

Verse 3 compares the tongue to a bit in a horse’s mouth.

“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.”

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion