Summary: Christians are to be DOERS of the Word.
Prepare, Practice, Play, James 1:19-27
Paul Redwine, Northside Christian Church, July 13, 2003
At a sporting event, you can see that the fans participate in the sport in their own unique ways:
The Casual Spectator -- watches the game for some entertainment
The Tailgater -- The more serious spectator, loves watching and discussing the game
The Commentator -- Knows quite a bit about the game and his job is to let you know what he knows
The Cheerleader -- Encourages the players to "Go, fight, win . . ."
The Coaches -- Probably former players who are involved in the success of the team
The Players -- Those responsible for executing plays and winning the game. They are the ones who practice and perform. They are the ones who put time and energy to develop the aspects of the game, work as a team and achieve a desired result.
The sad thing is, many people approach Christianity in the same way. There are those who:
1. Watch -- Spectators who watch and may or may not be amused, visiting church every now and then
2. Tailgate -- Talk about and understand Christianity
3. Commentators -- They understand and know what it means to be a Christian, and perhaps read their Bibles quite a bit, let others know what they know
4. Cheerleaders -- They’re all for Christianity and encourage others to be Christians. They play a role, but they’re not quite the Doers.
5. Coaches -- They were once players, and they may teach and mentor others, but are not as active as they once used to be
6. Players -- These are the DOERS of James 1:22, what James says we all should be.
TEXT: James 1:19-27
[Central Thesis] Christians are to be DOERS of the Word.
Here’s how we can be DOERS of the Word.
-- [Illustration] Players before the game: "We’re going to play tough. We’re going to play hard. We’re number one!" Not, "We’re going to lose. We’re just no good."
-- The preparation involves your attitude. An attitude of being:
1. Quick to Hear, verse 19 -- Teachable, willing to learn
2. Slow to Speak, verse 19 -- They listen to the coaching staff
[Illustration] Co-Worker of mine -- three weeks on the job and thought he knew everything; He was not teachable. He just wanted to talk about what he knew and about himself
1 John 4:4, "Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (NRS)
2 Timothy 1:7, "for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline."
-- Get rid of:
1. anger, verse 19-20
2. filth, verse 21
3. deceit, verse 23-24, 26
4. Be unstained by the world, verse 27
-- Receive the Word (the play book), verse 21
-- Abide in the Perfect Law, verse 25
-- Bridle the tongue, verse 26
-- "Practice makes perfect"
1 Timothy 4:12, "Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress."
III. PLAY / EXECUTE
-- [ILLUSTRATION] 1912 - Maiden voyage of Titanic. Received message from another ship of icebergs in area. Radio operator put message under a weight at his elbow and went on with his work. It never reached the captain, and 1500 lives were lost. Information without action can result in destruction. -- Source unknown
-- Sometimes I think we know what we need to do, but we just don’t do it.
-- [ILLUSTRATION] Story in Glad Tidings by James Kallam. He tells of a young book salesman who was assigned to a rural area. Seeing a farmer seated in a rocking chair on his front porch, the young man approached him with all the zeal of a newly trained salesman. “Sir,” he said, “I have here a book that will tell you how to farm 10 times better than you are doing it now.” The farmer continued to rock. After a few seconds he stopped, looked at the young fellow and said, “Son, I don’t need your book. I already know how to farm 10 times better than I’m doing it now.” - P.R.V. -- Our Daily Bread, February 7
-- "One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it." -- Chambers, Our Daily Bread, March 4, 1993
-- Simply do it! Nike Commercial
-- Help others - visit orphans and widows, etc.