Summary: Disciple your tongue.


James 3.2-12

S: Tongue

C: Truth and Grace

Th: Our Time, Our Turn, Our All






PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Value words.

• Speak truth.

• Act kindly.

• Bring healing.

Version: ESV

RMBC 17 May 09 AM

ILL Gossip (H)

Racehorse owner E. R. Bradley had all his horses’ names begin with the letter B, including one called Bad News. When someone asked why he gave the horse a name with such a negative connotation, Bradley explained, “Bad News travels fast.”

Well, we have taken a week off from our Prayer Action Plan, but we return to it today.


The Prayer Action Plan contains items that we believe we must both pray on and act on – PRACT.

These are areas that we have come to recognize that potentially and actually keep us, as a church family, from fulfilling our God-given mission.

You see, we often think that there are outside forces that are destroying the church (like our culture), but I would contend that Christians do a far more effective job of destroying churches.

It leads us to our…

RENOUNCEMENT: We renounce sins of the tongue, including gossip, unkind words, and judging motives.

All our renouncements are important, but this one is essential to get right, as it deals with our relationships with each other.

We talked about unity two weeks ago, and if we are to get unity, we have to get our relationships right.

ANNOUNCEMENT: We announce that our tongues are to be instruments of Christ.

This organ – grab it – it belongs to Jesus.

AFFIRMATION: We affirm that our tongues were created for praise to God and edification.

What are we going to do with it?

COMMITMENT: We will speak the truth with a positive, affirming spirit to bless others.

We are going to look at James chapter 3, and I want to consider this question…

How does it happen that our tongue has multiple use (James 3.2-12)?

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. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 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. 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! 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. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.


Our words are important.

And they can be used for good.

Or they can be used for hurt.


We don’t usually mean to hurt people…

But it is amazing the words that will pop out of our mouths.

We don’t plan on saying them.

But it is said, and we are done.

We forget what is said, but the people that hear them do not.

And so often, they are left wounded.

I am amazed how proud people can be of their candid truth-telling.

But they use words that sting.

They crush a person’s spirit, leaving them hopeless and desolate.

Understand this…

Words are powerful.

God is our best example.

God speaks, and creation happens.

He says “light” and He’s got light.

And what is God’s most powerful Word?

It is Jesus.

When God wants to communicate Himself and reveal Himself to us, He sends us the Word.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.


Our text reveals that words are powerful.

They can destroy like a fire.

They can be toxic, like a poison.

ILL Power (S)

Someone has calculated that for every word in Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, 125 lives were lost in World War II.

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