Summary: Our text tells us that we must "spring" into action for our faith to be meaningful. 1- Be quick to listen 2- Be slow to speak 3- Be slow to anger 4- Be quick to rid 5- Be quick to act
INTRO.- ILL.- On July 2, 1982, Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. He went down to the local army surplus store one morning and bought forty-five used weather balloons. That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled balloons. He took along a six-pack of beer, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.
Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 15,000 feet into the sky -- smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Long Beach Airport. Too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, forcing the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon, causing long delays in flights from across the country.
Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
"Where you scared?" "Yes."
"Would you do it again?" "No."
"Why did you do it?" "Because," he said, "you can’t just sit there."
Brothers and sisters, some people can just sit and take life easy but most don’t. However, not many people are as daring or as crazy as Larry Walters was.
It’s spring time as of Friday, March 20th. What should we do? When spring comes most people spring into action. They start planting gardens, playing ball, getting outside more, mowing their grass, fishing, hunting, etc. Winter slows most people down, but spring comes and we are ready to do and go. And that’s not bad.
Activity is good for us as long as it is good activity and doesn’t hinder our relationship to the Lord. However, any activity that leads us from Christ and from serving Christ is not good, no matter how good it may seem to be!
James 2:26 "Faith without works is dead." If a person’s faith doesn’t do something positive or it isn’t active, then it isn’t faith by God’s rule.
ILL.- Elizabeth Boulter said: My mother taught for 11 years at a day-care center. One winter afternoon she was trying to show a young boy how to zip up his coat. "The secret," Mom said, "is to get this piece of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up."
After struggling with the zipper for several minutes, the boy sighed and said, "Why does it have to be a secret?"
Brothers and sisters, there is nothing secretive about God. His will is clear in scripture. And His Word is very clear and especially, in this text. God is not secretive about how He wants us to live.
PROP.- Our text tells us that we must "spring" into action for our faith to be meaningful.
1- Be quick to listen
2- Be slow to speak
3- Be slow to anger
4- Be quick to rid
5- Be quick to act
1. BE QUICK TO LISTEN
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.
ILL.- Two cowboys come upon an Indian lying on his stomach with his ear to the ground. One of the cowboys stops and says to the other, "You see that Indian?" "Yeah," says the other cowboy.
"Look," says the first one, "he’s listening to the ground. He can hear things for miles in any direction."
Just then the Indian looks up. "Covered wagon," he says, "about two miles away. Have two horses, one brown, one white. Man, woman, child, household effects in wagon."
"Incredible!" says the cowboy to his friend. "This Indian knows how far away they are, how many horses, what color they are, who is in the wagon, and what is in the wagon. Amazing!"
The Indian looks up and says, "Ran over me about a half hour ago."
Brothers and sisters, some things are learned in life the hard way. We either get run over or beat up by them. However, there is a better way to learn about life and even the dangers in life AND THAT IS BY LISTENING TO THE WORD OF GOD.
James say, "Be quick to listen." The meaning is, of course, BE QUICK TO LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD.
ILL.- The sermon dragged on and on. Finally, the preacher said, "What more can I say?" Someone from the back of the church hollered, "Say Amen and let’s go home!"
ILL.- One preacher said: Giving a sermon one Sunday, I heard two teenage girls in the back giggling and disturbing people. I interrupted my sermon and announced sternly, "There are two of you here who have not heard a word I’ve said." That quieted them down.