Summary: Have you ever met someone who is blessed with all the information about everything?
SWIFT EARS AND A SLOW TONGUE.
There is no one harder to teach than a know it all. Have you ever met someone who is blessed with all the information about everything? They all are good at talking and enjoy having people to listen. Haven’t you just wanted to bring up a subject they didn’t know something about? Haven’t you just wanted to say if you will be quite you can learn something?
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to learning from God=s Word. God=s Word will provide for us a hedge against sin but only if we can take the Word into our hearts. God=s Word is to guide our lives. When it comes to God=s Word we are instructed to listen carefully, do cheerfully and share continuously.
Notice first of all as James says we are to LISTEN CAREFULLY 19-21. Let every man be swift to hear.@ What does it mean to be swift to hear the Word of God? It mean more than a willingness to listen to or read the Word. A person that is swift to hear will look forward to Bible study class, listen to a sermon and doing personal reading and study in the Bible.
I will not ask you to respond to this question but to think about it. How many of you have a special time that you set aside to be with the Lord? Do you have a time alone with God that is a priority of your day? I don’t mean only when you are driving to work and back. You are not suppose to read when you are driving even if it is the Bible. I wonder how many could honestly say before the Lord that you make Sunday School and worship a priority on your schedule rather than giving Him your lift-over time? I know you have an excuse the reason you don’t but that isn’t a substitute.
There are several things that block our hearing of the Word of God. Our ability to hear what God is saying in His Word is hindered by first of all an untempered tongue, Slow to wrath God can not speak to us if we cannot control our emotions. A person with a quick outburst hasn’t learned the valuable lesson of controlling his emotions. Are you tempted to erupt at the slightest thing that goes wrong? You are going down the road in sort of a hurry and get behind a slow car. Man do you get mad at the driver of the slow car; not knowing down the road a man is about to run a stop sign but God does. If you had the speed you wanted you would be in the path of the car. Or out of love someone gives you some good advice but it makes you mad and you storm back. You miss the lesson because of not controlling your emotions. The important thing you miss God in all of it.
Our hearing is also hindered because of a dirty heart 21. Filthiness is a medical word. Used in the medical sense it means wax in the ears. A great accumulation of wax in the ears can cause a person to be deaf. In order to hear, the wax has to be removed. Many do not hear what the Word of God has to say because their ears are plugged up. A dirty heart will dull our hearing quicker than anything. A dirty heart cannot be in fellowship with God.
When we lived up in North Carolina, our house had a basement. Anytime we didn’t know where something went, we put it in the basement. When guest would come, we would show all the house except the basement.
Is there a basement in your heart that has accumulated some things and you wouldn’t want Jesus to visit that area? Then this is not a house cleaning day but a heart cleaning day.
We are not only to listen carefully but we are to DO CHEERFULLY what the Word of God says, 22-25. When we come to the Lord’s house attending Sunday School and then the worship service, we are not here to be entertained. You didn’t come to perform some religious duty. You come to get your marching orders from our Commander in Chief.
Read verses 23-24. Listening to the Lord speak whether through the written Word, the class room, the gospel singing or the preaching and not responding is like looking into a mirror and seeing a sloppy unshaved person and doing nothing about it.
When it comes to the Word of God, we are to listen carefully, and do cheerfully and SHARE CONTINUOUSLY what you know 26-27. Again in verse 26, James calls for reality in religion. The way we have to share the love of God is not only with our mouth, which not many do, but to live our religion.