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Summary: In James Chapter Three, we learn about the power of our words and we are challenged to learn to tame our tongue.

JOURNEY THROUGH JAMES #5: TAMING THE TONGUE

INTRO TO TOPIC: Talk about taming the tongue and the power of words.

• Echoes Proverbs: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov. 18:21, NKJV).

THE BIG IDEA: In James Chapter Three, we learn about the power of our words and we are challenged to learn to tame our tongue.

I. A WARNING TO TEACHERS:

“1 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged by God with greater strictness. 2 We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way.” (James 3:1-2, NLT).

• Teachers and pastors will make mistakes, and God will hold us accountable for that.

• Teachers will be judged greater – by God and by people. Teachers are imperfect!

• I repent for not being more open and honest about my sins, mistakes and weaknesses.

• Don’t follow a teacher, follow Jesus. Jesus will never let you down or disappoint you.

• “We all make many mistakes” I’m thankful for that verse! Even pastors make mistakes.

• So the next time you want to judge someone else, remember that you make mistakes too.

• If we extend grace and forgiveness to others, then that’s what we’ll receive.

• Look at King David (adultery & murder) and Peter (denied Jesus).

• Only Jesus never sinned – with His words or actions. He’s our example!

II. TAMING THE TONGUE:

“3 We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7 People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:3-8).

• Fire story – talk about starting fires up in northern BC to burn fields.

• Once a fire starts, it’s hard to stop it. Wildfire = uncontrollable. Gossip, slander, etc.

• With our words, we can unleash the fire of hell on people. Have you experienced that?

• “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV).

III. THE CHALLENGE:

“9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty pool.” (James 3:9-12).

• Hurt people will hurt people. If you’ve been hurt, go to Jesus and find healing.

• If we have been guilty of using our tongue in a negative way, let’s repent!

• “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15, NKJV).

• If someone sins against you, forgive them. Choose to be gracious.

CLOSING STORY:

“2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."” (John 8:2-11, NKJV).

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