Summary: In order to experience the wonder of God’s Word we must do three things: Receive it, repond to it and reflect it.
One winter morning in San Diego, after Paul had wandered many miles along the waterfront, in a daze, he turned wearily toward his hotel room. He had been drinking heavily for weeks. His mind was tortured by the thoughts of the wife and four children whom he had deserted. Only the day before, it seemed, he had been a radio executive, in charge of two radio stations in Los Angeles--KFVD and KFAC. Now, the home in which he lived, Beverly Hills, the cars, the servants--the things money and social position can provide for a man and his family--were just a memory. He had dragged his family down until they were living in a one-room apartment, and then, deserted them.
Paul was so twisted emotionally that he suffered a complete nervous breakdown and, if that wasn’t bad enough, completely lost his voice. For a year and a half, he was unable to speak above a whisper. The future held no promise.
Walking towards his hotel room along the waterfront he began to contemplate ending his life. He was in such utter despair he felt as though his legs would give way, so he sat down on a park bench. Within a couple moments, a young man sat down next to him and politely said, “Hi! How are you doing today?” It was all Paul could take. He buried his head in his hands and wept. The young man apologized, clumsily said a few words about how the Lord had helped him, then handed Paul a New Testament and encouraged him to read it. “Begin in the book of John,” he said as he stood up. He was gone in a few moments. Paul’s strength returned to his legs and he made his way to the hotel room. There he tossed the New Testament on the top of the dresser and collapsed into the chair. His gaze fell upon that Bible. In a distracted sort of way, he picked it up and started to read. Old familiar words he had learned as a child, words of life, quick and powerful, leaped out of those pages and found their way into his heart. Tears began to run down his cheeks. How he longed for forgiveness! Hours flew by like moments of time and in that hotel room that night; Paul found his way to Calvary’s Cross and met the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Within a few months, God miraculously straightened things out with his wife and family and gave him a job working at a Christian radio station. Paul often says, “There is no doubt in my mind I would have ended my life that day had it not been for the kind gentle words of that young man and his sensitivity to my need. He was Jesus to me that morning and he left me His words!” What a great story—huh? Paul experienced the wonder of God’s Word—lived in the life of that young man and written on the pages of this great book—the Bible!
Over the past couple of weeks we have been exploring the Wonder of God’s Word as related to us in the Book of James chapter one (turn there with me, please). Here James tells us, in order to experience the wonder of God’s Word, we must do three things.
[First of all, we must:]
I. Receive it—verse 21.
[Secondly, we must:]
II. Respond to it—verses 22-25.
[And, thirdly—found in verses 26-27, we must:]
III. Reflect it! (DON’T READ YET) Let’s pray
READ THE TEXT—verses 26-27
The young man in Paul’s story reminds us that after receiving and responding to the Word, we must reflect it in our daily walk. It’s important to mention that the term ‘religion’ is used here in these verses is in its purest sense. A person who consistently practices Biblical Christian living is said to be religious! Now, no one’s ever gotten saved by being religious, but saved people should be religious in their lifestyle (i.e. outwardly, openly, publicly, and consistently we are to practice the commands of this BOOK!).
A. James not only tells us we must reflect the Word in order to experience the Wonders of God’s Word—he tells us the areas that enable us to do so.
1. He begins with OUR WORDS—verse 26.
a. One proof that our faith is real is our ability to control our tongue!
b. James has a lot to say about the tongue in chapter 3.
1) Too often we use the same tongue to bless God and curse other people.
2) However, if our religion doesn’t show up in the way we talk, everything else we attempt to do for God is suspect before the eyes of a watching world, and according to James (v-26b), it’s “vain” (profitless, empty, and meaningless).
3) We nullify everything else we do for Christ when we fail to control our tongue!