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Summary: Your tongue affects every part of your Christian walk. You must learn to control it.

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October 21, 2012

Morning Worship

Text: James 3:1-12

Subject: Taming the Tongue - James Part 5

Title: Watch What You Say

We continue in our study of the Book of James. Today James continues with a topic he began in 1:26, If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. I wonder if we understand how much damage is done with the tongue. Whether it is damage done to another’s reputation through gossip or damage done to ourselves caused by words of unbelief that are spoken, there is destruction that is wrought by the words we speak. Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. That means that the things that come out of your mouth by reflex – the things you say without thinking – are what is really in your heart. So we have to train ourselves not to make confessions that are contrary with what God says about us even if that is what we really think. We must train ourselves to think differently – to be transformed by the renewing of our minds…

On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a drab, gray slate tombstone. The quaint stone bears an epitaph not easily seen unless you stoop over and look closely. The faint etchings read:

Beneath this stone, a lump of clay, / lies Arabella Young, / Who on the twenty-fourth of May, / began to hold her tongue.

We don’t want to wait until it is too late before we begin to control our tongues.

You can learn to watch what you say.

We are going to look at James 3:1-12 today.

Read James 3:2, We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

I believe this is God's Word…

I believe it is for me…

I accept it as mine…

I appropriate it to my life today…

I. JAMES USES ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE NATURAL REALM… 3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. When I was a young teen I used to go to a cousins house to practice my rodeo skills. I would climb up on the coral fence and then let myself down on a steer. Can you guess who won that contest? Why? Because I had no way on controlling which way that calf was going to go. Now horses are different. You can put a bridle and bit in their mouths and make them go wherever you want them to go. Ships are the same. You can control the direction by one small object – the rudder. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. I want you to look at this verse in both a relationship context and a spiritual context. You must always strive to keep your tongue under control in your relationships. No boasting, no gossip, no negative talk… Isn’t that what your mom taught you; “If you can’t say anything good don’t say anything…?” Look at that last part of verse 5, Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. One word spoken in a wrong manner can destroy your relationships and once it is spoken you can’t un - speak it. Now, let’s look at that from a spiritual perspective. There are two forces at work in the life of every believer. The first is the natural man, the flesh that is subject to the sin nature and therefore susceptible to the influence of the god of this world. The second is the Holy Spirit of God that is alive in every believer speaking the things of God into your life. Now with those two influences at work within you, there is a decision to be made. Who am I going to submit to? Who am I going to be in agreement with? Proverbs 18:20-21, 20 From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. #21 The tongue has the power of life and death,# and those who love it will eat its fruit. The bible is clear about this one thing, “what you say is what you are going to get…” In your relationships, if you stir up discord and enmity with another, that is what you are going to get. But if you build a relationship on positive, caring words, you will get a positive and caring relationship. In your life, if you constantly speak words that are in agreement with what the devil says, you will not receive the things that God says are yours. The Greek word, HOMOLOGEO and HOMOLOGIA, the verb and noun forms of the same word, is used in our Greek New Testament approximately 29 times. It is translated in the following manner. Confess and /or confession 19 times. Profess and/or profession 8 times. It means, “to say the same thing”. So as Christians what are we going to say about ourselves; what the devil says or what God says? What is your confession/homologia going to be? 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. More than any other part of the body, the tongue is the part that is most likely to give in to the enemy’s leading. Two things: 1) The tongue can be set on fire by the enemy of your soul. He can get you to say things and make you believe things that are not true and once you have said them the fire is ignited. 2) That fire then, sets the whole course of his life on fire… Your words will affect your relationships, your spiritual life and even your own health and prosperity. Don’t take my word for it. Get into your bible and see what God says about you for every area of your life. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. You can tame animals and make them obedient to you, but you cannot tame my tongue and I cannot tame yours. But you can be transformed into the image of Christ from glory to glory, thus allowing God to work in you to bring about change. God supplies the power to tame the tongue – you have to supply the will. Lord, not my will but Yours be done…


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