Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: James shares how the Word of God is the source of all wisdom

Chuck Swindoll tells of a mountain man from West Virginia who had never seen a city, or bright lights and modern inventions. He married a girl of the hills and they spent all their married years in the backwoods. Their one son, creatively named “Junior,”

reached his sixteenth birthday, [and] his dad began to realize it wouldn’t be too many years before their son would become a man and would strike out on his own. It troubled him that his boy could reach manhood and wind up getting a job in the city, not prepared to face the real world. He felt responsible and decided to do something about it.

He and his wife started saving for a trip the three of them would take to the city. About three years later the big day arrived. They tossed their be-longings in the ol’ pickup and started the long journey over winding, rough roads to the city. Their plan was to spend several days at a swanky hotel and take in all the sights. As they approached the outskirts of the metropolis, Papa began to get a little jumpy: “Mama, when we pull up at th’ hotel, you stay in th’ truck while Junior an’ I go in an’ look around. We’ll come back and git ya, okay?” She agreed.

Flashing neon lights and uniformed doormen greeted them as they pulled up. Mama stayed put as Papa and Junior walked wide-eyed toward the lobby. Neither could believe his eyes! When they stepped on a mat, the doors opened automatically. Inside, they stood like statues, staring at the first chandelier either of them had ever seen. It hung from a ceiling three stories high. Off to the left was an enormous waterfall, rippling over inlaid stones and rocks. “Junior, look!” Papa was pointing toward a long mall where busy shoppers were going in and out of beautiful stores. “Papa, looka there!” Down below was an ice-skating rink — inside.

While both stood silent watching one breathtaking sight after another, they kept hearing a clicking sound behind them. Finally, Papa turned around and saw this amazing little room with doors that slid open from the center. “What in the world?” People would walk up, push a button and wait. Lights would flicker above the doors and then, “click,” the doors would slide open from the middle. Some people would walk out of the little room and others would walk inside and turn around as, “click,” the doors slid shut.

By now, dad and son stood totally transfixed. At that moment a wrinkled old lady shuffled up to the doors all by herself. She pushed the button and waited only a few seconds. “Click,” the doors opened with a swish and she hobbled into the little room. No one else stepped in with her, so “click,” the doors slid shut. Not more than twenty seconds later the doors opened again — and there stood this fabulously attractive blonde, a young woman in her twenties — high heels, shapely body, beautiful face — a real knockout! As she stepped out, smiled, and turned to walk away, Papa nudged his boy and mumbled, “Hey, Junior …go git Mama!

Accept The Word

1:19-20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Getting angry can sometimes be like leaping into a wonderfully responsive sports car, gunning the motor, taking off at high speed and then discovering

the brakes are out of order. We need to learn to control our anger.

The first step we must take is to accept the word. In verse 21, James tells us to humbly accept the word planted in you. The word translated "accept" literally means "to welcome." We must cultivate a heart and life that welcomes the word. Not come into proud hearts

A life characterized by an attitude of humility, of openness, of receptivity. A life must be prepared to receive the word just as soil is prepared to receive the seed. James tells us that the word is planted in you.

To adequately prepare our hearts, James gives us three behaviors that will enable us to accept the word and receive the full benefit we should.

Slow down — that’s the first thing we need to do. We are simply traveling at too quick a pace. And when you travel at that pace, you miss the scenery along the way. James says that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Chinese proverb that says “The fastest horse cannot catch a word spoken in anger.”

One of the things that keeps us from hearing is that we need to be slow to speak. You can’t be an effective listener if you are doing all the talking. When God was giving out body parts, he gave us two ears and one mouth — Often, we don’t hear what someone is saying because we are not listening. We may ask them how they are doing, and we expect to hear an answer like "fine." That is what we are programmed to hear. Sometimes we are like that with God. We are not really listening.

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