Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: James tells us about being doer’s of the word, how do we respond?

James 1:19-27, Your own face.

An elderly gent who got on a plane from Christchurch to Melbourne, this gent was off to visit his grandkids and was very excited as this was his first overseas trip he had not slept much the night before and he sat down he sat next to an immaculately dressed young man in an Armani suit wearing a Tag Hauer watch along with many other trappings of doing well. This man introduced himself to the older gent and quickly told him he was the youngest partner in a law firm and was a great success, as he had a real head for business and was extremely good at what he did. The elderly gent stated that that was nice and that he was very pleased for him. The businessman then said that as he was going to be sitting on the plane with this elderly man for three hours they should have a quiz and put a few dollars on it. The elderly man said he was very tired and mentioned he preferred to sleep. At which the younger man said “Well I tell you what I’m a real success so let’s make it worth your while, If I ask you a question and you can’t answer you pay me $5.00 and if can’t answer you, I pay you $500.00”, at which the older blokes ears pricked up and he said “Ok you’re on.” The younger bloke started with a question about New Zealand constitutional law reform in the 1950’s at which the elderly gent reached into his wallet and handed over $5.00. As he tried to nod off to sleep the young lawyer elbowed him in ribs and said “Well what are you going to ask me then?” The elderly man thought about it for a bit and asked, “What goes up a hill on three legs and comes down on four?” After pondering the question for a while the young guy struggled with this and got online, as his blackberry cell phone was in flight mode and searched the internet for the next two and a half hours to see if he could find an answer. As they were landing at Melbourne he woke the elderly gent and handed him $500.00 and asked “ I don’t have a clue, what does go up hill on three legs and down on four?” at which the Elderly gent handed him back $5.00 and said “I don’t know either, but I sure enjoyed my snooze.”

I’m going to ask a couple of questions today, because it’s been a while since I started a sermon with a question.

If I was to ask you to describe your own face could you do it? I was once asked what colour my eyes were and not being able to remember I just replied “I don’t know I can’t see them.”

The other question is this, Is it well with your soul, how are things with you?

Now this might be a twist on things a wee bit, but these questions have nothing to do with something going up a hill on three legs and down on four, they are questions that relate to a passage from the letter James wrote to the early church. I’ve spoken a little on James before and am a real fan of this small book, James as I have mentioned previously was Jesus brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, he came to believe that Jesus was the messiah after encountering him after the resurrection. Until that time along with most of Jesus family he was concerned Jesus was a bit off beat.

James teaching is in my opinion very important for anyone on a journey of faith with God; it contains some really key teachings for how as individuals we are to act out our faith.

What is it he says, about what we look like in the mirror and how that reflects on what our soul will be like? Read James 1:19-27.

Good advice, everyone should be slow to become angry! Now I have been in places of anger in my life, in some situations where I’ve spouted forth un-thought through responses and I guess I’m the only one here who’s ever reacted that way. What is it James says just prior to this I don’t know if you missed it but I know I often do because I tend to focus on the bit I struggle with, what is it he says?

1)Be quick to listen, we have two ears and one mouth it could be an indication of proportionate use. I like the saying in PowerPoint one, (Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble; Frank Tyger), yip, we often hear of people with foot in mouth, I’ve never heard of foot in ear. Listening to the word of God is key, getting into the word is key, understanding the word is vital to our living. Don’t just listen to it, do it! What next?

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