SERMON LEFTOVERS 10.13.14

“God’s word is worthy of action”

James 1:19-27

James focuses on our speech, listening and anger

He does this out of concern for biblical community

How we listen, is a significant factor in the quality of our relationships

Think about how listening reflects God’s character

Becoming a better listener is one way to imitate God

Listening is a way of showing love for people

Listening is a way of choosing Christ’s agenda for people over our own

In contrast, anger is a significant factor in dividing biblical community

v20 anger produces effects which are opposite of righteousness

Does anger help us think better, listen clearly, show love or build relationships?

In v21 when James says “put away” worldly wickedness, he is not changing subjects

We avoid anger, by getting rid of the worldly behaviors that stimulate it

The world stimulates selfishness, lust, pride and coveting etc. (1 John 2:15-17)

We manage our anger, by managing what influences our heart

Living by God’s word, protects our heart from anger (v21)

God’s word gives us a better perspective about ourselves, life and other people

We are to receive God’s word with meekness

This means we surrender our agenda and submit to God’s will

Biblical meekness is not weakness; it takes strength through the Holy Spirit

God’s word is to be “implanted” in us

Implanting God’s word is to be shaped and guided by it

Do we implant God’s word in our family schedule and priorities?

James presents the big picture principle (vs 22-25)

We are to live out God’s word!

The word has been set before us: we read it and hear it preached

And God wants us to behave according to that word

What does it mean to be a Doer of the word”?

1.  A doer thinks about what the Bible says

James is not urging us to blind action, he is calling us to biblically informed action

2.  A doer measures their life against what the Bible says

We should compare how we live to what the Bible says

We sift our lives by God’s word and we “put away” the debris v21

3.  A doer submits to what the Bible says

We “receive” it, which means we say “yes” to it

Do we acknowledge that God’s word has authority over our life?

Do we try to debate the merits or relevance of God’s word?

4.  A doer takes action according to what the Bible says

Our life is to be conducted in response to God

5.  A doer does all that the Bible says 

Christ is our Lord!  We do not have the right to pick and choose our areas of obedience

Being a complete doer includes the attitude we have in our ‘doing’

If we think being a hearer is enough, we are “deceived”! (v22)

James compares it to looking in mirror without remembering what we see (vs 23-24)

What benefit is there to looking in a mirror, if we cannot remember what we see?

The reason our church emphasizes real commitment in church membership and participation in small groups, is to help us move beyond being mere hearers of sermons

If we settle for being a hearer we also defraud ourselves!

God’s Word is “perfect”! It protects and it blesses (v25)

God’s word is not arbitrary or abstract; it is the best wisdom available

Why will heaven be wonderful? Because the perfect law of God will rule all things

James returns to specific behaviors in vs 26-27

James doesn’t want us to walk away, saying “Amen” to his instructions without having a plan of action

So he reminds us that Christianity is real when it bears the fruit of Holiness and Love

Does God’s word call us to action that you know you have been ignoring?

Is the Holy Spirit pressing your heart about steps of obedience?

Be a doer of God’s word – your life will be blessed and fruitful

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