July 1, 2018
Today we are continuing our sermon series through the book of James, we have talked about faith and endurance, listening and doing, not picking favorites, last week we went through faith without good deeds is useless. This week we continue on our journey through James with controlling the tongue.
- A warning for teachers
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
- The tongue is a small thing, but the words that it speaks are everything
2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
- James gives us 3 pictures of small the tongue is but how powerful it can be:
- A bit for a horse's mouth
- A rudder steers a ship
- A spark can set a whole forest on fire
3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
- James is saying the tongue is fire and wickedness, set on fire by hell itself.
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
- Taming a lion is possible but our words are unstoppable
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
- Sometimes we praise God, sometimes we curse people who are made in His image.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
- I will commit to pray and seek God in ways I teach and lead people.
- I will strive to use my words as Godly encouragement to point people towards Christ.
- I will allow myself to be filled up with a spirit of love and compassion.