Sermon - Religion that God Accepts is this...Wisdom Beyond Words

Date: 
Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 10:30am

This morning we found ourselves again in the book of James, to learn more about the ways to practice True Religion from the half-brother of Jesus.

James` goal is to takes us from a child-like way of engaging with God to a full maturity of faith.

What comes out of our mouths reflects the health of our hearts.  From out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

First, we must bridle our tongues.  We who are in leadership are held to higher expectations for rightness.   No one is perfect but mistakes should be time to time, the exception of our behaviour, not the rule.

The tongue is a fire.  If you play with fire, you and others will get burned.  To avoid this we must manage what we say and how we say it.  To bridle our tongues means to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and refuse to tear people down.

Secondly, the book of James says that ``with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.  Out of the same mouth come praising and cursing.  My brothers this ought not to be so.``

James says we need to sanctify our tongues.  Which means to set them apart for a divine purpose.  We need to allow the spirit of God to help us to be consistent and congruent with what we say and what we believe.  In such a way that we decide that everything we say must bring glory to God.  Everything we say should be about making people better because it is said with love. 

As in so many bad habits in order to break a habit we must have something to replace the bad habit with.     So replace shxx with shaving cream, replace Fxxx with For the love of God, replace hexx with heaven`s sake, replace taking the Lord`s name in vain with God bless it.

James reminds us that we need to be wise in the words we choose to use.  Wise words emerge not as a reaction but as a response.  The tongue of the wise brings healing.  The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer.  A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs anger. 

Wise words are words that come from a pure heart.  A heart free from bitter envy, selfish ambition, boastfulness, and a false sense of truth.  It comes from a heart fertilized by peace, willingness to yield, and has no trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 

 Words are like toothpaste, once out you can not put it back in the tube.  Words are like seeds, once said they are planted in the heart.  If the words are wise, good, strong, and positive, we are able to harvest righteousness, right relationships.  If the words are hard, and tear down, then we harvest anger, resentment, hate, and bitterness.

Roots are deep, and some words spoken to you never leave you.  If these words are hurtful then you need to plant better seeds, to grow strong, and choke those harsh seeds out.

Before you speak ask five questions.

Is it true ?              Is it necessary?    Is It beneficial?    Do I have permission ?     Is my motive pure?

All 5 questions need to be yes for you to say anything.