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James Series 03 - Put it into Practice

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Reading: James 1:19-27
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 (NIV)

I.   Accept the Implanted Word

     A.  Be quick to Listen

           1.  We have two ears and one mouth!

                 a.  This is for “Everyone” (v.19)

                 b.  Listening is a part of humility.

                 c.  Good listening is an act of love.

           2.  Be quick to hear–be ready, on your toes.

                 a.  On one level this is advice about interpersonal communication.

                 b.  Be quick to hear, rather than quick to jump in with something to add.

                 c.  Listening carefully and deeply is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone.

           3.  Be quick to hear God’s Word

                 a.  This is also about listening to God

                 b.  Be quick to hear God’s Word apply to your situation.

                 c.  Be quick to hear God speaking through your situation and to you about it.

     B.  Be slow to Speak

           1.  Doesn’t mean speak slowly!

                 a.  Doesn’t mean don’t warn someone.

                 b.  Not: Don’t say what needs to be said.

           2.  It means don’t interrupt!

                 a.  Someone may be sharing his/her self.

                 b.  God may saying something unexpected

                 c.  Be teachable and reachable.

     C.  Be slow to Anger

           1.  Anger is an emotion that can be controlled

                 a.  Doesn’t say don’t get angry at all!

                 b.  Anger is usually appropriate: it tells us something is wrong (but not what!).

           2.  Don’t be easily provoked.

                 a.  God Himself is “slow to anger and abounding in love.” (Ps.103:8)

                 b.  A quick temper is a sign of immaturity

                 c.  Our anger may be directed against something God is doing on purpose!

           3.  Controlling our temper is an essential spiritual discipline (v.20!)

                 a.  “In your anger don’t sin” (Eph 4:26,Ps 4:4)

                 b.  Untamed anger will never lead us to a better personal or spiritual life.

     D.  How can we do these 3 things? (v.21)“Humbly accept the implanted Word which saves us.”

           1.  Only God’s Word can have that much power over us.

II.  Live the Word

     A.  Do More than just listen

           1.  Listening isn’t enough! (Don’t be fooled!)

                 a.  To much of Christianity is just talk.

                 b.  Is God’s goal to get stuff in our heads?

           2.  Be quick to listen and quick to do what it says (after having listened well!).

                 a.  When the doing is clear, just do it!

                 b.  There is no Saint Keester.

     B.  Remember Who you are

           1.  Can we be who we are without doing things the way we do them?

                 a.  Who we are has everything to do with the way we do things.

                 b.  And what we do and won’t do.

           2.  To listen to God and not do what He says is like forgetting your own face.

                 a.  Talk about short term memory!

                 b.  Ain’t it the truth though!

                 c.  Do we really remember His Word?

     C.  Look Intently

           1.  Look carefully and deeply into the Word.

                 a.  Not all seeing is seeing

                 b.  Look to remember every subtlety.

           2.  Look intending to be shaped by it.

                 a.  What is there for me?

                 b.  How does this shape me?

           3.  God’s will gives freedom and blessing

                 a.  Following God’s way gives freedom!

                 b.  Being on God’s side gives blessing!

                 c.  The way to happiness is through submitting to God’s will.

III. Watch your Religion

     A.  Keep a reign on your Tongue

           1.  Watch your tongue!

                 a.  Controlling our tongue is an important spiritual discipline

                 b.  There is no excuse for foul language

           2.  Don’t forget: quick to listen, slow to speak!

                 a.  Hold your tongue when necessary!

           3.  More in later Chapter 3

     B.  Look after those in Trouble

           1.  Widows and Orphans were those with no legal standing in society.

                 a.  Who are those people in our society?

                 b.  Some folks don’t know how to meet their own needs effectively.

                 c.  Does this mean folks in trouble, being persecuted, in other nations?

           2.  Look after them in their distress

                 a.  When they’re in trouble.

                 b.  That means pay attention so that we know when that is.

                 c.  It means patience with people who get in trouble a lot!

     C.  Guard yourself from Stains

           1.  This is related to watching your tongue and looking after those in trouble.

. . . the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ Matt. 15:18

                 a.  To ignore the needy in trouble stains us

           2.  It’s about accepting the implanted Word

                 a.  Accepting God’s perfect Word keeps us from the things that stain.

                 b.  In fact accepting removes stains too!

           3.  It’s about putting the Word into practice.

                 a.  Putting the Word into practice keeps us stain free.

                 b.  To have the word and not put it into practice is a stain in itself!

The Bottom Line:

Listen Deeply to God’s Word so you can Live His Word Completely.

Hymn #458 Take My Life and Let it Be (vv 1-4)

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