Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book of James

The Life Project: James Candice Roberts James doesn’t pull any punches. I like this about him. James’ whole book is dedicated to putting your faith into action. His premise is that faith which does not affect our lives practically is no faith at all. James specifically targets our speech as an area in the Christian life that must come under the control of Christ if we truly have a faith in Christ. In James 1: 26 says, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless”. See? I told you James didn’t pull any punches. But the truth is the Bible has a lot to say about our speech and for good reason. James 3:2b, “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” If we were able to tame our tongue, we would be perfect. This speaks to both the impossibility and the importance of taming the tongue. With our tongues we have the capacity to gossip, slander, tear down, discourage, lie, curse, be prideful, tell course jokes, and many more evils. We also have the ability to encourage, love, speak truth, and the hardest thing to do; be silent. So what do you choose? If you are having trouble taming your tongue, join the human race. But also consider these scriptures. · Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. · Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. · Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. · Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. · Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. · Matthew 12:34-35 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. · Ephesians 5:4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. · Psalms 39:1 I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,so long as the wicked are in my presence.” · Titus 2:8 ....and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. · James 3:6-10 How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 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. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. These scriptures do not constitute all the Bible has to say about the tongue. They are a mere sampling. Plato once said "There is no harm in repeating a good thing." We would be wise to listen. It is a simple truth; watch your mouth. Simple to understand, difficult to put into practice. I am challenged to try. And as a side note, I might add, we should watch our social media as well. I am sure that if Facebook existed in James day, he would've said, "your Facebook posts are set on fire by hell."

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