100124 How to Live Your Faith 08 Don't Kid Yourself - James 1_19-27

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Sermon 8 in a series on the Book of James (this one on James 1:19-27) presented January 24, 2009, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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100124 How to Live Your Faith 08 Don't Kid Yourself - James 1_19-27

  1. 1.
  2. 2. 1. How many times have you read the entire Bible? (Please estimate)<br />
  3. 3. 2. How often do you read from the Bible?<br />
  4. 4. 3. Are you presently following a plan for reading the Bible?<br />
  5. 5. 4. Would you like to have a Bible reading plan to follow?<br />
  6. 6. Where to find Bible reading plans<br />http://www.heartlight.org/devotionals/reading_plans/<br />http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/readingplans/more.php<br />http://www.bibleplan.org/<br />http://www.navpress.com/dj/content.aspx?id=138<br />http://www.esv.org/biblereadingplans<br />http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html<br />
  7. 7. It’s one thing to be deceived by Satan; it’s another to fool yourself<br />In the middle of a text about evil & good<br />James 1:16 NIV Don&apos;t be deceived, my dear brothers.<br />Twice in our text on righteousness & religion<br />James 1:22 NIV Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.<br />James 1:26 NIV If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.<br />
  8. 8. People kid themselves all the time about their relationship to the Lord <br />Matthew 7:22-23 NIV Many will say to me on that day, &apos;Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?&apos; (23) Then I will tell them plainly, &apos;I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!&apos;<br />
  9. 9. James says some Christiansare fooling themselves<br />Some Christians honestly admit their sins/needs <br />Others think they’re better than they are<br />Revelation 3:17 NIV You say, &apos;I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.&apos; But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.<br />Relationship to God tied to response to His word <br />Three responsibilities toward God’s Word<br />
  10. 10. 1. Accept the Word<br />James 1:19-21 NIV My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (20) for man&apos;s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (21) Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.<br />
  11. 11. James calls God’s Word “the word planted in you”<br />Borrows from Jesus’ Parable of Sower<br />God’s Word as seed<br />Man’s heart as soil<br />Jesus described four kinds of hearts: <br />Hard heart: Did not take the Word in & bore no fruit<br />Shallow heart: Very emotional but no depth & no fruit <br />Crowded heart: Impenitent, sin crowds out the Word<br />Fruitful heart: Received the Word, allowed it to take root & bore fruit<br />
  12. 12. The test of salvation is fruit <br />Fruit includes things like:<br />Changed life<br />Christian character & conduct<br />Outreach to others to the glory of God<br />Winning souls to Christ<br />Praising the Lord<br />We can fool selves into thinking we’re righteous when we’re only religious – a big difference!<br />
  13. 13. John 15:1-5 NIV <br />&quot;I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (2) He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. … (4) Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (5) &quot;I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.<br />
  14. 14. Accepting the Word #1:<br />Be quick to listen!<br />
  15. 15. Some people know what it means to be “quick to listen”<br />A servant is quick to hear his master’s voice<br />A mother is quick to hear her baby’s whimper<br />The believer should be quick to hear what God has to say<br />
  16. 16. Illustrated in the life of King David (2 Samuel 23:14-17)<br />Hiding from Philistines occupyingBethlehem<br />Remembered a well he enjoyed as a boy<br />No order, just a sigh, “I wish I had a drink of water from that well in Bethlehem”<br />Three of his bodyguard heard him & risked lives to get that water & bring it to him<br />They were “quick to hear”<br />
  17. 17. Accepting the Word #2:<br />Be slow to speak!<br />
  18. 18. We have two ears & one mouth; we ought to listen more than we speak <br />Instead, we argue with God’s Word<br />Proverbs 10:19 NIV When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.<br />Proverbs 17:27 NIV A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.<br />Like the lawyer (Luke 10) trying to save face: “Who is my neighbor?” <br />Reason for this warning: Listeners would often debate with the speaker <br />
  19. 19. Accepting the Word #3:<br />Be slow to anger!<br />
  20. 20. Do not get angry at God or His Word<br />Proverbs 14:29 NIV A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.<br />Nathan toDavid: Story about a stolen lamb <br />David became angry at the wrong person<br />Nathan: “You are the man”<br />David confessed: “I have sinned”<br />In Garden, Peter was slow to hear, swift to speak & swift to anger – almost killed a man<br />
  21. 21. Most church fights are the result of short tempers & hasty words<br />Remember<br />James 1:20 NIV… man&apos;s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.<br />Anger is opposite of patienceGod wants to produce in us as we mature in Christ<br />James 1:3-4 NIV … the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (4) Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.<br />
  22. 22. It’s foolish to become angry at the Word when it exposes our sins<br />Like the man who broke the mirror when he didn’t like what he saw in it<br />People rebel against God’s Word because it tells the truth about them & their sinfulness<br />Mike McCoy&apos;s screensaver: “Swift to hear, slow to speak, never to anger”<br />
  23. 23. Gk. ruparia – “moral filth”<br />James 1:21 NIV Therefore, get rid of all moral filth …<br />Modern Greek – “ear wax”<br />Image: impacted ear canal so we cannot hear<br />Accept the word, don’t argue with it<br />Don’t try to twist it to conform to our thinking<br />
  24. 24. 2. Practice the Word <br />James 1:22-25 NIV Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (23) Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror (24) and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (25) But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.<br />
  25. 25. It is not enough to hear the Word; we must practice it!<br />Many think a good sermon or Bible study is what brings God’s blessing <br />It’s not hearing but doing that is blessed<br />Too many mark their Bibles – but their Bibles never mark them! <br />If you think you’re spiritual because you hear the Word, you’re only kidding yourself<br />
  26. 26. Why do you own a mirror?<br />So you can change the man/woman in it!<br />To see yourself as you really are<br />To make yourself as presentable as possible<br />As we look into the mirror of God’s Word, we see ourselves as we really are<br />James mentions mistakes people make as they look into God’s mirror<br />
  27. 27. 1. They only glance at themselves<br />Don’t study themselves as they read the Word <br />Many read a-chapter-a-day, but only as religious exercise & they don’t profit from it personally <br />Conscience bothers them if they don’t read<br />Should bother them because they read carelessly<br />Cursory reading of Bible won’t reveal our needs <br />The difference between a candid photo & X ray<br />
  28. 28. 2. They forget what they see <br />We need to see ourselves as God sees us<br />Isaiah 6:5 NIV &quot;Woe to me!&quot; I cried. &quot;I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.&quot;<br />Luke 5:8 NIV When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus&apos; knees and said, &quot;Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!&quot;<br />Job 42:6 NIV Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.&quot;<br />
  29. 29. 3. They don’t follow-through<br />Hearing is not the same as doing<br />We substitute reading & talking for doing<br />We have meetings & conferences on church growth & evangelism & think that’s progress <br />Nothing wrong with conferences & committee meetings, but they are no substitute for doing<br />“God so loved the world that he didn’t send a committee”<br />“Bibles should be bound in shoe leather”<br />
  30. 30. The blessing comes in doing the Word, not reading it <br />James 1:25 NIV But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.<br />James’ emphasis is on doing the Word<br />
  31. 31. 3. Share the Word <br />James 1:26-27 NIV If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. (27) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.<br />
  32. 32. Gk. threskeiais “religious rituals” <br />Only five times in NT – three times here<br />Acts 26:5 NIV … according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.<br />Colossians 2:18 NIV Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. …<br />Pure religion has nothing to do with sacred days, places, or rituals<br />It is practicing God’s Word in three ways<br />
  33. 33. Sharing the Word #1:<br />It’s a matter of speech <br />
  34. 34. The tongue reveals the heart <br />Matthew 12:34-35 NIV You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (35) The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.<br />A controlled tongue reveals a controlled life (James 3)<br />
  35. 35. Sharing the Word #2:<br />It’s a matter of service <br />
  36. 36. After seeing ourselves in the mirror of the Word, we must see others <br />Isaiah saw the Lord, himself & the people<br />Isaiah 6:1-8 NIV In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. … (5) &quot;Woe to me!&quot; I cried. &quot;I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.&quot; … (8) Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, &quot;Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?&quot; And I said, &quot;Here am I. Send me!&quot;<br />
  37. 37. Words are no substitute for acts of ministry<br />James 2:14-18 NIV What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? (15) Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. (16) If one of you says to him, &quot;Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,&quot; but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (17) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (18) But someone will say, &quot;You have faith; I have deeds.&quot; Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.<br />
  38. 38. We cannot pay others to perform our personal ministry<br />1 John 3:16-18 NIV This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (17) If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (18) Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.<br />God does not want us to pay others to minister as a substitute for our own personal service!<br />
  39. 39. Sharing the Word #3:<br />It’s a matter of separation<br />
  40. 40. The world wants to “pollute” the Christian<br />First, there is “friendship with the world”<br />James 4:4 NIV … don&apos;t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.<br />That can lead to a love for the world<br />1 John 2:15 NIV Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.<br />
  41. 41. The world wants to “pollute” the Christian<br />Then we become conformed to the world<br />Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God&apos;s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.<br />In the end, we’re condemned with the world<br />1 Corinthians 11:32 NIV When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.<br />
  42. 42. Lot illustrates this principle <br />First he pitched his tent toward Sodom<br />Then he moved into Sodom<br />Then Sodom moved into Lot & his family<br />He lost his influence even with his own family<br />When Sodom fell, Lot lost everything<br />Abraham, the outsider, had a greater ministry to the world than Lot, the friend of the world<br />
  43. 43. We don’t have to buy into the world to have a ministry to the world <br />Jesus was “unspotted” (1 Peter 1:19)<br />Yet He was a friend totax collectors & sinners<br />The best way to minister to the needs of the world is to be pure from the defilement of the world<br />
  44. 44. The differencebetween “righteousness” & “religion” <br />How readily do you accept the Word?<br />How well do you practice the Word?<br />How consistently do you share the Word?<br />

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