My sermon notes today are based on my pastor’s sermon on the scripture passage of James 3:1-12.
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. – James 3:1-12
What we say comes from our hearts.
- My words direct my life. (v. 1-4)
If we want to change our life’s direction, we need to change the way we speak. If we speak negatively, we will be negative. If we speak positively, we will be positive.
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. – Proverbs 10:19
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. – Colossians 3:17
Social Media: Before posting anything on social media, we should stop and think. Be sure to post things that represent Jesus.
We shape our words but then our words shape us.
2. My words can be destructive. (v. 5-8)
Our words bring life, but our words can also be destructive. The great Chicago fire was started by a milk cow which kicked over a bucket sitting next to a lantern.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21
Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving,
The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. – Romans 3:13-14
3. My words display my heart. (v. 9-12)
The problem with our tongues begins in our hearts.
Whatever is in my heart will be revealed in my words.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
Jesus gives us new hearts.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10