Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

James 1:19-26 ~

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 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.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 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."

We live in a technological age. We can turn on the television, radio, or internet and listen to any number of people preaching or teaching from God's Word. In fact, we could literally listen 24/7. I know people who download a sermon or Christian music from the web onto their Ipod and listen while they exercise. Technology is a wonderful thing!

Yet, even with being able to access God's word at the touch of a button, we can still struggle with the problem mentioned here. We can spend all of our time listening and getting fed spiritually and yet never put what we are learning into action. We listen to sermon after sermon and sit through numerous Bible studies but never live out what we are studying.

Are you doing the things listed in these verses in James? Notice they all have to do with the tongue.  Are you keeping your anger under control? Do you think before you speak or do you just let whatever you are thinking or feeling come flying out of your mouth? Are you keeping yourself pure or do you speak, talk and think like those who do not know the Lord? Do you constantly criticize others or do you gossip and backbite?

James has tough words to say here.  If we don't practice what we preach than our religion is worthless and meaningless.  If we don't learn to control our tongues we are hypocrites.  If we don't practice self-control of our words than we are living a lie.
Please continue to read and listen to God's word. However, make sure you take it a step further.  Put into practice those things you read or listen to via technology.  Let's work together to grow into mature believers who shine like lights in a very dark world.