Living Faith: Powerful Words

MONDAY :  Read James chapter 3

  • Words and speech have the power to express great love.  Words and speech also have the uncontrolled power to corrupt and destroy.  The degree of one’s spiritual maturity is frequently revealed in one’s speech.
  • True wisdom is not intellectual, it is behavioral.

Prayer: Amazing God, you continue to teach us your ways through means of love and means of discipline.  We praise you for the loving and challenging words you have given us through the Letter of James.  We glorify your holy name that you have not left us to our own ability to follow your ways, but that you have given us your sanctifying grace to allow us to grow as your disciples.  Please continue to grant us the courage and humility to reach out to you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen. 

 

TUESDAY:  Read James 3: 1-2, Ephesians 4:11-16

  • A teacher shares knowledge primary by using words.  James is not discouraging individuals from teaching or attempting to prevent people from sharing the faith.  He is reminding everyone of the seriousness of the task.  Even the most gifted teacher will make mistakes and require God’s mercy and forgiveness.
  • God has equipped each of us to help each other walk on our discipleship journey.  The church is a group of people that helps us learn about our beliefs.  In this group of people, we also receive the grace, encouragement, and forgiveness to grow in demonstrating our beliefs through our actions.

Act:  Inform someone this week that God loves them.  Encourage someone this week to continue to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Show mercy and forgiveness to someone this week to remind ourselves that we all are in need of grace.

 

WEDNESDAY:  James 3:3-12, Matthew 12:33-37

  • James tells us that the tongue (our speech) is powerful but difficult for us to control.  
  • Jesus teaches us that the tongue is controlled by our own hearts.  Our words will reflect what our hearts truly believe.  We are accountable for what we say and what we do.

Reflect: Charles Spurgeon was an English preacher that lived in the mid to late 1800s. Although he preached in a Baptist denomination, he first heard the full gospel of God’s love when he took shelter in a Methodist church during a storm.  Nicknamed the “Prince of Preachers” he once said “He who speaks with an ill tongue of his neighbor has an ill heart.  Let us engage in our Christian career with the full assurance that we will have a great deal to forgive in other people, but there will be a great deal more to be forgiven in ourselves.  Let us count on having to exercise gentleness and needing its exercise from others.”  Do you agree with his statement?  Why or why not?

 

THURSDAY:  Read James 3:13-18, Galatians 5:16-26

  • A person who is growing in God’s wisdom will display actions (yield fruit) that reflect God’s character.  
  • We grow in God’s wisdom when we seek God’s truth through reading God’s Word in scripture, listening to God in prayer, and fellowshipping in love and mercy with one another.

Reflect:  List the “fruits” of worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom that both James and Paul write about.  What are the results or consequences of each?  

 

FRIDAY:  Read James 1:19,26; 2:12, 3:5,6,8; 4:11; and 5:12

  • James considers our speech so integral to having a living faith that he mentions it in every chapter of his letter.

Act: Consider what you have learned so far in studying the letter of James.  List one action you will take this week to move forward on your journey to developing a living faith.  

 

SATURDAY:  Read Matthew 15:1-16

  • Religion and tradition cannot save us nor transform us into the people God created us to be.  Our hearts need the saving grace and mercy that only comes when we seek a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  

Prayer: God of the universe, you have made planets and galaxies.  You have made the night and the day.  You continue your awe inspiring work even now.  Thank you precious Holy Spirit for also continuing to re-create me.  I surrender my words, my mouth, and my heart to your healing.  In Christ’s mercy I pray, Amen.  

 

Want to learn more about the Letter of James?

James: Guidelines for a Happy Christian Life by John MacArthur.  This is an excellent study guide to the Letter of James to use as an individual study or for a small group study.  This book has been used to help write the GPS guides to this sermon series.  It is available at Christian book stores or in on-line book stores.