Sabbath 12/13/14 West Palm Beach SDB Church Pastor Jasmine sermon Walk The Talk

Sabbath 12/13/14 West Palm Beach SDB Church Pastor Jasmine sermon Walk The Talk
James 1: 19-27

“Talk is cheap”, “Walk the Talk” “Put your money where your mouth is” are phrases we often hear when we are being challenged to action. James, the brother of Jesus was a skeptic and did not become a disciple of Jesus until after the resurrection of Jesus. Once he became converted, he became a leading figure in the Jerusalem church. He is one who strongly believed that talk is cheap, just show me your work and this theme runs throughout the book of James.
In the first part of the chapter we read where he said we must take pride in whatever we are doing, exhibit endurance not only in our beliefs but also in our work. We demonstrate our love for God when we keep His commandments, and as believers, we will not be easily deceived if we know God’s words, for His word is truth.
V. 19 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Here James’ emphasis is on listening and doing. Most of us, including myself, are quick to speak even before we hear everything the person has to say. In other words, we do the opposite of what he is telling us to do. He is saying, listen intently to what the person has to say before you speak. I know I get annoyed, when before I finish speaking, someone attacks me because they think they know what I was going to say. They get angry about what I said and I didn’t even finish what I was going to say.

Example: someone felt that I should not say anything by way of disciplining her child. Anything I say by way of correcting or discipling her child was upsetting, and she told me not to say that to her child. It was as if I do not know anything about child rearing. It didn’t matter to her that I had been an educator for over 32 years, had taught and counseled hundreds of children, and had raised two children of my own quite successfully. One day I decided to address the issue with the person. I started out by saying you act as though I do not know anything about raising children. Everything I say to your child is wrong. You say, I am not to say that. I have raised two sons and no one has ever said to me that they were undisciplined. She thought she knew where I was taking the discussion so she said, yes, I know you think my child is undisciplined. That is not what I was going to say. What I was going to say is that I love your child and I would not say anything that is not right to her. Whatever I say to her would be to help her to know right from wrong. That is a case where the person was slow to hear and quick to speak. If we are slow to speak we will not get as angry or angry at all.

One of the techniques we teach individuals in anger management, is to take a deep breath and count to ten. That is to slow you down and make you slow to speak because once it comes out of your mouth, you can’t take it back. Words spoken in anger, many times precede physical blows which demonstrates wrath; also words, spoken in anger many times hurt more than physical blows. You spank a child and after the pain wears off, the child may forget it, but that child will never forget cruel words spoken to him or her; words that rob him/her of self-esteem, self-worth, negative words such as “you are a no good like your daddy or you mommy, you are not going to be anything, you are a disgrace to the family.” Kids don’t forget those words. They stay with them for life. They act them out in their behavior. Since everybody thinks this of me, I might as well be bad. I can’t do anything right for them, so just give them what they want. Bad behavior is usually a cry for help. James gives us a very practical advice: “swift to hear and slow to speak… Man’s wrath does not produce the righteousness of God.”

God is love. I Corinthians 13: Love is kind, it suffers long, it’s not selfish, it does not behave rudely, it does not think evil, it bears all things, it endures all things, it’s not easily provoked.
V. 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.

Do we have God’s words planted in us? Many times individuals do me things and I would get angry, but for the implanted words of God. Those words just surface and save my soul from thinking evil thoughts about the person or retaliating with words that I would probably want to take back later and can’t. That’s why it is so important to study God’s words and memorize them. Psalm 119: 11 David said, Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”

It is not enough to hear the words: V. 22-25 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 someone 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 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.” Here it is again: Walk the talk.” We come week after week to hear a sermon. Do we just listen and walk away from here, without examining ourselves to see if we need to make changes in our attitude, our action, our thinking, our doing? Does any of what the preacher says resonate with us personally, or we are thinking that what is said applies to Tom, Dick and Harry but not to me. That is how we become hearers and not doers.

Notice, after you hear, you must look intently into the word- the perfect law which gives us freedom, and if we do what it says, we will be blessed in what we do. Is there anybody here who does not want to be blessed in what you are doing? Notice you have to continue doing it. You do not obey the law or the words for the moment because you are in the zone to do right. It is advantageous for you to do the right thing now, but then forget about it when you see your way out of your situation. You need God’s blessings now. He gives it to you and you succeed. Then in your success, you forget about God, forget His words. No, James says you must continue in the word, not forgetting what you have heard.

The song writer says, “Stay in the fight till the final round, you are not going under, don’t quit, don’t give up the fight.” It is a fight, it is a struggle to always do what is right when everyone around you are doing wrong. Pastor Samuels spoke to us about possessing a relentless spirit and Jennifer spoke to us last week that revival has to begin with us but we need the right attitude. James is saying more or less the same thing in different words. In fact he said don’t deceive yourself into thinking you can be a hearer and not a doer. Our attitude should always be “I want to be a Doer of His word. “ Look at James mirror analogy in v. 23-24 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we fix what is obvious, and we do not even remember what we look like once we get from in front of the mirror.

We can’t afford to have that attitude with God’s words. We must live them out in our lives if we want His blessings in whatever we do. We plant it in our hearts. We must be doers of the word, and not hearers only. If we are hearers and not doers, we are deceiving ourselves.
V. 26
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Here we are reminded how important it is to be slow to speak. This is serious stuff, James says our religion is worthless if we do not keep a tight rein on our tongue. I could preach a whole sermon on this. I counted 29 references to the use of the tongue in my concordance and most of the references had to do with the negative use of the tongue. V. 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. To sum it all up, here is practical religion, go out and do something for people who are in need, like orphans, widows, the homeless, the sick, and keep away from the worldly things that pollute your soul. If you are busy doing what the word says, you won’t have time to be polluted by the world, you are living the word. Be a living sacrifice.
Conclusion: Be quick to hear and slow to speak.
Plant the words in your heart.
Be doers and not hearers only. Live out the word in your life. Bridle your tongue so you do not say things to discourage or damage people’s lives.
Remember what you heard last week: God placed you where you are for a purpose. Don’t quit. Don’t give up the fight, you are not going under, you are an overcomer.
Have you figured out your purpose? Now, “Walk the talk.”