Hello Beautiful People!
Its amazing to see so many of you on board with the James Challengehaving done the #EstherChallenge , #RuthChallenge and #LWChallenge. For those that still don’t know what it is, don’t worry! The James Challenge is a 5 day challenge, where we read the 5 chapters in the book of James in the Bible! It is not just about reading, I would love for us to share our understanding of what we have read with each other, so as you read, feel free to hashtag #JamesChallenge if you have twitter. In addition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your notes for each chapter, or a summary and I will put it up on this blog page!
The book of James really focuses on our attitudes and behaviours as Christians which I believe is so key in really getting the most out of our Christian walk and abiding in God’s will for us! I look forward to the next 5 days and I am always eager to learn from you all! Some points I haven’t touched on in my summary are covered in everyone elses contributions, so I didn’t want to repeat and bore you all!
Day Three – Chapter Three
KEY POINTS FOR ME:
Tame that small tongue, get your heart right!
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Now I understand why when I prayed on Monday morning God was speaking to me about my communication. These were the words that came into my heart, some of you might have seen it on my facebook status. ”All communication carries power. I think thats what I’ll meditate on this week. Be it the words that one says or what we write or our body language. All communication carries power. Power to build or to destroy.”
James not only stresses on the detrimental nature of the tongue, but he touches on the hypocrisy of man. Verse 9 and 10 depict current day Christians, where we speak recklessly and carelessly during the week, but when it comes to Sunday or when it comes to praying our, Christianese language comes out and we start glorifying God. God is not a fool nor is he mocked. Rather we are the ones that are foolish in thinking that we can play Him.
Revelation 3:16 and James 1:8 talks about the fate of those that are double minded in their faith which as we’ve learned must be accompanied by actions! Our actions are our fruits and by their fruits you shall know them. In the same way an orange tree can not produce apples, nor can a salt spring produce fresh water, a true believer should not produce fruits of ungodliness, foul words, hurtful actions.
There is no mix and match or partiality, its either you’re entire being strives for holiness or not. There is no such thing as a good Christian or a bad Christian, you are either a Christian or you are not. Its very simple.
The fruits you produce are a direct reflection of what has been planted! So its time to do some uprooting! James says in verse 8 that no human being can tame the tongue. I believe the reason he says this is be because the issue is not just to do with the tongue, it is to do with the heart!
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
The function of your mouth is a product of the things that dwell in your heart. In order to tame your tongue, you must first examine your heart and get it right with God. How do I get my heart right with God?
- You need to go to Him with a broken spirit and a contrite heart (repentant heart) – Isaiah 51.
- Willingly accept the beautiful exchange; I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh – Ezekiel 36:26.
- You need to starting setting your heart on the things that are above, that are Godly, so that what proceeds from your mouth has a source of godliness! – Colossians 3:1-4
What is the source your wisdom?
Wisdom is the knowledge we need to live in this life and to interact with our circumstances and with those around us. James compares the two basic sources for wisdom–from God or from the world around us.
Again the scripture of by their fruits you shall know them is reiterated!
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
These are the fruits of worldly wisdom. And we have all seen and experienced the truth of this statement in our lives. The wisdom of the world which comes comparison with others is really “anti-wisdom” as it leads to nothing but destruction and death. We learnt in day 1 of the challenge not to compare the market! Yet, it is regarded as sophisticated and advanced but James is clear there is nothing good that can come out of our trying to justify our jealousies. There can be no good result when we are motivated to protect, advance, focus on ourselves at the expense of others. There is no security or peace when everyone is primarily concerned for their own interests. There is no humility in this type of wisdom!
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James is describing the wisdom that God has first towards us! This is who He is:
- pure, Everything God says is pure; he is a shield for those who take refuge in him – Proverbs 30:5
- peace-loving, For God is not a God of disorder but of peace – 1 Corinthians 14:33
- considerate and submissive, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”- Matthew 11:28-29
- full of mercy, For the LORD your God is a merciful God – Deuteronomy 4:31
- good fruits, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” – James 1:18–not to mention that He is the Creator, and all the good fruits of this world are His”
- Impartial and sincere, God is just – 2 Thessalonians 1:6
God is wise in all these ways towards us and He wants to be the same towards everyone. So As James 1:5 says ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’. Let us get the right wisdom!