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James 1:19 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
About-Him.Com Devotional 04-21-2018
Do We Talk the Walk or Walk the Talk?
This paragraph starts out with the word wherefore which calls our attention to what James has been talking about in the previous verses. His last statement was that every good and perfect gift comes from God above. We were begotten of God by His word of truth. Being born of God, we bear His image and people should be able to see Him in our every word and deed. Note that I said “should.” There is no variableness in God, neither should there be in us.
Jesus is our perfect example: Isaiah tells us that the Lord God had given Him the tongue of the learned, that He might be able to speak a word, in season, to him that is weary (Isa. 50:4). Jesus spoke from the very heart of God. He told us in John 14:10 the words that He spoke were not His own but those of the Father who dwelled in Him. So it should be with us. Jesus never spoke hastily. Even when He spoke words of condemnation, such as to the Pharisees, He always spoke in truth and He always spoke in love. He spoke with the goal of repentance and restoration of the one to whom He was speaking.
I’m sure that you’ve heard it said that whenever we speak we should pass our words through three gates: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Proverbs 15:1 ¶ A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 15:4 ¶ A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. I remember years ago, a young friend went to the altar of repentance. His step-father met him there and began to rake him over and tell him just how bad he was. The boy left the altar and I’m not sure if he ever made peace with God, before he died. Which begs the question: Have my words ever had that effect on a struggling soul?
1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Superfluity of naughtiness means an overflowing of wickedness. Obviously some of the people to whom James was writing were so affected, as are professing Christians today. There is a simple cure and antidote for this i.e. the engrafted word of God. God’s word cannot be separated from His person. His word produced a perfect creation. His word entered this world as a child and dwelled among us. His word produces spirit and life. God’s word is the sword of His Spirit (Ep. 6:17). It is alive and very powerful. It is so sharp that it is able to separate soul and spirit and the joints and marrow, and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb. 4:12). We can’t hide from God’s word, so it’s much better to let Him work His perfect will in our lives. Psalms 119:130 ¶ The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. Jeremiah 23:29 [Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces?
Aren’t you thankful for the word of God which took resident in your heart and caused you to receive the gospel?
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
When we receive the seed of the word of God, it contains the spiritual DNA of God Himself. It becomes engrafted into our souls and is now an integral part of our being. Just as apple seeds produce apples, the incorruptible seed of the word of God brings forth godly fruit that is identical to God Himself (Ep. 5;9, Ga. 5:22).
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Folks have no interest is what we say, if our walk doesn’t match up to our talk. it sounds paranoid, but it’s true, our unsaved co-workers watch and mark our every word and deed. If our walk doesn’t match our talk, then sadly we become nothing more than a laughing stock.
James 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
James uses the analogy of looking into a mirror and noticing our imperfections, but doing nothing to correct them. How often do we see folks who are brought to tears by a gospel song or moved by a stirring sermon, but their lives remain unchanged. This certainly applies to the sinner, but it applies to believing Christians also. Moved, but not changed. I trust that we don’t fall into that category.
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Jesus delivered us from the curse of the Old Testament law, but that doesn’t free us from all restraints. In times past we were bound by the law of sin and death. When we were born again, we became new creatures in Christ (2 Co. 5:17). Now we gladly submit to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. We desire to please the One who gave His life for us.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
James doesn’t pull any punches, does he? All of our ritual and religiosity is in vain if we can’t control our mouths. The pure religion that pleases God is when we recognize that we are simply the hand of God extended to a lost and dying world. We have an obligation to personally reach out to the helpless. We also must live separate from and above this world. Like oil and water, God and the world simply do not mix (1 Jn. 2:15-17).
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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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