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The tongue is a fire

The tongue is a fire

James teaches us about the power of our words and our witness – take a look.

James 3:Taming the Tongue

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.

4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,

8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?

12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 4: Warning Against Worldliness

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"?

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbour?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"---

14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."

16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Things to think about…

1.Anybody who wants to be an elder and especially a preaching pastor needs to sit down and have judgement day honesty with the impact and reality of Jam 3:1. Please encourage and pray for anyone who you know who has wrestled with the truth of this verse and proceeded accordingly. The weight and burden of it is very real. The preacher's flesh and the self will of others are always there to lead the pastor away from their primary calling and commitment. Pray this never becomes the case at CBC.

2.James had a right understanding of the tongue, Jam 3:1-12. He uses three analogies of small things that have a great effect – the bit in a horse's mouth, the rudder of a ship, the spark of a fire. Though the tongue is small it has life and death in its use. We follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. Let's use the tongue for life and build each other up with our words. Our words can have an impact for many years, even into eternity, let's use our tongues wisely. James' picture here in all likelihood refers back to his brother and Lord Jesus when he spoke of Lazarus and the rich man after they departed this world in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man was in torment and either his tongue was on fire or he had a tongue (a flame) of fire tormenting him. Either way he was not in a pleasant state. James alludes to this reality for those who reject the accountability we have before God with our words and the use of the tongue.

3.Your theology means nothing if your character is not reflecting the Spirit of Christ. True wisdom James says is on display in a believer's life as witnessed by his character, Jam 3:13-18. Your theology is the same as Satan's if this is not the case – correct, but worthless.

4.James makes some interesting comments. He says "you desire and do not have, so you murder", Jam 4:2. One can only hope that he is speaking figuratively and not literally, after all it is Christians he is addressing. But his brother Jesus once said having hatred towards a brother is the same as murder, Mt 5:21, 22 and worthy of judgement. Fleshly desires crush and squeeze out the work of the Spirit on the heart. If these things affect us and we have worldly desires and carnal attitudes James says we are at "enmity with God", Jam 4:4. The devil wants to take our grace. As this is the case James says humility before the Lord is the only answer –vs 10. God is the Lawgiver and this should be reflected in our love for our brothers in Christ who James calls our neighbours, vs 12.

5.Hey Christian businessman, do you want to know the secret to God's blessing over your business? It's pretty simply, before you make any decisions, ask God first and then don't do anything until you receive an answer from Him, Jam 4:15. This always involves confirmation from His word as well as the Lord orchestrating circumstances that confirm His leading. Anything else you do is based on human strength and pride. James says such boasting is evil, Jam 4:16.

6.The sin of omission is described in Jam 4:16. If you know what you should do before the Lord and the power is within your hand to do it – go and do it. James says doing anything else is sin.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Prayer Points

1.Pray for Tad and his brother Andrew in hospital. Tad has a prostate operation today.

2.Our Community events – once a month on a Sunday in place of the Axiom evening service at church. First one at Chapters on the 23rd Feb – around 4:30pm.

3.Please continue to pray CBC's Mallacoota bushfire appeal. Give thanks for the opportunity we have to serve Cess and his wife Wyonya. You may give now directed in the announcements.

4.Pray for continued follow up rain across Australia – especially NSW and Vic.

5.Christine Denning's mum recovering from a broken femur. Pray as she rehabilitates.

6.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.

7.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

8.Sunday's message on James 3 "The power of a spoken word" - Ps Jay. Axiom:- "JOY – Jesus, Others, yourself – really?"- Jay.

9.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

10.Church finances to meet our expenses.

11.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

Praise Points.

1.Tad's operation was a success – he should be home tomorrow all being well.

2.Tad's brother Andrew is 'miraculously' up and walking around. Pray that the Lord can speak to his soul about Christ now he is on the mend.

3.More visitors on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.

4.New Website being finished this week – Praise God for Melody and Suzie making this happen.

5.Good soaking rains across Eastern Australia this week and over the weekend.

6.Recharge and Kids@Church ministries blessed over the weekend – thankyou leaders. New kids and youth in both ministries.

7.CBC's Mallacoota appeal David Jeffrey of Mallacoota, so far $1870 has been sent and received – thankyou CBC.

8.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

Announcements

1.Whole church - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.

2.1st Community gathering – At Chapters café Karalee 4:30pm Sun 23rd Feb.

3.Member's meeting – A celebration of God's grace over CBC – Sun 23rd February after morning service. Open invitation – all welcome.

4.Bushfire appeal – no target has been set but CBC will be raising money towards fireys and bush fire victims. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"

5.Kids@Church and Recharge parents.Leaders for next Sunday Older group Leader:- Catherine Charlesworth. Lesson :- Hot Air Balloon. Younger Group:-. Fi Beatty, Assistant:- Leah Christensen. Lesson:-Journey to Mars Psalm 119:105

6.Recharge youth 7pm at Church, Fri 7th Feb for all High Schoolers. Recharge parent for this week – Lee Davies.

February's catechism question...

Question. 9. Question:- What do we pray for in the second petition?

Answer. "That the gospel may be preached in all of the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men"

Bible Reference – Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:20-21; Acts 8:12; Acts 28:30-31; 2 Thess. 3:1.



"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

The prayer of the righteous works wonders
The testing of our faith