Practical Wisdom from the Book of James
Taming our Tongue James 3:1-12
November 5, 2017
Pastor John Lloyd
Passage: James 3:1-12
The Principle: “A little member has great power to influence.”
Review: Three things that are critical for genuine faith: Controlling tongue, caring for the needy, and avoiding worldliness.
I. Remember the ___________________ of a teacher.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 1:19, 1:26)
Job 40:4 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
Isaiah 6:5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”(Numbers 12:3, Ps.106;33)
I Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
“The more you know the greater your responsibility and condemnation. We are not to teach to satisfy our own needs, but to bring glory to God and to deliver His Word accurately to the eternal benefit to those who hear us.” Ellsworth
“Our plea is not for perfect people to go about the work of teaching, it is rather for imperfect people to go about the work in a serious and diligent way, praying, as they do so, that the Lord will be pleased to use them in their weakness.” Ellsworth
We are influencing through our Words.
II. Submit your desperate need for _________ in this area.
James 3:2 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.
“Do you want to achieve spiritual maturity? Concentrate on your talking! If you get this under control the rest will be relatively easy for you. Give attention to your speech.” Ellsworth
“We all sin in many times and many ways. About 9/10’s of the flames we experience in our lives come from the tongue.” Kent Hughes
James 3:8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (Matthew 12:36)
A. The ______________ is where we’re most vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.
James 3:6 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.
The horse and the bit James 3:3
The ship and the rudder James 3: 4
Small spark and a great forest fire, James 3:5
B. The world ensnares us through our ______________.
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
Lord, I can’t tame my tongue without your help! I need you! Give God control of the rudder and He will control the ship!
III. Draw from the well of the __________ ______________.
James 3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
A. See God’s ____________ in every person.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
B. Let your __________, lead you to the __________.
James 3:10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (Psalm 19:14)
Matthew 12:34 “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Isaiah 50:4)
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 81:10)
C. Begin sowing a new crop of ______________________.
James 3:11 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.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (Ephesians 4:29)
Admit the problem. No Excuses. Ask God for Help. Ask friends for help.
Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others- ignoring God! – harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8 The Message).
Use my words… to build your kingdom, to build people!
Lord, I recognize that it is impossible for me to control my tongue. Help me to continually give my words to you. Realizing that these words come from my mind, I give my thoughts to you as well. Help me to think your thoughts, to see that I am your child and that I matter to you. May the words of my mouth be pleasing to you and edifying to those who listen. Show me step by step how to do this as I rely on your Spirit’s wisdom and words. I want my words to glorify you!