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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we continue our series from the book of James titled The practical Expression of Our Faith in Daily Living.

Today we are talking about Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak.

Text

James 1:19-20 AMP

19 Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; 

20 for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us].

Scripture Reading

James 1:13-21 (AMP)

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 

14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 

15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. 

16 Do not be misled, my beloved brothers and sisters. 

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes]. 

18 It was of His own will that He gave us birth [as His children] by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creatures [a prime example of what He created to be set apart to Himself—sanctified, made holy for His divine purposes].

19 Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; 

20 for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. 

21 So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls.

Prayer

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

The most difficult problem people have in regard to sin is to confess that they are wrong, that they are guilty.

If you were to visit a jail and ask prisoners why they are there, you would get all kinds of answers.

some would say, “I didn’t do anything, it was the people with me. I just happened to get caught!”

Others would say, “I didn’t have a fair trial!”

And another might say, “The judge made a mistake, someone else is guilty, and I’m paying for his crime!”

Remember how Adam, when he yielded to temptation in the garden of Eden, turned to God and said in Genesis 3:12, “The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then when Eve was confronted with her sin in Genesis 3:13 she said, “The serpent beguiled and deceived me, and I ate [from the forbidden tree].”

What is the problem?

All of these excuses are given by people in order to exonerate themselves.

The hardest thing in the world for a person to say is, “Im guilty, I’m suffering the consequences of my own sin.”

So James began this section of his letter by discussing a problem that was current in his day as well as ours, who is to blame for our sin?

  1. First, James told us where to place the blame for temptation.
  1. James referred to temptation in the sense of outward trials, troubles and afflictions of all kinds in verses 2-12.

First he described temptation as a thing, an object, even the person who could be the source of our fall.

But the the word changed to tempted, suggesting an act, or action.

He was talking about an inward enticement to commit sin, to do evil.

Of course there is a connection between the two.

Outward trials are often the occasion for inward temptation to do evil.

The we fail to stand successfully in the face of outward trials, the result mat be a stirring up of evil impulses and desires and ultimately the committing of open sin against God.

B. Who is responsible when temptation comes?

Is God implicated in any way at all?

God does send trials.

Scriptural evidence supports this fact, have a look at Genesis 22:1, Deuteronomy 8:2, and 2 Chronicles 32:31.

But is God answerable for the evil effect these trials produce the we refuse to allow them to serve their intended purposes in our lives?

James was both positive and conclusive when he said in verse 13, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one.

C. James resolved the problem, verse 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion).

Those who yield to temptation have no one to blame but themselves!

In verse 15 James showed how our lustful desires produce actual sins.

When a person surrenders to lust, conception takes place, and lust gives birth to sin.

Sin has its roots in human nature, and humans must bear full responsibility for their evil deeds.

2. James proceeded to talk about the true character of God.

James did not attempt to give a deep, theological description of God.

Rather, in two short sentences, he drew back the curtain and gave us a beautiful statement about God.

  1. He said that God is a beneficent God.

He is a heavenly Father who longs to do good and beautiful things for His children.

In the previous verses, James had approached God from a negative standpoint, telling us that God is not the author of evil in our lives.

Here he became strongly positive in verse 17, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father.”

B. He said that God is immutable, unchangeable.

James had already said that a person is often as unstable as the wind tossed waves of the sea.

But he said that there is never a moment of variation with God.

James used two terms from astronomy to make this point.

“Variation” and “shadow of turning” were used in ancient times to describe the movement of the heavenly bodies.

People do not always interpret God’s actions as good, but James said that there is no variance in His goodness.

So what is God like?

He is the beneficent giver, the unchangeable lover, and the purposeful Creator.

3. James said when to be quick and when to be slow.

Verse 19 says, “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];”

What did James mean by this?

He was talking about a person’s readiness or eagerness to listen to God’s Word.

Listening is not the easiest thing a person does.

Thus James may have been referring to the attitude of reverent and quiet attention to the Word of God.

This may also relate to what James said later about those who were so eager to be teachers that they had no time to be students!

In other words, they could not hear God adequately because they were so quick to speak, to give their opinion about everything.

Look at Ecclesiastes 5:2, Do not be hasty with your mouth [speaking careless words or vows] or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter before God. For God is in heaven and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.

James made four key points in verse 21.

Our duty is to receive the Word of God.

First we must “lay apart all filthiness.”

We must perform this duty with meekness.

Our incentive is that God’s Word can save our souls.

Conclusion.

The chief glory of God’s Word is that it has the ability to save our souls.

We are saved when we repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of our lives.

We are being saved as we allow God’s word, activated within us by the Holy Spirit, to bring about spiritual growth and the development of godly character.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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