< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: James 1:19-25 a Mini Worship Guide

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

James 1:19-25 a Mini Worship Guide

Dan Dumas, Senior Pastor at East Baptist in Louisville, KY was our guest minister a couple Sundays ago. He told us that James 1:19-25 is a mini worship guide.

That got my attention!

James 1:19-25 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James is full of crisp clear commands.

This passage tells us that on Sunday mornings we need to be an active listener. When scripture talks about “hearing” it assumes obeying. James had begun his book telling his readers how to handle trials and then temptations. Now he tells us how to handle truth in the context of corporate worship.

There are six disciplines for expository listening:

1.      Open your ears. Back when James wrote this they didn’t have a New Testament. His was the first book written in it. So they had to listen intently. “Take note.” “Be quick to listen.” “Never forget.” Today we still need to go to church prepared to listen.

2.      Close your mouth. This is a companion discipline to listening: listen more and talk less! Be careful about what you say. Don’t promise God things you won’t do. Don’t make rash commitments. In Matthew Jesus said we will be accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth.

3.      Control your temper. Stay in control. Anger inhibits worship because it quenches the spirit. Anger drives everyone away, including God.

4.      Cleanse your heart. Put aside all filthiness and wickedness. This is part of sanctification. You are to put off some things and put on others. And it’s not just one or the other. For example: put off anger and put on peace. Get rid of anything that corrupts or affects our ability to hear and 1 John 1:9 promises us that when we confess our sins He will cleanse us.

5.      Mortify your pride. Don’t be arrogant. “With meekness receive the word of God.” Be teachable.

6.      Move your feet to action. “Be doers of the word.” What are you going to do about the sermon you just heard? About the passage you just read?

 The one who sees himself in the mirror; hears the word and applies it, will be blessed.

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