What a blessed morning we had today! We pray these notes will help you review and meditate on this important text this week. Let’s continue to urge and encourage one another on in the faith.
- What are some of the church needs you’re aware of?
- Who in the church needs your intercession?
- What are you and your loved ones praying for at the moment?
- What wider situations can you pray into?
Continuing our series in James, we looked at James 3:1-12. Take the time to re-read the text. What’s striking is the breadth and frequency that God’s Word speaks to the power of words, from the Creation of all things through God’s mighty speech, to our redemption, bought by the Word made Flesh.
There are many proverbs to consider, too. Read each of:
Taming the Tongue
James’ words are full of vivid imagery to make his points. These are:
- The tongue is disproportionately destructive for its size
- No one can, by their own willpower, keep from sinning with the tongue.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 tells us that there’s “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” As Jeremiah discovered in Jeremiah 20:8-9, he was unable to hold the Word of God back; he had to speak it forth. Wisdom knows when to speak, and when to keep silent.
- Are you conscious of how your own words have had great influence or caused damage?
- Similarly, have you ever received a “word fitly spoken” (Prov 25:11)?
- Do you find your words are easily influenced by other people? Do you spend too much time with those who negatively influence you?
Our Words Reveal Our Hearts
Verses 11 and 12 make it clear: our words are merely the product of our hearts:
Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
When we are prayerful and content, worshipful and trusting, it is natural to speak good things. But what happens when we are fearful? When we are frustrated or angry? When we are proud or arrogant?
Ultimately, the solution is that we need a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26), which we receive in Christ by faith. We saw this in Isaiah 6. However, as long as we remain in the body, we are still influenced by our old nature.
- Are there situations and contexts that stir up your old nature? Can you avoid them?
- Are there situations and contexts that stir up your spirit? Can you linger longer there?
Remember, James says that “we all stumble in many way.” Let this not be a time of judgement but of deeper repentance. We need to continually come to Christ in prayer and through His Word to receive renewal and transformation. The answer is not to try harder to guard our tongues! As David prayed:
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
Keep Each Other Accountable
Remember, your Connect Group is meant to be a place you can safely share your struggles and know your brothers/sisters who love you will pray for you.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Pray for One Another
Share your prayer needs and requests. Commit to pray for one another, not just now but throughout the week.