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September 21, 2021 12:00 am
Swimming in an ocean of information and the ability for communication. Our generation has come to prefer soundbites and video clip. Typical television show never has one scene. The last thing any longer from somewhere between eight and 10 seconds Emily what we see and what we hear about what we are swimming in has has the ability to provide for us nation transform inevitably come into our lives also learned that we are to fight against temptation.
But how do we embrace suffering with joy and how do we remain strong in our fight against sin. We don't always feel God's joy when were in the midst of a really difficult time and often we grow weaker become distracted or we simply choose to give up in our fight against sin. James deals with this and that's the theme of Stephen Davies message today stay with us recently read that there are now 3000 new books published every single day throughout our world.
The number of text messages sent every single day. Now exceeds the total population of the world of learned also that if you happen to read the New York Times newspaper for one week. You will be exposed to more information than the average person living in the 1800s came across in their entire lifetime were literally inundated with information ardently. The ability to communicate with each other is greater than ever, thanks to the world wide web the explosion of everything from online advertising online commerce online shopping online dating online business online research.
I'm glad for it frankly because of the tremendous potential we have for the gospel of Jesus Christ through Internet streaming and the websites were recording today. A sermon from this microphone transmitted to a computer which is recording it digitally. It will be edited on a computer digitally and then it will be formatted into a program that will be emailed to some kind of Internet holdings site somewhere out there that can be accessed by radio stations that then send them the transmitter to places around the world. I don't frankly understand any of what I just said but I don't supposed to talk, preach and teach, not a podcast is anybody here lightning not know yet but I'm grateful for the technology 60,000 time this month, summoning a podcast from our website. A sermon from 25 to 30 different countries. On average, the potential for the gospel of Christ is staggering that English alone were swimming in an ocean of information and the ability for communication. Our generation has come to prefer soundbites and video clips. Typical television show never has one scene. The last thing any longer than from somewhere between 8 to 10 seconds in length. What we see and what we hear what we are swimming in has has the ability to provide for us information but not transforming 3000 books a day can inform you and encourage you and move you and maybe even mislead you, but only one book can transform you back writing to his spiritual son of the faith. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy from childhood you have known the sacred writings, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Second Timothy 315.
Other sources can entertain us.
This book alone can awaken us right one apostle Timothy to go out and get into the word to literally train himself in the word for the purpose of God to train the word to give us a word exercise to not do transliterate gives us gymnasium the word you go it, as it were any work up a sweat and work and that that creates a different mental image for as dozen we think about getting into the Bible.
The average Christian's idea of devotions is to open the Bible and say okay Lord, give me a verse for today something really catchy, something you know really zingy speak to me.
Yes, and by the way, we will have five minutes so hurry. The Bible is an interested hurry.
It intends to transform you by the renewing of your mind that is literally changing the way. Think and forget it Rob the faith of James is ever passionate about maturity is the main thing with this book. So far he has challenged us and how to respond to think about difficult trials and that is moved along to tell us the challenge is how to think about how to respond to temptation and now is going to challenge us with how to approach divine truth, beginning in verse 19 look there. James chapter 1.
This you know, my beloved brethren, Melanie stop there just for a moment. You need to understand this is another imperative James is effectively saying you need to know this.
You gotta get this right.
He said you need to understand this. So to class or to fast if you want to be prepared for the tests of life. James says something you need to know by the way he's going to give us five imperatives for the believer. As you approach divine truth. We could call these five ways to approach God's word for maximum spiritual maturity in the first way is to come with your ears open. Let's look further as you know, everyone, everyone of you must be the imperative quick to hear. Now many readers that I got myself don't study this little more thoroughly will take this first plot out of context and turn into a general statement. This is one of God's why sayings it is wise it is from God, but isn't just saying. Be quick to listen, you don't go home and say your spouse have I found a verse for you will revolutionize our marriage here is James one know what he say there are other verses you give your husband not this one like that James is actually talking about listening eagerly and readily and primarily to the word of truth.
That's the context of earth earlier verse 18 tells us of the word of truth brings us to spiritual life go further and it tells us here's how you were to receive the word of truth. And here's how you want to do the work for the context is responding to the words of God are facing difficult trials. Are you ready are you quick to hear the word of God's thought maybe the reason for not passing the test, maybe the reason for not overcoming temptation is because God's word is the last place we go we listen to everybody else. We listen to everything else. Finally, maybe we come to the divine tuner which is the word of God and listen here James is commanding us to literally listen eagerness for the word of God understand as well like broadly context, some take you back to the first century. You need to understand with the date of this epistle being early, which means the New Testament is not been completed. These letters are circulating. They have the stamp of authenticity. They are from the pen of an apostle is been discipled by Christ. These are written with the stamp of authority late date they resonate spiritually. They agree and content. They were well accepted and agreed upon by the early church before ever a list was garnered by some counsel in here come the letters you need to understand that a church service could be nothing more than the reading of a letter and it would be the congregation's part to be eager to listen the idea. So when he says a believer should be quick to listen, is referring to an attitude as a person listens to the truth of the word and eagerness to hear for our generation, perhaps another listening is becoming an art of the past, but I would also save really hard, probably because you go all the way back to the time of Christ, and you hear Jesus say to the Pharisees and the religious leaders had never heard a number of course they had they had heard, but they were not sitting. The problem wasn't that they were hard of hearing. The problem is there part of listening. So yes, our generation is challenged like never before. But it is the same problem.
Here's the point if you want to grow prepared, be eager not to listen to everybody else. First and foremost, listen to the word of God to open your ears. Okay, second, close your mouth. Verse 19.
You need to know this get this right, everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, the adjectives by the way, here in this text. Quick and slow do not describe our action.
They describe are added to and what it means is when you come to the word and you are confronted by the word be slow to talk back.
You may not like what God's word is say you temptation your face can probably go to the word you don't like where God's leading. Keep in mind again a little bit broader context of the assembly in the first century nearly church services were very informal. Often the listeners would speak out. Speak up debate.
The speaker seems to be exactly what Paul is referring to in Ephesus when he told Timothy out into the coppersmith did me much harm house at all well first of all want and I want the Lord to retain forms. These he vigorously opposed my teaching Mina do that today while preaching I appreciate that you might be doing it part I like what he say like what got us because his words may be inconvenient or uncomfortable, demanding, and we are tempted to quickly talk back.
One of the marks of maturity is the ability to keep talking quickly right how they do it today, but I remember in elementary school when I was going through third grade 4th grade. Then we had a report card and add two sides to it. One side was the grade and the other side were those comments by teachers and about your parents but my parents cared more about the time inside then the grade so I could get a B+ in spelling.
That was my favorite subject and I typically pulled the B+ may be in a whatever they they didn't care if there was something written on the other side by that same teacher like he talks too much in class or he's disrupted in class or he has difficulty remaining quiet in in class. I remember all those the B+ didn't matter. My parents ignored that they were twisted and made me memorize that classic quote by Abraham Lincoln. Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. You had to memorize it to hated the convicting one of the marks of spiritual maturity is the ability to keep talking need to be listening. Joe is a wonderful illustration he's going through massive transformation.
He was peerless among the wise men of the East. He was the epitome of authority thrown into turbulence, like we can hardly imagine his friends come along and they begin to talk any talk back and thrust of his talking is I demand an explanation. God eventually shows up to speak the text is so wonderful where Job responds with I laid my hand upon my what can I say to you, so keep your ears open. Keep your mouth closed 1/3 way to gain the most from your tutor, the word of God is thoroughly to keep your spirit teachable. Now explain how I get to that point. But you see what he says here he says everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. If we turn this around and I showed it to you in a negative way made. Maybe it explains that the digression begins with not listening and hear a little bit.
I want to talk back my way I'm going to become angry. James goes on by the weighty taxes on the shoulder. He said he would God remember verse 20. Look, there the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God understand James to be saying anger with God because of what he says in his word does not bring about right living with God.
It literally hijacks the process we don't get what we deserve. We get angry with God.
James is saying we accomplish nothing that we only make matters worse, truth is in the spiritual world are temporary accomplishes nothing but trouble meeting. More about we don't listen we talk back. We get were setting ourselves and don't forget James is writing to Christians, Jewish Christians, by the way, who had their lives turned upside down is writing verse one to the DS. The dispersion the disinherited, the disenfranchised, the dismissed the remove wines from their homeland and everything James is saying there feeling they're struggling. The world is been flipped upside down. James is a very hard things to say and we've Artie looked at a number and I think it's almost humorous how James begins because he knows he is even harder things to say to begins. Verse 19 this you know you need to get this notice this, my beloved brethren brother whom I love I love you know I say some really hard thing is James point.
If you have an spirit. We do not have a teachable spirit. In fact, the process has been cut off. So we approached the tutor of divine truth with open ears, a closed mouth, teachable spirit. Fourth, become with clean hands with the verse 21. James writes therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wicked. The apostle Paul is using the same idea as he expands this thought to the Ephesians, he talks about sin as it is as if it were dirty, putrid clothing the same idea James put it away.
Take it off the writers of divine Scripture, call it what it is, in fact, James selects two words to serve as categorical references to sin in the first one he says it is still thing that's just cutting right to use the word repowering, which is a word used in both dirty clothing and in moral file since effectively put aside things in action, activity that are morally the filing of the word James uses here used here for wickedness is a word that the notes again. Moral evil and corruption, but the difference is word for wickedness is something that may never be expressed. It may never be acted out, it can stay right in. Nobody comes James is talking about outward actions that are morally and in word thoughts that are morally the filing pieces deal with all verse 21 is is and all that remain of wickedness. He needs to deal with the abundance of doesn't mean you're going to get rid of it all and read some state of moral perfection.
One of the marks of maturing the Lord is growing more and more trouble more and more intolerant of both external sins of the flesh internal hidden sins of the heart illustrate this very quickly. I was reading Spears that he got his word study James excellent work study will illustration of an incident in an Indian setting you've ever been there. Church settings are much like first century is very informal and people talk ask questions, and unbelieving skeptic was listening to an evangelist, preach about the burden of sin and interactive and sarcastically said, I feel no. How heavy is 10 pounds hundred pounds evangelist answered with a question tell me he said to the man if you laid 100 pounds on a corpse.
Would it feel the load the man responsible notes that evangelist said exactly that spirit to his dead which fields the loads. James had every reason to believe that these dispersed Jewish Christians were struggling just like we would with the propensity to sin. The benefit to sin and as believers feel the slightest sin say you're headed in right direction deal with. There are certain things God does not choose to do for us. We are supposed to exercise is why these are imperatives you do this when you choose and you act will find the cooperating power of the Spirit to enable but you can't say when you know that when God does a farming to do that yourself. So the audience would on Manolo's race without a charity city window firming little church and every time you go, the same man would pray the same prayer list.
Sin somewhat generic. You know what we would do church service and any would pray, O Lord, the cobwebs have again come between you and me. Please would you clear the cobwebs away every week. Same any then same way, Lord, please clear away the cobwebs filing older Christian pray right afterwards Lord, would you have until the spy good deal with sin, clean hands make much of the word of God. James writes there's another thing here you come with open ears, a closed mouth, teachable spirit clean hands finally come with a humble heart.
Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness and humility receive the word implanted is able to save your souls receive the word. How do you receive something that has already been implanted. Was he mean the planting of the seed which is a reference to the word of God has already taken place in the soil of our hearts there. It's buried in the soil of a believing heart at conversion. So we receive it we can understand it better when you think of it as well, it you nurture that seed you water that see you pull the leaves away from that is growing in. James writes if you do that it will rescue you and it will save you misery and guilt and sorrow and consequences because of rebellion and disobedience, sing, listen to the tutor put out the welcome mat in your life for the word of God. How you put out the welcome he says you do that by approaching the word of God with an attitude of humility. We go to the were now the attitude of I get something to teach you something you need to be aware of. But Lord, I need you to teach me. I need to listen.
I need to speak less.
I need to hear better boredom.
I'm still here I'm open. I'm ready for tenant. I am an open book to your inspired book things I'm ready to grow.
She James here wants believer to whatever trouble to listen to the word to go for passages, Thanksgiving and praise when were trouble dig here for words of comfort and encouragement in times of confusion to search here for wisdom and direction when tempted to to search out God's standards of purity and righteousness. For that accompanying power to resist as we act in agreement with his word. The word becomes our source of deliverance, the word becomes our most welcome friend that only because of what it preserves and protects us from, but also because of what it delivers us to intimate communion with the author God himself. Maybe the best thing you can do is to get a copy of the Bible marked up.
You can study it. It isn't an attachment to your life and somewhere under the front seat of the car in the back closet or maybe even on your desk but it but it's something to study Peru's memorize word. I heard it said that the Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who is to the question isn't how can we spend so much time in this book.
But how can we afford to.
So like young Samuel was beginning to mature we learn to say, speak, Lord, your servant is ready to listen, I'm willing to follow Dr. James prescription for approaching the word.
My heart is humbled by hands or clans by spiritist teachable. My mouth is close my ears are open. I'm ready for another session with my divinely inspired to teach God's unfailing true, maybe right where you're standing. God's spirit is revoke your heart and mind. It may be related to this text that we studied. It may be unrelated and you need to say to him now more okay. I'm willing to start something I'm willing to begins discipline my life something you've provoked my heart's and obey this message from his word hasn't day. Steve and Dave. He is teaching through the early verses of James in this series called bringing faith down to earth. Today's message is entitled tutored by truth.
This is wisdom for the heart, a daily Bible lesson produced by wisdom international. I encourage you to install our app to your phone so that you can quickly and easily access all of our Bible-based resources. That app contains the audio in the transcript of each of these daily Bible messages. We also make available the archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry with full-length sermons arranged by book of the Bible you can follow along in our daily Bible reading plan and more the wisdom international app will work with your smart phone your tablet or smart TV people from all over the world are accessing these resources each day, and I encourage you to do the same. Our app is free to install and use and is a great companion for your personal Bible study were so glad you were with us today. I'm Scott Wiley and for Steven and all of us here at wisdom. I thank you for listening. I hope you be with us for our next Bible lesson right here on wisdom for the heart