We are almost finished with 2016. Can you believe that? We are ten months in and there are only two months left in the year. Most people that intend on making resolutions wait until the last week of December. The journey for them will begin on January 1 or 2, depending on the person. They may go all in and do well for a week or two. However, you don’t reach the top of the mountain (your goal) in two weeks. By week three or four, most people have already given up and quit. They tapped out. They threw in the towel. They are done.
I want to encourage you to develop a new strategy.
If you want to stick to new resolutions, you have to develop new habits and new ways of doing things.
So, instead of waiting until the last week of the year to make resolutions, go ahead and do a review of your life now. What are things that you want to change? What are the things you need to change? What have you done in the past that did not work? Learn from those mistakes so that you can do something differently and get better results.
How is your spiritual journey? We said at the beginning of 2016 that you should not be the same person at the end of the year that you were when you started. There should be a change in you. Don’t give up no matter where you are at.
I invite you to lay the groundwork now for 2017. I invite you to start. Start making changes now in the areas you want and need to change so that by the time January 1 gets here, you have already created new habits in the areas that you need change or in the areas that you want to grow in.
Join me on this journey. I look forward to taking you with me.
Here are the notes from the sermon on Sunday:
The text for this sermon is from: James 3:1-12. The title of this sermon is: The Power of Words.
This is week 5 in our Faith Works series.
Words have power. They have power to influence. They have power to create change. They have the power to persuade. They have the power to challenge. They have the power to build and the power to destroy.
Because of this, James says, that small things can cause great results or more specifically, the tongue is a fire.
Let’s jump in.James 3:1-12
Teachers are held to a higher standard. We see James say that teachers will be judged with greater strictness.Luke 12:48 Hebrews 13:17
This is the verse that weighs heavy on me. I want to be careful how I teach and what I teach because I am being held accountable by God. I don’t know how other “preachers” can stand in front of people and tell them things that are not true or lead them further from the Bible. A Bible teacher needs to be diligent in their study so that they can speak grace and truth. This goes for any teacher of children to adults.
However, for the Bible teacher, they don’t just teach with their words, they teach with their life. They are also going to be held accountable for the way they live because a Bible teacher should be living in such a way that their life is being shaped by Scripture.
You will be held accountable for the way you live your life but a Bible teacher is held to a higher standard for the words they use and the life they live because they are a living, breathing example of a disciple who is walking in the Scripture and then teaching others how to do the same.
A Bible teacher’s motto: 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ
Vs 2 – 12 Here is a reason for why we need grace and mercy. We all stumble in many ways. We need grace – not for us to abuse it but for us to humbly progress in sanctification as we are being led and directed by the Holy Spirit.
A person that does not stumble in what he says, is perfect. This person is able to guard their mouth and heart. They are able to keep their bodies in check because they will not do anything that is immoral or dishonoring. They are a master at discipline.
Discipline is awesome. We need discipline. Discipline is where we get the word disciple from. However, we are not called to perfection. We are called to holiness. We are told to be holy because Jesus is holy.
The Bible does not put a classification on words. The Bible does not consider words to be good or bad. God created language. God also said that everything He has made is good. It is always humans that take what God has made and jacks it up.
Because the Bible does not categorize words as good, awesome, wicked, evil, powerful, disgusting whatever…it does give us guidelines on how to use words.Ephesians 4:29
If there is a word that you want to use and you cannot use the word to lift up, edify, encourage, show love or compassion, you should not use it.Proverbs 18:21
Our words reveal what is in our hearts.Matthew 12:34-37
It is about what you say and how you say it. Every word you speak and how you speak it reveals immediately what is in your heart.
Sometimes it is the words that are not spoken that do as much damage as the words that are spoken.
- A wife needs to know that she is loved and cherished.
- A husband needs to know that he is loved and respected.
- Children need to know that they are loved and their parents are proud of them.
You do not learn or grow from speaking. Wisdom, knowledge and faith all come from hearing.
The words you use can point people to Jesus or point them away from Jesus.
Take your words into account. Weigh your words before you use them. This is not easy but if you practice this, you can create a new habit of speaking blessing instead of cursing.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
If you liked this post, please like and share. If you would like to share your thoughts on these sermon notes or any of the other sermons in the James series, head over to my Facebook page and join the conversation.