Monday, September 21, 2009

Sermon-on-a-Stick: James and more James

(Sunday’s sermon notes, if you trust my note-taking)

Sunday morning
Whose Fault Is It?
James 1:12-16

Accept responsibility for your ways/sins – my sin is my fault; not God’s fault or Satan’s fault or my parents’ fault or my environment’s fault etc. Romans 4:12 “Each of us will give an account of himself…”

What will we do about temptation/sin? – Adopt the Barney Fife Theory of Dealing with Sin: Nip it in the bud. Because temptation can lead to sin, and sin to heartbreak (v. 14-15).

How to “Barney Up:”
Consider/dwell on consequences of sin.
* It can destroy yourself and others
* It makes God look bad
* It hurts God and others
Have an accountability partner.
* Don’t share your deepest thoughts to just anyone or in Sunday school, but have a person or two you can depend on to tell everything to, a Christian brother or sister you can talk to and share with, someone you know will pray for you and share with you.
We can’t stop the birds from flying overhead, but we can keep them from building a nest in our hair.


Wise or Unwise?
James 3: 13-18

Your Life Shows Your Wisdom

The Wrong Look
Jealousy – not ‘righteous jealousy,’ but the killing kind … familiar with sharp and piercing pains?; this is unwise living.
Selfishness – A mean, unspiritual ambition
This kind of ‘wisdom’ comes not from heaven but is “earthly, unspiritual, of the devil" (vs. 15); it’s from our animal instincts; it’s demonic.
This kind of person wreaks havoc
"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice "
(v. 16); this will wreck EVERYthing in your life.

The Right Look (vs. 17)
Humility is the foundation
Pure – unmixed in motives, clean.
Peace-loving – bring harmony and unity to situations; unwise people create problems.
Considerate – a sweet reasonableness
Submissive – You can be talked to and not be offended. A gentleness under control.
Full of mercy --
Full of good fruit – reflect a good, lovely nature
Impartial – the wise are fair
Sincere – the wise are not fake. They’re not hypocrites.

(verse 18) – The truly wise reap a wonderful harvest. We make things better for ourselves and everyone around us if we are wise in our living.

* Wisdom is proved by what it does. Am I wise by God’s standards? Is my heart right? God can make me and you wise people. We have to be willing to be molded, and we have to remain in the potter’s hand.

(Sermons from Dr. Chris at FBC Ruston)