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Title:  James 3:1-12

Series: James

Teacher:  Jaime Ledesma

Date: July 11, 2013

Description: James chapter 3:1-12 is all about the power of the tongue and how it relates with God and people created in His image. 

Key Scriptures:  James 3:1-12

 

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Isn't it wonderful to find a water fountain with really cold water when you're walking through the park on a really hot day?  That feeling you get when your thirst is quenched and you feel the refreshing coldness of the water rush through your body is truly revitalizing.

What if you didn't know whether the fountain in the park had fresh or bitter water?  Would you still be as excited to find that fountain?  What if the fountain had both fresh and bitter water and you could never tell which you would get?  Would you even bother drinking from it?

James 3:10-11 stood out in my head when thinking of this analogy.  James really hits a hard topic here.  He states that "from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?"  How many times have we found ourselves in this situation?  I know I have personally been guilty of this.  There have been times in my life where I have been a fountain of blessing but then someone said or did something to me and I instantly became a fountain of death.  If we're all honest, I'm pretty sure most of us can relate to this.  This doesn't only apply to others, it also applies to us and sometimes that's the harder one to notice.

In my teaching on these verses I relate a about time in my life where all I did was speak death over myself.  I could never be good enough, smart enough or sinless enough.  This in turn got me into a huge rut of low self esteem that took me on a downward spiral.  God would give a word of blessing over my life and He would tell me the great things I would achieve through Him yet I couldn't get beyond what my tongue would declare over myself.  I couldn't feel worthy enough because I had done so much wrong.  How could God use someone like me?  How can His promises apply to my life?  I allowed what my tongue said to be greater than what God declared over my life.

James compares our tongue to the bit in the horse’s mouth and the rudder of a ship.  Both are relatively small compared to the large size of what they control.  With the horse’s bit you can guide it to the exact location you want it to go.  Without it, it would be really hard to get to your destination as the horse would be able to go anywhere it wanted to go.  The same thing applies to the rudder of a ship, a small part of the ship yet it guides it even through strong winds.  Without the rudder you would have to depend on where the wind would take you and hope to magically appear at your destination.  With the rudder one can navigate the ship to an exact location.  The tongue can have the same effect on us.  Even though it’s such a small member of our bodies, how we use it can and will dictate the course our lives take.  Just as I explained in my story, the course I was heading in was completely opposite of what God had planned for my life.  Instead of speaking blessings and life, I spoke curses and death.

I do have great news though!  I believe James gives us the solution in verse 10.  He states “My brethren, these things ought not be this way”.  I think this simple statement is the key because once we realize that things should not be this way, we can then start changing our way of speaking.  We will then be able to be a constant fountain of life and blessing, one that doesn’t spring both fresh and bitter water.  If we do this we allow God to tame our tongue and take control of our destination.  We also become a constant fountain of blessings for those that are in need of that life giving water.  Just like finding that cold water fountain in the park on a hot day is refreshing to us, we will also be refreshing to those that are in need of life giving word when they’re going through struggles and hardships.

What will your fountain flow?  Will it flow life or death?

-Jaime