Tongue and Ears / James 3:2-12 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday September 12th 2021 / Season Of Pentecost / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: James 3.1-12
Theme: Tongue and ears
Intr – The epistle today talks about taming, training the tongue, so here are some tongue twisters to help us with that:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? ...
Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?
And here is the one considered by the MIT to be the hardest tongue twister ever:
Pad kid poured curd pulled cod.
They are hard in the first attempts, but over time you might be able to train, tame your tongue to have it saying them clearly and naturally.
Now what about these tongue twisters?
_I will never gossip again
_I will only say good words
_Every time I open my mouth only good things will come out of it
These ones are not tongue twisters, really. They are easier to speak than the others, I know; but they are harder to practice. They may not be tongue-twisters, but they are certainly life deceivers.
James has let us know in the epistle today how hard it is for us to tame our tongue. But the same James says, “These things should not be so”. As James does, many other Bible verses do as well - they encourage us to renew our minds and to have our mouth connected to the Word.
This sermon is not a how-to presentation on how to have permanent success in taming our tongues. We know that’s impossible. We will reflect on Bible based principles as encouragement to make progress in our sanctified life, in our life with Jesus putting His Word into practice, to bring glory to his Name and to be a light to our neighbor.
Psalm 116 – “Make your voice be heard by the Lord” - Make your tongue’s words reach God’s ears. They always do as they come from faith in Christ.
Isaiah 50 – “Sustain with a Word the weary”. Primarily, since Isaiah is a prophet we will think of the Office of the Ministry. We pastors are charged with the duty and privilege of bearing the Word that sustains people. Law and Gospel applied. And as James points out, there is lots of responsibility on our shoulders as teachers of God’s people
As royal priests though (I Peter 2) we are all bearers of a Word that can give a life and sustain in Life. Christ’s word.
Mark 9.14-29 – Don’t be overconfident in your ability to speak, help, convince, change lives, like the disciples were. Talk like Jesus – Talk to and from the Lord. Bind your tongue to the source of Good.
“All things are possible to him who believes”. This is spoken by Jesus in the context of a spiritual threat. Remember that every time our faith is tested or tempted, every time our spiritual life is challenged, we are reminded that everything is possible to him who believes. All possibilities lie in the hands of Jesus that hands them out to us.
Prayer. Use your tongue and your heart to pray boldly, confidently and constantly. There are no sweeter words in the ears of the Father.
James 3.1-12 – remember always that your tongue can be a very wild, untamed animal. Sometimes, it is a spring with two different types of water.
Spring of salt water
_Spreading human teachings
_Sowing discord and strife
Our daily effort in Christ is to be springs of Fresh water
_Speaking the truth in love
_Spreading the Word
_Sowing God’s love
_Saving lives with the Gospel of Hope
We can use our tongue to praise the Lord; to speak what people need to hear just as if we were hearing those words (Courage with consideration). We can use our tongue to stand firm in our faith no matter what the world may tell us. We can use our tongue to offer wisdom, consolation.
Some other references from the Bible:
1 Corinthians 3:3 – for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
1 Timothy 5:13 – Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not
1 Peter 3:9 – Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Above all, I would suggest that one of the best ways we can use our tongue is after we have used our ears for a long time. We also need to tame our ears. They are also wild animals, prone to pay attention to all sorts of things but the Word. Our ears need to be tamed to hear the Lord.
Ears to hear God’s ministers. Ears to hear wise, loving people who are ready to counsel, exhort and encourage us. In the case of deaf people, who are not being healed by Jesus right now, using both hands to speak after using both eyes to “listen” to what other pairs of loving hands are telling them. When we use our tongue after using a lot of our ears, taming grows greatly.
But remember, there is no 100% box checking here. We are sinners and we will fail. We can use our tongue then to bring our repentant heart daily to the Lord, asking for His forgiveness. His ears will be always inclined to us.
Cc – We can never tame our tongue perfectly in this life. That’s a reality.
However what we can always do is to have it connected to the source of Life, Jesus. He is the source of fresh water that cleans our mouth and loads our tongues with fresh, precious content.
Bible based, Christ Centered, Life directed tongue and ears
Serving the Lord. Serving our neighbor.
I know, these are not tongue twisters. But they are life changing Words.