Sunday, January 26, 2014

On 2-2-14, James 1:19-27 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Hear and Do the Word

Hear and Do the Word
James 1:19-27
International Sunday School Lesson
February 2, 2014

Jed Greenough

The word of God is living and breathing and active!  You know what?  So is faith and so is hearing!  Hear and do the word of God is the title for today’s lesson and they got it right!
“The word planted in you”.  God’s word is just like the Holy Spirit in you.  If you work with it, accept it, than just as with the Holy Spirit you will be transformed. 
Verse 19: “Take note” that is pretty hard to miss isn’t it?  Take special care to notice what he is saying here.  Take it from me; I know from experience that for those exuberant about the word of God we sometimes find ourselves in hindsight having done a majority of the talking.  I will admit for me it is embarrassing to think back on.  I know now that it is better that people look forward to what you have to share because when you do it will no doubt be meaningful.  How much better is that then that they groan inside because here comes another diatribe and they never really hear what you have to say.
This usually comes with age, I think, as does the ability to perhaps not become angry quickly.  It is easier to be patient in these things as we age but if we are made aware of them such as now when we read verse 19 we can choose to do something about it now whether 9 or 90.
Verse 20:  Human anger doesn’t produce righteousness.  I believe what is most in sight here is the words we say once we are angry do not produce anything good. 
I know it happens at times among our church families but I have to think that it occurs more in the situations where we tend to have less of our social guards up.  By that I mean work and definitely in our homes where we perhaps have the greater chance to produce that righteousness mentioned.
Verse 21:  Getting rid of moral filth and evil is not complicated.  If you imagine a scenario where you live in two ways for 6 months at a time I think the results would be readily apparent. 
The first scenario finds you listening to music filled with cursing, reading nothing but self-centered subjects and watching media that features unbiblical activity and hanging with non- Christians.
The second scenario of six months of course is filled with music that has songs of praise, much time spent in reading the word, careful consumption of wholesome media and associating with good people.
The results would again be apparent and it is rather like, “we are what we eat”.  The more we take care the better we will be.
Verse 22:  The word tells us we shouldn’t do the first scenario and should do the second.
Verse 23-24:  We can’t just show up for church or just read the words of the scripture and get the results.  We have to be active in our faith and live out what we read and hear.
Verse 25:  Doing that comes with a result—we are blessed!  God doesn’t lie and neither does His word so take that as a promise!
Verse 26:  Here is another mention in short order of the need to watch what and how much we say accompanied by a pretty important statement that those who don’t have a worthless religion!  I think that he is referring to the tongue being nasty but he doesn’t clarify that does he?  Probably better in any case to keep a rein in all ways of what we have to say.
Verse 27:  Much can be said when we choose to speak.  Some might be right, much might be in error.  Even if we mean well it doesn’t correct the damage.
This can leave someone feeling a bit frustrated with how they are to be if they have to worry about everything they say but this is about how we are to live and that is to be merciful and pure.
Rather like the 2 scenarios above eventually the way we live will result in righteousness even when we speak.
For Discussion:
1.       For those who teach consider if you speak too much.
2.       For those who are students consider if you speak too much.
3.       For those who have gone through this discuss how you changed.
4.       Discuss how we can be in positions of authority at church, work and home and say too much.
5.       Discuss the things we might have in our lives that are a negative influence.
6.       Discuss how and why we might be reluctant to remove them.
7.       Name things that might be a negative influence that people may have not considered.
8.       Are you sure that those who are distressed are being taken care of by your class, church and you?  Start examining those closest and work your way out from there.

Upcoming Lessons

2-9-14         Treat Everyone Equally, James 2:1-13
2-16-14       Show Your Faith by Your Works, James 2:14-26
2-23-14       Control Your Speech, James 3:1-12
3-2-14         An Eternal Kingdom, 2 Samuel 7:4-16

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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