Sunday, February 16, 2014

On 2-23-14, James 3:1-12 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Control Your Speech

Control Your Speech
James 3:1-12
International Sunday School Lesson
February 23, 2014

Jed Greenough

There is any number of ways that you can deal with this week’s lesson.  As a student you can concentrate on the thought that our words can wreak havoc, especially words of anger or negativism and it may be a fairly easy lesson.  But consider that many teachers will read the first verse and freeze.  They remember with regret the mistakes they’ve made and perhaps worst of all, the mistakes made unknowingly.
I would ask for all to pray about this first verse and those that teach.  Not just student for teacher but teachers for themselves.
Consider that some students should be teaching and some teachers shouldn’t be.  Are you brave enough to remove yourself from a position that you lovingly volunteered for or accepted?  Many have misconstrued their gifts and their love for God and the church and entered into areas of need for which they weren’t intended.  And many more have ignored their Holy Spirit given gift and the need for them to utilize that ability.
James talks of the consequences of what we say likening the power of the tongue to a bit guiding a powerful horse, a small rudder a ship or the destructive nature of fire.
Our teachers guide us.  With those that are gifted by God showing what He intended through His word guiding us along a proper path.  And with those who are not meant to teach often times leading us off that narrow path.  It doesn’t matter whether it is intentional or not as the negative consequences that result are legitimate and should be given grave consideration and I will give you what I think is a major example.
Consider versions of the Bible.  Different versions are labored over by scores of individuals who devote themselves to hour upon hour studying the original text in hopes of communicating best what was meant. 
Some working on what is produced interject underlying motivations.  The example that is forefront of my mind is the current NIV.  Do a little research on the version now versus what was before.  Now ask yourself why all sorts of versions from KJV to the Revised Standard to The Voice and so on are available online but the previous version of the NIV is not.  You can access and compare if you own it but they aren’t letting you buy new ones or look at it online.
Will you ask why?  Will you consider what teaching from one and not the other accomplishes?  Does one steer you closer to the path and the other off?
Teaching comes in many forms and all will be judged.  Yes, I think we should pray for teaching.

For Discussion:
1.      Discuss teachers from your past.
2.      Discuss things to look for in ourselves concerning what we say.
3.      Discuss how you have been affected by what has been said to you.
4.      Discuss how you have affected others by what you have said.
5.      Taming the tongue I contend is not as easy as it might seem.  Discuss why.
6.      Is taming the tongue a process of Sanctification.
7.      What is a nasty tongue indicating about the individual Christian?
8.      Discuss what seems like good speech on the outside but turns out not to be.
9.      Prepare a plan to pray all week daily for those that teach.

Upcoming Lessons

2-23-14       Control Your Speech, James 3:1-12
3-2-14         An Eternal Kingdom, 2 Samuel 7:4-16
3-9-14         Son of David, Psalm 89:35-37, Isaiah 9:6, 7; Matthew 1:18-23 or Psalm 89:35-37
3-16-14       Peter’s Report, Psalm 110:1-4, Acts 2:22-27, 29-32 or Acts 2:22-36
3-23-14       Worthy is the Lamb, Revelation 5:5-13 or 5:6-13

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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