Have you ever thought about the power in words?
There's power in the words that God speaks. I don't think any of us would doubt that. Psalm 24:4 says, "The Voice of the Lord is powerful, the Voice of the Lord is majestic." You might remember that God spoke creation in to existence in Genesis. And Jesus calmed the wind and waves in a great storm with just a few words. (Matthew 8 and Mark 4).
But what about our words? Do our words have power? Do they hold within them any power at all?
James argues that they do. We'll be looking at James 3:1-12 this week. In these verses, we hear two warnings that have everything to do with the power of our words.
The first warning is that few should be teachers because teachers will be held to a higher judgement. That is alarming, but it should not surprise us when we understand how powerful our words can be in the hands of skilled teachers. Teachers can speak and be like the bit in a horses' mouth or a small rudder on a ship. How easy it could be for the other believers, a local body, or even larger groups of God's people to be moved by a bad or false teacher. Paul joins James in these warnings, often saying, "beware of false teachers." We also finding him warning of the false gospel they teach.
Words are powerful and if wielded by a skilled teacher or preacher in poor ways--either through ignorance or a dark heart--the flock can be servery harmed. (This is also why you need to spend time learning the word yourself so you are not totally dependent upon others to feed you the Word of God. Could you identify a false teacher if a couple of them knocked on your door this afternoon?)
James' second warning, from God's inspiration, hits close to home for all of us. Even if you are not a teacher, you have a tongue and James writes that the tongue is the most wild beast. And he says it not yet tamed. It's has the destructive power of a forest fire. It is full of deadly poison. If you've ever hurt another by your words or have been hurt by words, you understand.
We, as Christians are called upon to tame the tongue; however, God's Word says no human can tame it (James 3:8). Is this a paradox? No, James is right, no human can tame it. But Jesus, the God-man, has the power to tame your tongue, and mine. We'll be talking about it on Sunday.
Take some time to read James 3:1-12. If God reveals some things you need to pray through before Sunday, take some time to do so. Come and be ready to worship God with our mouths, minds, souls, and hearts. But if all you can do is join us in worship this week, come and be refreshed with us. Let God minister to your soul. In addition, here's a quick update video from Pastor Bryan that you can watch between now and Sunday.