Wednesday, October 5, 2011

LESSON 4: Don't Just Listen, Do Something!

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 10/5/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.

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LESSON4: Don't Just Listen, Do Something!

Read James Chapter 1:16-26

16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.[a] He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.[b] 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.[c]

Every good and perfect gift is from God and He is unchangeable. He always keeps His promises. Good gifts are from Him and Him alone.

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20Human anger[d] does not produce the righteousness[e] God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

We are to listen first, then speak and be slow to anger! You’ve probably heard the saying that we have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. When we talk more than we listen, we communicate to others that our ideas are more important than theirs. James tells us to reverse the process.
A flare of “ego” anger is always destructive…there are no exceptions.

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

We must act on the message, not just hear it. We have a responsibility once we know the word of God. We must live out the Word in our lives, not just know it in our head. It is not about attending “Camp Feel Good” by listening to a sermon for the “feel good” benefit. Yes, God’s Word does encourage us, but it is not about our comfort level. It is about acting on it! Serving, loving others, being slow to anger, showing kindness and extending grace are just a few of the ways we can be doers of the word.

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

James is referring to a person who says (and even thinks) they are a Christian, but their actions do not reflect that. For example, a person who says they are a Christian but doesn’t control their language is deceived in their heart. We all slip up occasionally, and allow our mouth to open and speak words we regret.


• What did James mean when he said we are God’s “prized possession” (vs.18) Why is it important that we know this?
• What does being “quick to listen” and “slow to speak” accomplish? What gets in the way of being quick to listen? Slow to speak? (vs. 19)How can being “slow to anger” help us in our walk with Jesus and our personal relationships?
• What effect should our Bible study time have on our behavior?(vs.22)
• Why do we need a mirror? (vs.23-24) What is an example of a mirror in this instance?
• What are some ways we can remember what we have learned? (vs.25)
• When is our religion worthless? (vs.26)

Further Study

Can you remember a time that you have been in a conversation but not really listening? What was the reason you didn’t hear the other person?
Are there times that you speak too quickly? Can you think of a specific situation? What was the outcome?

Continue to read James Chapter 1 looking for themes.
Meditate on and commit to memory verse 19.


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