The sermon "Book of James Bible Study" - Part 5 - Enjoying Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer (online). When our words line up with God's Word, we're a great blessing to ourselves and others. Joyce teaches from James chapter 3 on the power of words.
full textual sermon "Book of James Bible Study" Part 5 - Joyce Meyer
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Joyce Meyer: Amen. Open up your Bibles to James chapter 3. I'm teaching the entire book of James and so, tonight we're at chapter 3 which is a very important chapter in the Bible because it talks to us about the power of the tongue. Now, you know, I spent many, many, many years of my life as a christian never hearing any teaching or any kind of a message on the power of words. I had no idea that what I said out of my mouth made any difference at all in my life. Now,I mean, I was smart enough to realize that sometimes I said things that made people mad. But I didn't really comprehend the power of the tongue. And there may be people here tonight and I was thinking this afternoon, you know, I can not assume just because you watch the tv program or somebody brought you here as a guest or you go to some church or whatever that you have been taught about the power of your words. And so, I believe that there are people here tonight that this is going to be, like, "huh?" Brand new news to you. And certainly there will be a lot of people watching by tv that this is a brand new message for them. So let me just tell you that proverbs 18:21 says that, "the power of life and death is in the tongue." Now that is a pretty bold statement. Whatever we say we can speak life or death to other people. We can help them. We can hurt them. We can build them up. We can tear them down. Or we can do the same thing to ourselves. I'm going to go ahead and say this right now because I don't want to forget to say this. One of the worst things that any one of us can ever do is to say negative things about ourselves out of our own mouth. And a lot of people say bad things about themselves. "oh, I'm stupid. I'm dumb. I can't ever do anything right. You know, I'm a jerk. I'm this. I'm that," whatever the case might be. And I really want to just encourage you not to do that. Your words have a lot of power over your own life. Amen? And so we need to learn to talk the way God talks and not just talk the way the devil talks or the way the world talks. But to actually learn the word of God and begin to speak in agreement with the word. Actually, the Bible says that we eat our words. It says, a man must be satisfied with the words of his mouth, whether they're full of life or death, because that becomes what we take into ourselves and what we feed on. And so, I think we need to be smart enough to really start asking God to help us every day of my life. Every day. I ask God to help me with my mouth. Every single day I ask God to help me discipline my mouth. Every day. Every day. Every day. Every day. You know why? Nobody can control their tongue if God doesn't help them. Nobody can do that. So, how many of you think maybe you might need this tonight? I don't know. Want to make sure I got the right group, you know? I need it and i've preached on the tongue many, many, many, many times. James chapter 3, verses 1 through 10, and i'll make some comments as we go. "not many [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]." Now, I take that seriously because I'm a Bible teacher, but to be honest, I think we all need to take it seriously because if you're a parent, you're teaching your children. If you're maybe the only christian where you work, you're actually teaching other people without even knowing that you're doing it. But i've had a couple of occasions in my life, thankfully they've been a few years back, where I said some things about some other Bible teachers that weren't very good things. And I mean, I didn't think that much about it but I said something about this one guy, he just couldn't stay on track and he just went all over the place with his teaching and you know, I said something else about somebody else that I didn't think they're teaching was very anointed. And these were two different occasions and both times, God very, very seriously dealt with me. And i'll just tell you about the first situation and what happened. I went through a time in my ministry where I just felt like I wasn't anointed anymore and you know, I don't do anything real fancy so if I don't have God's anointing up here, I am in big trouble because I talk for hours and hours and hours and so, it's got to have something coming through it besides just me or people are not going to listen. So I heavily, heavily depend on God's anointing. And I'm not even sure, you know, that all of you know what that is when I say, "the anointing," but let me just simplify it by saying it is the presence and the power of God in and upon our lives. The anointing is very, very important and as I said, I think this morning, one of the ways that we can really hurt the anointing on our life is by mistreating other people and one of the ways we can increase the anointing on our life is by really being good to people and walking in love. Because the anointing is kind of, like, one way of God showing his favor over your life. When you're anointed, when God gives you favor, doors will open for you that will just absolutely amaze you. People will do things for you and it won't even make any sense why they're doing those things for you. So we need to value, really value the anointing of God. So, you see, when I'm up here, what I'm doing is not the least bit hard for me because I'm anointed to do it. So, if it gets hard, then I start getting concerned. I always say, "if I'm watching the clock, to see how long I have to keep listening to myself, then I know that I'm in serious trouble." And I don't normally struggle for what to say. I've usually got more to say then, you know, than what I have time to say. And so, I went through this period of time where I just felt like I didn't have God's anointing on me for my teaching. And we would go home from a meeting and I would tell dave I just thought that was terrible and he'd say, "oh, no, it was a really good message!" And I'm, like, "i just, man I had a hard time preaching last night." "well, you sure couldn't tell it." Well, that happened like 3 weeks in a row and finally I just said, "i just cannot take this anymore, something is wrong and I need to find out what it is." And so, the next day, dave came to me and he said, "i was praying for you and I think God showed me what the problem is."
Joyce Meyer: well, i'd like to say that I had a sweet and submissive attitude and could hardly wait, that I could hardly wait to hear what he was going to say but right away I got this...COME On. "oh, yeah, you think you know what my problem is. Well, I could tell you a few things too," I'm thinking. And I said, "well, what do you think it is?" And he said, "well," he said, "you know the other night when we were talking about so and so and you said such and such about, you know," and he named the pastor. And I said, "yeah." And he said, "well, I think that that's what your problem's connected to. I don't think God wants you doing that." And so, right away I said, "well, you said the same thing!"
Joyce Meyer: you know, we don't take help very easy, do we? "well, you said the same thing!" He said, "I'm not a teacher and I'm not the one having the problem." And I'm kind of thinking, "well, why aren't you having a problem, why am I the only one having a problem?" Well, it tells us right here in this verse that those of us that are teachers have to assume a greater responsibility. And i'll tell you, even me teaching you this tonight borders on being dangerous for me, because now I have to really come up even higher one more time in making sure that I get all the help that I can from God and that I'm very careful with my words. Let me tell you something, don't ever tell your kids to do something that you're not doing.
Joyce Meyer: let me say it one more time. Don't tell your children to do something that you're not doing. We don't want to just say things, we want to show people how to live. So, I kind of learned from that the importance that God thought it was very important for me to keep my words right. Wouldn't it be ridiculous if I stood up here and tried to preach the gospel under an anointing and then, in my regular everyday life, I was just saying all kinds of ridiculous things about other people and gossiping and being negative and critical and all those kinds of things. You see, we've gotta walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Verse 2, "for we all often stumble and fall and we have offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature." Wow. So he's saying if we can ever get to the point where we can control our mouth, we can control everything else in our life. Amen? Probably if we can control what comes out of our mouth, we can better control what we put into it.
Joyce Meyer: well, thank you that somebody got the crowd excited and stirred up. You know, we're always on so many diets, always being concerned about what's going into our mouth. And we diet and we diet. I think maybe we need to have a diet of what comes out of our mouth. How about fasting on words for a period of time? Amen? So, verse 3, "if we set bits in our horse's mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about." Now, let's think about this. A large horse weighs about 2,200 pounds. And they can be controlled by a little tiny piece of metal in their mouth. No wonder the apostle is telling us that we can control what happens in a lot of our life just by simply bridling our tongue. We read this morning in James 1:26 that true religion is to bridle your tongue. And I said we can learn a lot about ourselves by just listening to ourselves. "likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines." Now, this is not the case with every single one but a large ocean liner weighs approximately 220,000 tons and the direction of that ship is controlled by a rudder and one man or woman who's the helmsman of that ship. Now he's given us these examples to say, "look, although the tongue is a little tiny member, very tiny member, it has a tremendous effect on our lives." And I can tell you if you can receive the grace of God to change how you talk and if I can receive the grace of God to change how I talk, it will change our lives. And it actually begins to even change and affect our circumstances. Be very careful about how you talk about your problems. Be very careful how you talk when you're going through trials and tribulations. Be very careful about saying negative things about yourself. Do not say negative things about your future. Don't say things like, "i'll never have anything. Well, there's going to be a layoff, i'll probably be the one who gets laid off. Nothing good ever happens to me." Let's use a little bit of common sense and really begin to believe what the Bible says. And i'll be honest with you, i've been studying this stuff for 40 years, God started giving me a revelation about the power of words before I ever had heard anybody teach a message on it, through my study of it at home and I still, still believe that I don't fully get it. How powerful our words are. And I don't care if you've heard this five million times. It will help you to be here tonight because every time we hear this over and over and over again, at least it helps us to be careful for maybe a few days. Amen? And then maybe God will come along and give us another lesson. Isn't it amazing that with words we can change somebody's day? Think about what power you have just in your mouth. You can lift somebody up. I mean, i've said things to people, just little things, and i've had them say, "you made my day!" Well, that's pretty amazing, when you think about it. But then we can also pretty much ruin somebody's day by saying the wrong things to them. I want God to use my mouth, I don't want the devil to use it. "even so, the tongue is a little member and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze." Now, you know, we're pretty familiar with forest fires and millions of acres of forest can be destroyed and burned up along with all kinds of homes and very often it starts from one little spark. One little match that somebody throws in that forest or one little spark from a fire and it can burn up a whole entire forest. I don't think we realize sometimes the problems that we cause with our mouths. Let's think about this for a minute. The tongue is often used to dishonor God. And has been used to injure our fellow man. It is at the bottom of most strife in the church. How many of you know what strife is? It's bickering, arguing, heated disagreement and angry undercurrent. How can we expect to have God's anointing in our churches if we're going to be part of gossiping about everything that's going on?
Joyce Meyer: I mean, if you really don't like where you're at and you're that unhappy then you probably ought to go somewhere else. And not just stay there and create problems. It's the bottom of most strife in the world, relationships end because of the tongue. Jobs are lost because of the tongue. Opportunities are lost because of the tongue. And yet, it's one of the tiniest organs in our body. It will be very wise for us to consider everything that James is saying tonight about the tongue. Verse 6, "the tongue is a fire, a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth." So, the tongue can just get a lot of stuff started, good or bad, being itself ignited by hell. "for every kind of beast and bird and reptile and sea animal can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (or by nature] but the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless, (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil full of deadly poison. With it, we bless the Lord and father, and with it we curse men who are made in God's likeness," and one more verse, "out of the mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren ought not to be so." Now, there's two scriptures that I pray pretty much every day. I confess these scriptures and I pray them and I'm going to share them with you and encourage you to start doing the same thing. The first one is psalm 141:3, king david prayed this, "set a guard, o Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips." So I just simply say, "God, put a watch over my mouth lest I sin against you with my tongue. Because I know if you don't help me I won't get very far into this day and i'll say things that I shouldn't say." Somebody say, "Amen," or, "oh, me!" Or something.
Joyce Meyer: and Psalm 19:14, "let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, o Lord, my [firm and impenetrable] rock and my redeemer." Now, I don't think that we should just try to stop saying wrong things. I think, to be honest, we need to focus more on saying right things because if you focus on the good, the evil won't find any place to get into your life. I think all too often we hear a message like this and we only focus on the negative. "well, I'm going to try not to do this and I'm going to try not to do that. And I'm going to try not to do this." But to be honest the best way to not say wrong things is to just keep your mouth full of positive things. Maybe you've heard me share this before, but I had so many problems in my life. And God began to deal with me apart from teaching I was hearing, he began to deal with me about the fact that I was just very negative. I had had a very negative childhood. I grew up around really negative people and it was just a learned behavior for me. I just kind of had the attitude of, "well, if you don't expect anything good to happen then you won't be disappointed when it doesn't." How many of you grew up in a negative atmosphere where you just heard a lot of negative talk and complaining and murmuring all the time? So, I understand what it's like to get from where you were, to where you're going to be. I mean, people that had parents that were positive and edified them and encouraged them and built them up and said good things to them, you have no idea what a blessing that is in your life. And you should thank them every day that they took the trouble to make you feel good about yourself. Amen? But I was a very negative person and God began to deal with me about not being so negative. So, several months went by and I didn't see any big changes in my life. I was still having a lot of problems. And so I went to the Lord complaining that he wasn't moving fast enough. That I thought I was doing my part and he wasn't coming through with his end of the deal. And so, "now, God, i've been really trying for a long time now to be not to be so negative. I'm not saying negative things and nothing is changed in my circumstances." And the next thing that came in my heart is, "well, you stopped being negative but you haven't started saying anything positive yet." So, you see, it's not so much about just not doing the wrong thing but it's replacing it with the right thing. And so, I don't even know how I knew to do this but I made a list of confessions. There were 65 of them and they're actually found in a book that I wrote on the power of words and they were all things I could back up with scripture. I took the time to make sure I had a scripture. Because I'm not teaching just to, you know, what they refer to as the "name it, claim it gospel." I don't think you can be a millionaire just because you walk around saying, "I'm a millionaire, I'm a millionaire, I'm a millionaire." You know, that gets into just goofy stuff that doesn't even make any sense. But we certainly can have what God says we can have if we will come into agreement with God. Do you believe that? We can have what God says we can have if we will come into agreement with God. How can two walk together unless they be agreed? We can't have a good walk with God if we're constantly disagreeing with his word and his promises. So, I don't go around and say things, like, "i'll never have enough money." I say, "my God meets all of my needs according to his riches and glory by christ Jesus." Amen? I don't say, "well, the flu's going around, i'll probably get it." I say, "i am healed by the stripes of Jesus and he protects me from sickness and disease."
Joyce Meyer: i'll be honest, if we stuck a tape recorder on us--i don't even need to finish that statement, do i? You know exactly where it's headed. Because we just get so used to just [garbled chatter] that half the time we don't even know what we're saying and if we even took one day and took the time to go back and relisten to it we would go, "well, no wonder i've got a mess in my life." "I'm so worried about my kids. I'm afraid they're going to get on drugs. I'm afraid my daughter's going to get pregnant. I'm afraid. I'm afraid. I'm afraid." We don't need to be saying stuff like that. That is exactly the kind of stuff the enemy is putting in our minds and he wants us to speak it out of our mouth so he can take it and do something with it. You know why? Words are containers for power. God created the earth with words. With words. So words have a lot of power in them. So I made this list of confessions and when I started confessing these things twice a day, not one thing that I was saying was a reality in my life. Not one. And today every single one of them is a fact and a reality in my life. Every single solitary one of them.
Joyce Meyer: my husband has a list of confessions that he makes. If we'll begin to say what God says, we will get more supernatural help in our lives than what we can even imagine. So don't just stop saying the wrong thing. Start saying the right thing. Well in the third chapter of James the tongue is the key to controlling everything else. If we can learn to speak positive words that agree with God's word than we can have a positive and victorious life. You know you've just watched the first part of James chapter 3, but you can get the entire book of James today. A study guide and dvds and cds. We call it "the action plan," and it's all about the whole book of James. And I tell you there are so many amazing lessons in this one book. It is just tremendous. So I don't want you to miss this. You can also download the study guide and that means that you can get all the notes from my teaching that I spent hours and hours and hours on just by clicking a little button. Use it and study it, it'll be life changing for you. Have a great day. Announcer: "receive and welcome the word, which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls." For a limited time, we're offering a Bible study of James action plan, Joyce's teaching through the book of James.
Joyce Meyer: what Paul said is right. We are justified before God by our faith. But what James said is right too. We are justified before men by our works.
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Joyce Meyer: well, there's really no special formula to spending time with God. It's just very important that you do it. Making this a priority will change your life like nothing else. I know it has mine and now I want to help you enrich your time with God by sharing some thoughts and insights from my own life in my brand-new devotional called, "my time with God." Let's focus on him together and my prayer is that these scriptures and declarations of faith will help you grow deeper in your relationship with christ a little bit more every single day.
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