IS YOUR FAITH PROGRESSING?

Facebook has over 1.9 billion users a day.  Their revenue each quarter is 6.4 billion.  There are 510,000 posts every 60 seconds.  Facebook is making billions of dollars every year giving people an opportunity to express themselves.

It seems our culture is quickly moving more and more toward people expressing themselves in an angry way. 

James says in chapter 1:19-20   Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James gives us one of the principles of how God's Kingdom operates to produce the righteousness of God. Our problem is we live in a world where that principle gets turned upside down.  If anything our culture is quick to speak, quick to anger and slow to listen.

We've been talking about experiencing joy in the midst of trials.  It is during these trials that our faith is put on display for the world to see. Our challenge is when things don't go our way we find ourselves responding in anger then anger does not produce the righteousness of God. 

The past Sunday we learned four things about words.  

WORDS ARE POWERFUL

Proverbs 18:21 says, Life and death are in the power of the tongue,and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Words can be used to build someone up or tear down.

Words can wound or words can heal.

WORDS ARE A GIFT FROM GOD

James 1:16-17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every GOOD GIFT and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

As destructive as words can be they are gifts from God. When we are getting thumped on our words are symptoms that we are not living well into what we should know.

Nobody ever has to wonder if their words are filled with anger.  Nobody ever has to wonder if their words are filled with jealousy.  Nobody ever has to wonder if their words are filled with bitterness.

WORDS REVEAL WHAT IS IN OUR HEARTS

Luke 6:45  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

I like to say it like this.  "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth LEAKS!"  

If you have bitterness in your heart it will leak out.  If you have anger in your heart it will leak out and neither one of those produces the righteousness of God.

ULTIMATELY, WORDS  REVEAL TO US IF OUR FAITH IS PROGRESSING

We're not talking a saving faith as in salvation. We are talking about a growing dependence on God.  We are talking about the trials in our lives bringing us to a place of greater dependence on God.

If we find ourselves angry at someone maybe it is because we are looking to them to be our source OR we believe they have gotten in the way of what we deserve.  If that is the case we are definitely not depending on God which means if anything our faith is digressing. 

James tells us that no man can tame the tongue.  That doesn't mean we are hopeless. It just means that we have to depend on God to help us.

James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 

What is James encouraging us to do?  He's encouraging us to make God our source.  He's encouraging us to have a greater dependence on Him in the midst of a trial. As we live well into that then our faith is on display for others to see and our lives produce the righteousness of God.