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Let the Words of My Mouth- Part 3

David Shin


David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK



  • March 21, 2015
    11:30 AM
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…Keith ran to try to put it out but it got out of hand in minutes later the fire was blazing on the entire hill and you can imagine the horror as Keith ran for his life and watched as the blaze went from valley to valley and eventually had to be evacuated out by helicopter. And it became known as the rim fire of 2013 and it would rage for 9 weeks destroying 400 square miles including part of Yosemite National Park and causing over 100 million dollars in damages. Needless to say, Keith is now facing up to 5 years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. One little spark was all it took to ignite the largest wildfire in the Sierra Nevada history. And the Bible uses the illustration of a wild fire to illustrate the effect that our tongue can have upon our own soul.


I want to invite you to turn with me in your Bibles, if you have not already to our Scripture reading,I want to thank Sophie for reading our Scripture here this morning. Praise GOD for that special music. Amen.


James chapter 3 - I want to read it again, page 1387 if you're using the Bible there in the pew. James 3: 1 – 6, I’ll be reading from the New King James Bible. You can follow along in the translation that you have there. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things; if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body.“ Here James as illustrating or saying I should say, emphasizing, that if you're able to control your tongue, you will be a perfect person. Verse 3 – “Indeed we put bits in the horse's mouth that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at the ships, although they are large and driven by a fierce wind, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires, even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest, a little fire kindles, and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity the tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the whole course of nature and is set on fire by hell.”


Here James is emphasizing the notion that the tongue though a small member can do some incredible things. He uses 3 metaphors to describe how the tongue can affect oursoul. And here is one illustration that he uses. He used the illustration of a horse. He uses the illustration of a ship. And then he uses the illustration of a forest to emphasize the same point.


Let’s start with the horse. Here is the verse, verse 3, “Indeed, we put bits on the horse's mouth that they may obey us and we may turn their whole body.” Bit, although being a small thing, it can turn the entire direction of the horse. Then he goes to the second illustration of a ship and a rudder (verse 4)– “Look also at ships, although they are so large and driven by a fierce wind they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.”So here is a similar illustration, here talking about a man-made object, a rudder and a ship, a bit and a horse, and then comes to the final illustration used by James in chapters 3. “See how great a forest a little fire kindles and sets on fire the whole course of nature.”


Here James is illustrating that even though the tongue may be a small member; it has the power to not only direct the course of your life but also to bring you to your final destination. Many times when we talk about the tongue, we think about the impact that our words have on other people, as we talked about last week. When you say things to other people in a hurtful manner, they are obviously hurt; but the omission in James chapter 3, he leaves out any effect that the tongue has on other people. Not that it doesn't, but he wants to illustrate and emphasize that the tongue impacts the speaker in a significant way.


Verse 6 – “The tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body and sets on fire the course of the life(that's the direction)and it’s set on fire our destination.” He's saying that our tongue is like a rudder and when we say something even though we may not believe it, it has the power to shape our character and our character determines our eternal destiny.


The great omission in James chapter 3 is that he does not talk about the recipients of our words, but he indicates that our words have a profound power, an effect, upon the speaker. How many times have we just said something not really believing it? Here James is saying that the person that is impacted the most is the speaker of the words more than even the hearer. Who is the person that is impacted the most by my words?It’s me.


Here's a quotation from Mind, Character and Personality volume 2, 575 – “The words are more than an indication of character. They have power to react on the character. Men are influenced by their own words. Often under a momentary impulse prompted by Satan they give utterance to jealousy or even surmising expressing that which they do not really believe; but their expression reacts upon the thoughts.”


So when you say something, even though you may not believe it, according to The Book of James it's saying that those words have a power to shape your own character, your own thoughts, the ultimate direction and destination of your life. How many times have we utter things not recognizing that those very words have a power to react upon yourself?This is validated by science. I have this book in my own library, Dr. Chalmers, in his book Healing the Broken Brain, states that there are physical changes to the neural pathways of the brain by strong emphatic words that are uttered; thus, influencing our actions. There is a physical change in the neural pathways of the brain.


Ministry of Healing 492 – “Evil speaking is a twofold curse falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. By dwelling upon the faults of others, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory.”That's a quote from the Bible - Corinthians 3:18.


How many times have you talked about someone's faults, not recognizing that by speaking those things you are becoming like the person that you're talking about? That's a thought. By saying, “Oh, I just I don't want to say it” because it's going to react upon me. But by saying those things, they react upon yourself and by beholding you become changed. How many times have you gathered together with someone else and said, “Look, I can't stand that person because of these things” and by saying those words, you are becoming like the very person that you seem to detest. The word shape character; character determinesour destiny.


We need help. And this is what we need to do every single day.Consecrate yourself to GOD in the morning. Make this your very first work. Let your prayer be: Take me, Oh LORD as wholly THINE; thus, day by day you are giving your life into the hands of CHRIST. And thus your life will be more molded more and more after the life of CHRIST. I pray that you do this every single day. Amen.


Get up in the morning. Give your heart to JESUS. Say, LORD, help me to control my tongue today. Set a watch oh LORD before my mouth. Guard the door of my lips. We need this. This is a prayer that you should pray every single day. LORD, come into my heart. You are giving GOD access into your life. And I guarantee if you were to do this and for the other power and say, “I give YOU full access,” your life will be dramatically changed. The converse of that is true as well. Do this every single day. Wake up in the morning. Say LORD, I give YOU full access. Come into my heart and this is what happens as a result. There is a whole invisible reality.


And I love this quotation from My Life Today page 302. “HIS angels are appointed to watch over us.” We have an angel that we're going to meet on Resurrection day that has guided our steps since birth. “HIS angels are appointed to watch over us and if we put ourselves under their guardianship (which is the quotation before - give yourself to GOD that morning), then in the very every time of danger they will be at our right hand. When unconsciously we are in danger of exerting a wrong influence, the angels will be by our side, (Listen to this)prompting us to a better course, choosing words for us.” How many of you need that? “… Choosing words for us and influencing our actions, thus our influence may be a silent, unconscious but mighty power in drawing others to CHRIST and the heavenly world.”


You give yourself to GOD in the morning and the invisible reality has the right to intervene in your life. And I as a pastor about to say something in a not proficient manner, the angels are there in choosing my words for me. There have been times when I have been in Bible studies or in counseling sessions, I've come out of those, just in awe, recognizing that there has been another power - the HOLY SPIRIT that has uttered those words. And you can only have this if you concentrate yourself to GOD every single day. Don't let yourself walk outside the door without giving GOD the right to intervene in your life. Talk about the person that you want to become.


We need talk about JESUS.Desire of Ages, page 83, “If we are of CHRIST’s, our sweetest thoughts will be of HIM. We shall love to talk of HIM and as we speak to one another of HIS love, our hearts will be softened by divine influences; beholding the beauty of HIS character, we shall be changed into the same image from glory to glory.”


 I'd like to talk about faith. A number of years ago, when I was in Academy, I went to 4 different academies,no, 3 different academies, 13 different schools. And my parents were really in a difficult situation because when I hit my teenage years, they gave me an ultimatum - either give Bible studies to your friends or “We're going to ship you to this very strict conservative school.”And I thought to myself, “Oh, Bible studies to my friends? No way.” “Alright.” Then me off, so they shipped me off to this undisclosed location. And it was a work study program. We went to school in the morning and worked in the afternoon. The philosophy was idleness leads to sin and so they wanted to take away all idleness and I unwittingly signed up for 20 hours a week of going door to door selling spiritual books - Steps to CHRIST, Bible Readings for the Home, Great Controversy - 20 hours a week. So going to school in the morning, 20 hours a week, and I found out very quickly that my sanity depended upon talking in a faith-based manner, based on the Word of GOD. And I want to tell you that little did I know that this would be the beginning of a mini-career in canvassing. Some of you don't know that I almost signed up for the Associate Publishing Directorship of the Michigan conference because I - This began a journey where I was canvassed in Vermont, New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, California and there's a few others that I missed. And I want to tell you, I've met some very nice people. And I've met some not so nice people.


I remember I was in New Jersey, knocked on this door, and I could see the guy coming through the glass door and I could tell by the fire in his eyes that he did not mean good,so I backed up barely. He kicked that door open,scared my nose by just a few millimeters and he was eating something and he said, “Hit the road” and just this spew came out. And I walked away from that door traumatized.


I remembered that same summer, I looked up and there were these eggs that were being thrown at me by these teenagers. I've been called all sorts of things. And I would watch as my clock colleagues would have emotional breakdowns by the side of the road, get back into the car weeping. Were just kids, were teenagers. And week after week after week, slam door after slam door, German Shepherds, pit bulls, you know, all types of vulgarity being spewed at you from the door. And you are in a state of trauma and depression, 40 hours a week during the summer, 10 weeks consecutive. And I came to that in conclusion that the only way to make it through the summer is if I talked in a way as though my faith were invincible. I would speak faith. Finally, over a period of time; I got the resilience to continue on and one summer, I was called upon to lead a group of 19 teenagers.


Now, I had moved up in the ranks. They said, “I want you to lead these 15 to 16 year olds - Fresno California. I remember like it was yesterday and I looked into the eyes of these kids and I said, “You know, it's going to be a tough summer. You're going to get screamed at, you’re going to get yelled at.” This wide-eyed associate of these kids; but I said, “You know what? We're going to beat this thing we're going to take Fresno for the LORD JESUS and we're going to talk as though our faith is invincible.” And I said, “When that door is slammed on you, I want you to say - I love these people. GOD loves these people. I love these people. GOD loves these people.” And I said, “Let's practice it now.” And so I would have them chant “I love these people.GOD loves these people.” And it became a regular exercise. I would watch these little scrawny boys with this bag that they're barely holding going to the door, door slammed in the face, walking away from the door “I love these people. GOD loves these people. I love these people…” They come back to the car for more books. I'd say, “How are things going?” “I love these people.GOD loves these people.” And I saw a transformation happen in these young people. They became so resilient. I saw a transformation before their eyes. They spoke and acted as though their faith was invisible. And I saw our sales 9,000 in one week, 10,000 in one week, 15,000 dollars in one week, 20,000 in one week, consecutive week after week. Those teenagers speaking faith sold a record 156,000 dollars in Fresno California. And by the end, I looked into the eyes of these young people and it seemed like nothing could deter them. The power of our words – Philippians 4:4, Paul is in prison, notice his words – “Rejoice in the LORD(sometimes?)” “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.”

Isaiah 50: 7 – “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced; therefore, I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I will not be put to shame.”Flint is struck again and again and again and still stays true to the power of our words.


Ellen White – “Talk unbelief and you will have unbelief; but talk faith and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.”Powerful! The more you talk faith, the more you will have. She goes on – “Talk and act as if your faith was invincible.”Talk and act as if your faith was invincible. We serve a Mighty GOD. Amen. And we need to talk in a way recognizing that our words are like the rudder of a ship, like the bit of a horse, and when you say something, your whole being, your whole spiritual nature is being turned by those words and turning you in a certain direction. And we need to speak in a way that is taking us toward our heavenly home; amen, not in a direction that is negative in any way.


Ministry of Healing page 492 – “Cultivate the habit of speaking well of others. Dwell upon the good qualities of those with whom you associate. And see as little as possible of their errors and failings. When tempted to complain of what someone has said or done, praise something in that person's life or character. Cultivate thankfulness. Praise GOD for HIS wonderful love in giving CHRIST to die for us. It never pays to think of our grievances. GOD calls upon us to think of HIS mercy and HIS matchless love that we may be inspired with praise.”


Friends, we don't have time to focus on the faults of others. Amen.And we need to take these words to heart - to talk about the good things in others, to dwell upon the good qualities with those whom you associate, and by doing so, we will recognize that words shape character and character determines our destiny. Is it your desire here today to say, “LORD JESUS, help me to speak words of faith.”Is that your desire here today? I wanna invite you to raise your hands.


Let’s stand together as we prepare to close here today, with every head bowed and eyes closed. If there is someone here today that wants to say, “LORD JESUS, I want to invite YOU into my heart today. Please take me. I want to consecrate my life to YOU.” And I want to say, “LORD, come in.” I wanna invite you to raise your hand here today. GOD bless you, friend. GOD bless you.


My second appeal is this. You have not been baptized, but you hear the HOLY SPIRIT speaking to your heart saying, “I want you to get into the water. I want to prepare for baptism.” Baptism doesn't mean that you've arrived. It's the beginning. It doesn't mean that you're perfect. It means that you're a work in progress. And you want to say, “LORD, I'm unworthy but YOU're worthy and I want to prepare for baptism.” I invite you to raise your hand today.” “I wanna…“ GOD bless you. “I wanna prepare for baptism.” Amen


 Let's pray.


Our FATHER and our GOD, we thank YOU for the HOLY SPIRIT. We thank YOU for the promise that YOU work in us both to will and to do of YOUR good pleasure. LORD, it is impossible for us in our own strength to control our tongue. Help us by YOUR grace. Help us to only utter words that are uplifting and of faith. Help us to recognize that our words shape our character and our character determines our destiny. Help us to speak words that will bring us to our eternal destination and our heavenly home. Help us to speak in a way that uplifts our CREATOR and our GOD, to talk and to act as though our faith is invincible. Bless us by YOUR Spirit. Work in us, transform us by beholding we become change. For we ask these things in JESUS' name. Amen.



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