The Tiger Is Tamed, The Tongue Is Not

Don DeYoung

READ : James 3:3-9 “It only takes a spark” of carelessness to prove Smokey the Bear is right about destroying a forest. A reckless tongue can be even more destructive. On the contrary, speech infused with love has a positive power to strike a spark, to “get the fire glowing.” And so God’s love is passed on. In these verses James’ focus develops the worry rather than the wonder side of the spark. He exposes the toxic power of our …

Working With Words

Don DeYoung

READ : James 3:1-2 Having affirmed that “faith without works is dead,” James now reminds us that working with words is a very responsible work! The discovery is that faith without WORDS is also dead! Think of those who work almost exclusively with words. James may have been reflecting on his brother Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:36-37 where we find a strict accountability for our words. Even “every careless word” is elevated to a reckoning! The significance of words at …

The Holy Harlot

Don DeYoung

READ : James 2:25-26 Rahab had a faith that set her apart for a special work. She assisted the spies when God was executing his mighty plan of Exodus from Egypt and entrance to the Promised Land. Rahab is the second biblical example used by James to verify that works are shaped by faith. This demonstrates that we are saved by works. They cannot be disconnected from the faith that produced them. In fact, to separate faith and works is …

Don't Leave Faith Alone

Don DeYoung

READ : James 2:20-24 Were you startled yesterday to read that even the demons have some theology right? It was affirmed that “there is one God” but for them it produces fear, not faith, and they shudder. Faith produces obedient footsteps! Saving faith and serving works go hand in hand or they don’t go at all. Abraham, “God’s friend,” is an example of a trust that made tracks. Those were heavy steps with Isaac to the place of sacrifice on …

The Litmus Test for Love

Don DeYoung

READ : James 2:18-19 The person was an activist in working for justice. He was also a self-labeled “faith dropout.” It was a time in the 60’s when dropping out was considered quite “in.” A sharp set of words were exchanged. This individual and a person who considered himself a believer met and collided in a sharp exchange of words. The believer was impressive as he articulated truths to which you and I might eagerly agree. The argument ended with …

A Day For Deeds

Don DeYoung

READ : James 2:14-17 Sunday is a day for faith. A growing faith is central to our gathering in Christian community. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17, niv). James reminds us that it is a day for deeds! “If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say ‘I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have …