The Power of the Human Tongue – For Evil and For Good

The Sermon: James 3: 2 – 10

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body. When we put bits into horses’ mouths to make them obey, we can turn the whole animal. Or consider ships. Although large and driven by strong  winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider how a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of life on fire, and it itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea have been tamed by man, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

The Power of the Human Tongue – For Evil and For Good

Listen to the sermon:

Twenty-Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

November 21, 2010  –  9:00 a.m.

Pre-Service Reading – Psalm 86, Page 140 In Front Of Hymnal

Sunday School (Pre-Kind. – Grade 2) – “I Thank Thee, Lord”
(Director:  Mikki Aymond;  Accompanist: Laura Karow)

TLH 408 : Jesus Christ, my Pride and Glory Hymnary.org link     

The Invocation And Responsive Prayer

PRAYER & SCRIPTURE FOR GODLY HEARTS AND VOICES

P: Lord, You ask us to show our love for You by loving You with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Help us show sincere “neighbor-love” in both the attitudes of our hearts and the words of our tongue. You have blessed us with this marvelous gift of speech and communication that we might praise and glorify You with our tongues and share Your Word and Gospel-truth with others.

C: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”(Matthew 22:39)  A good name is better than great riches… and precious ointment” (Proverbs 22:1). “Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor: (Zechariah 8:17). “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your tongue that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:10)

P: Lord, as we struggle with our sinful flesh, lead us to overcome the selfishness and pride that so often seeks to tear others down. It is Your will that we edify, build one another up in faith, that we help and serve each other’s welfare, and that in love we seek to protect others’ good name. Lead us to honor You, Lord, by speaking Your truth faithfully and by doing it in love.

C: “He gave gifts…. so that the body of Christ may be built up…. Speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into Him Who is the head, even Christ….. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only that which is helpful for building others up according to their needs….. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and slander, along with every form of ill feeling. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4 excerpts)

P: Lord Jesus, we confess that our tongues, lifted up to You in praise on Sundays, often become instruments of sin in our daily lives. My brethren, these things ought not to be. Forgive us these sins together with all other sins for the sake of Your atoning sin-sacrifice on the cross. Strengthen us to die to sin and to live for You. May we ever be inspired to seek to follow Your holy example in Your truthful yet ever loving, humble and patient dealings with precious souls.

C:  “Christ suffered, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps:’He committed no sin,and no deceit was found in His mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at Him,He did not retaliate; When He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him Who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His stripes we are healed.” (1 Peter 2: 21-24)

Sung Response: TLH 411 : From Eternity, O God Hymnary.org link

Drive away the gloomy night  Of my heart’s perverse reflection;
Quench all thoughts that are no right,  Hold my reason in subjection.
Grant that I from Thee, with yearning, Wisdom always may be learning.
As a branch upon a vine  In my blessed Lord implant me;

Ever of my head divine  To remain a member grant me.
Oh, let Him, my Lord and Savior,  Be my Life and Love forever!
Help me speak what’s right and good  And keep silence on occasion;
Help me pray, Lord, as I should,  Help me bear my tribulation;
Help me die and let my spirit  Everlasting life inherit.

The Scripture Reading – James 1: 17- 27

The theme of the Epistle of James is living our faith. Like a tree which shows its life in producing fruit, the faith of God’s children will naturally be evident in the “fruits of faith” the Spirit produces in us, including a humble, Word-centered, Spirit-controlled tongue and life.

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Christian church, the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.

TLH 412 : May We Thy Precepts, Lord, Fulfill Hymnary.org link

The Sermon ………………………………………………………………… James 3: 2 – 10

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body. When we put bits into horses’ mouths to make them obey, we can turn the whole animal. Or consider ships. Although large and driven by strong  winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider how a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of life on fire, and it itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea have been tamed by man, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

THE POWER OF THE HUMAN TONGUE  –  FOR EVIL AND FOR GOOD

TLH 416 : Oh, That the Lord Would Guide My Ways Hymnary.org link

We Bring Our Gifts Of Faith And Love For Jesus

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Our Lord’s Benediction

Children’s Message: “Thank You, Lord, For Everything”

The Closing Hymn –Give Thanks Unto The Lord”

(Text: Psalm 106:1   Melody Of Hymn 161)

(Lyrics: Judith Snell ; Dedicated to son-in-law Tyler Dassow)