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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Practical Christianity

Where The Rubber Hits The Road

James 1.17-21, c19

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[When it come to temptation:] 

[o Trials will come.]

[o Satan tempts us to cause us to fall.]

[o God tries us to cause us to stand.]

[o God provides resources to help us in temptation and trials; wisdom, prayer, and faith.]

[o Satan's devices are eternally predictable; Courtship, Consent, Conception, Completion.] 

[God has saved us, taught us, and equipped us to recognize and respond to trials and temptation when they come.  If God truly works all things to our good (Rom 8.28), then what happens next?] 

[Where The Rubber Hits The Road – What will you really do?  What have you determined or decided to do?  When the rubber hits the road, where will you be?] 

[James is saying, when the rubber hits the road as a result of your trials and temptation you should develop a Christian Character] 

A Tested and True Christian should, 

A.     Develop an Appetite (vs 19c; Matt 5.6) [- Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, . . . -  Too many Christians are just the opposite of this command.  We are swift to speak.  We are swift to defend ourselves.  We are quick to make our own plans and figure it all out for ourselves.  God says we need to shut up, sweeten up, and listen up.  We need to be swift to hear.]   

[Jesus Said,] 

[Matthew 5:6 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. ]

[Christians need to get hungry for God and the things of God.  Being hungry speaks of a developed desire and a desire lends itself to a heeding and hearing spirit.] 

So just how should we listen? 

1.      Listen for Divinity (Rev 3.20) [- Who should we listen for?  We need to listen for God.]

[Revelation 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. ]

[Bible - You will hear God with certainty when you hear Him through His written Word.  Get into your Bible.]

[Holy Spirit - You will hear God with intimacy when you hear Him through the work of the Holy Spirit within you.  The Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God and brings it alive within us.]

2.      Listen for Direction (Isa 30.21; Psalm 143.8; Proverbs 3.5-6) [- What should we listen for?  The answers to life’s questions are found through God direction.] 

[Isaiah 30:21 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.]

[Psalms 143:8 8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.]

[Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.]

[Without any doubt God gives direction.  All we have to do is listen for His direction and we will find it.]

3.      Listen with Discernment (1 John 4.1-2; Mark 4.24) [- How should we listen?   Take heed what you hear.] 

[1 John 4:1-2 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: ]

[Mark 4:24 24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.]

[To many have failed to realize that there are many spiritual voices in our world toady.  Deceiving spirits present themselves in transcendental meditation, meta spiritual practices, and many other spiritual forms.  Be certain that you are hearing the voice of God by testing what you hear with the written Word of God.]

4.      Listen for Deliverance (1 Cor 10.13) [- Why should we listen?  Because our Heavenly Father wants us to be strengthened and to stand.  God wants to deliver you through your trials and temptations] 

1 Corinthians 10:13 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

5.      Listen Daily (Heb 3.15) [-When should we listen?  Today and at all times.  ] 

[Hebrews 3:15 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.]

[Your loving and compassionate Heavenly Father is speaking to you, are you listening?  Or, are you talking?  If you are always talking then you are not listening.  Take time to listen to God!]

B.     Determine your Aptitude (vs 19d; Prov 10.19; 17.27; Eccl 5.3) - Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, . . . - [Aptitude is your ability to learn.  There are slow learners like Jonah, the people of Israel. There are fast learners, king David was a fast learner. In order to learn we must shut our mouth and listen.] 

[Proverbs 10:19 19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.]

["Speech may be silver, but silence is golden."]

[Author Unknown] 

[If you want to stay out of trouble, then keep your mouth shut (Prov 17.27)] 

[Proverbs 17:27 27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.]

["The Rabbis used to say, 'That man has two ears, and one mouth.
The ears are made always to be open.
The mouth is made where it can be closed, and
the tongue is enclosed in a den behind ivory bars.'
Which means we are to be listening twice as much as we are speaking.
But most of us have gone just the other route."]

[A fool's voice is known by the multitude of words/] 

[Ecclesiastes 5:3 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words. ] 

["It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool,
than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."]

Three things to listen to as you learn: 

1.      The Scriptures teach us (Psm 119.9,11,105) 

[Psalms 119:9 9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. ]

[Psalms 119:11 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.]

[Psalms 119:105 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.]

2.      The Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14.26; Matt 10.16-20)  [- He will teach, remind, and comfort you.] 

[John 14:26 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.]

[Matthew 10:16-20 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.]

3.      The Sermon teaches us (Eph 4.8,11; cf Prov 11.14; 15.22) [- God gave pastors and teachers to the Church to teach you and train you as you serve our Lord in His kingdom work.] 

[Ephesians 4:8 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.]

[Ephesians 4:11 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;]

[Proverbs 11:14 14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.]

[Proverbs 15:22 22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. ]

C.     Deal with your Attitude (vs 19e; Eph 4.26; Mark 3.5) [- Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: - When a man starts listening more and talking less, it affects his temper.  As he learns to control his heart a man learns to control his thoughts, his tongue, and his temper. We should never loose our temper. To be slow to wrath means be slow to take offence and get uncontrollably angry.]  

[There is a difference between anger and wrath. In our day it is thought to be sinful to just be angry.  But that Bible never teaches such.  The Bible always condemns wrath, but not anger.  Anger is a God given emotion that everyone experiences from time to time.  Controlled anger is not sinful, it is actually a reflection of God.  The Bible actually says,] 

[Ephesians 4:26 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: ]

[Mark 3:5 5 And when he [Jesus] had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.]

[Our Lrod Jesus Christ actually felt and expressed anger on more than one occasion, but yet the Bible says HE never sinned.  Therefore, it is clearly not a sin just to feel and even express anger.  But wrath is always condemned in Scripture.]  

[The difference between anger and wrath have much to do with one’s attitude.  If your attitude toward God is right and your attitude toward others is right then your emotions and feelings will tend to be right as well.] 

The Bible says your anger shows: 

1.      You have a Foolish mind (Eccles 7.9) 

[Ecclesiastes 7:9 9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.]

[Someone might say, but isn’t there a distinction between angry and wrath so why does this passage say anger.  It reflects the desire to be angry or the desire to be harsh or bitter with anger.  This attitude lends itself toward anger that is out of control.]

2.      You have an Immature character (Prov 16.32) 

[Proverbs 16:32 32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. ]

3.      Your sins will multiply (Prov 29.22)

[Proverbs 29:22 22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.]

D.    Denounce evil Actions (vs 20-21) [- For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls - The wrath of man -vs- Christian anger;] 

         [The wrath of man is impulsive - Godly anger considers the facts.] 

         [The wrath of man is violent - Godly anger nurtures and has the ultimate goal of maturing its object.] 

         [The wrath of man destroys - Godly anger builds, and purifies.] 

         [The wrath of man kills - Godly anger seeks to instill life.] 

How do I conquer unrighteous wrath? 

1.      Recognize its origin (vs 20; Mark 7.20-23) [The Wrath of man - It proceeds from the heart.] 

[Mark 7:20-23 20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. ]

2.      Remove its Wicked Residue (vs 21; Eph 4.22-27; Col 3.8-10) [-Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, . . .] 

a.       [Superfluity - Perisseia {Per-is-si'-ah} 1) super abundance. 4) Residue, remains; the wickedness remaining over in a Christian from his prior conversion.] 

b.      [Naughtiness - Kakia {kak-ee'-ah} 1) ill-will; desire to injure. 2) Wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws.] 

c.       [Wicked Residue or the left over of sin] 

[Put off the old man, Put on the new man] 

[Ephesians 4:22-27 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. ]

[Put off the deeds of the old man, Put on the new man after his image] 

[Colossians 3:8-10 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ]

3.      Receive the engrafted Word (vs 21; Heb 4.12)[- Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. – Replace the left overs of sin with the living, transforming, and powerful Word of God.  It is so easy to let the line disappear between righteous indignation and personal irritation.  We can be good and mad at the same time by making certain that the following three things are present.  Three things that will help us to be good and mad:] 

a.       [Be certain you are angry for the right reason - Most of us get angry when our toes are stepped on, when our rights are taken.  Jesus got angry when somebody else was being hurt.] 

b.      [Be certain you are angry at the right thing - Jesus did not get angry with individuals.  He got angry with institutions, forms, and sins.  He loved the individual.  You can get angry at the wrong done, but not at the wrong doer.] 

c.       [Be certain you are angry in the right way - Jesus let His anger make Him a part of the solution, not a greater part of the problem.  When you loose your temper your not helping the problem.] 

["When you raise your voice, you better lift your hands to do something about it."] 

["It doesn't take a lot of size to criticize, anybody can do that."] 



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