The Meanest Member In Our Church by James Merritt

THE MEANEST MEMBER IN OUR CHURCH
JAMES MERRITT
JAMES 3:1-12

INTRODUCTION

1. WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE MEANEST MEMBER IN YOUR CHURCH? I'M SURE THAT WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN PRIVATE OPINION. BUT THERE IS A MEMBER IN OUR CHURCH WHO HAS KILLED MORE FRIENDSHIPS RUINED MORE REPUTATIONS WRECKED MORE HOMES SPLIT MORE CHURCHES, DRIVEN MORE MEN OUT OF THE MINISTRY AND CAUSED MORE DIVISION BETWEEN THE BRETHREN THAN ANY OTHER MEMBER I KNOW.

2. JAMES MAKES IT VERY PLAIN WHO THE MEANEST MEMBER IN ANY CHURCH IS. HE SAYS IN V.6,' "AND THE TONGUE IS A FIRE A WORLD OF INIQUITY: THE TONGUE IS SO SET AMONG OUR MEMBERS THAT IT DEFILES THE WHOLE BODY."

3. CONCEALED AS A SNIPER QUICK AS A BULLET, AND DEADLY AS A GUN, THE MEANEST MEMBER IN OUR CHURCH IS THE THREE INCH ANIMAL THAT LIVES IN A POOL OF SALIVA BEHIND AN INVORY CAGE OF TEETH, KNOWN AS THE TONGUE. THIS MEMBER'S MEANNESS SOMETIMES CAN GO BE- YOND DESCRIPTION.

4. IN FACT, THE PERFECT MEMBER OF ANY CHURCH IS A MEMBER WHO CAN CONTROL HIS TONGUE. FOR JAMES SAYS IN V.2, "IF ANYONE DOES NOT STUMBLE IN WORD, HE IS A PERFECT MAN." NOW YOUNG GIRLS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE ARE OFTEN LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT MAN. WELL HERE IS GOD'S IDEA OF A PERFECT MAN: AN INDIVIDUAL WHO NEVER STUMBLES IN WORDS,

5. NOW I KNOW THAT IS A PERFECT MAN BECAUSE THE ONLY PERFECT MAN WHO EVER LIVED WAS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND PETER SAID ABOUT HIM IN I PETER 2:21-22, "FOR TO THIS YOU WERE CALLED BECAUSE CHRIST ALSO SUFFERED FOR US, LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE THAT YOU SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS: WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS GUILE FOUND IN HIS MOUTH."

6. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE THE PERFECT CHURCH MEMBER AS A MATTER OF FACT, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPROACH PERFECTION IN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE, THE PLACE YOU MUST BEGIN, AS WELL AS END IS WITH THE TONGUE. THE SUBJECT THAT IS IN EVERYBODY'S MOUTH IS THE TONGUE. AND JAMES MAKES THREE IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THE MEANEST MEMBER IN OUR CHURCH.

I. THE DYNAMIC POWER OF THE TONGUE

1. JAMES SAYS IN V. 5. 'THE TONGUE IS A LITTLE MEMBER AND BOASTS GREAT THINGS., THERE IS THE POWER OF DYNAMITE IN THIS LITTLE ANIMAL CALLED THE TONGUE. BIG THINGS DO INDEED COME IN SMALL PACKAGES.

2. HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED HOW JUST ONE OR TWO WORDS CAN DETERMINE THE COURSE OF AN ENTIRE LIFE? FOR EXAMPLE, YOU-IRE SEATED AT A TABLE, TWELVE PEOPLE ENTER INTO A ROOM. ONE MAN STEPS FORWARD, POINTS A FINGER AT YOU AND SAYS JUST ONE WORD, "GUILTY". THAT ONE WORD IMMEDIATELY SEPARATES YOU FROM YOUR FAMILY, CUTS YOU OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD, AND SOILS YOUR REPUTATION FOREVER.

3. OR THINK OF THE TWO WORDS "I DO". WITH THOSE TWO WORDS A MAN BECOMES ENSLAVED FOREVER. HE DETERMINES WHAT HIS CHILDREN AND EVEN WHAT HIS GRANDCHILDREN WILL LOOK LIKE DOWN THE ROAD.

4. WHEN A WOMAN SAYS "I DO", SHE BASICALLY DETER- MINES FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE WHERE SHE IS GOING TO LIVE, WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL STATUS SHE IS GOING TO ACHIEVE, AS WELL AS THE KIND OF CHILDREN SHE IS GOING TO BEAR, INCLUDING THE SEX OF THE CHILDREN. ...


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