James Week 4 | The Power of the Tongue|James 3:1-12 | May 28th, 2017

Warm Up: Our tongues are powerful. They can be used for good or evil. How has this obvious yet deeply profound truth been evident to you lately? 

  • Read James 3:1-4. James first shows the power of the tongue in its ability to DIRECT. In what ways do a horse’s bit and a ship’s rudder demonstrate the power of the tongue? How is this helpful to you?
  • Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Pastor Dale had us write down 5 positive attributes about ourselves. Go around and share 5 things you like about yourself. Why is this exercise so challenging yet important based on Prov. 16:24?
  • Read 1 Corinthians 14:3, 24. These verses speak of four benefits of prophecy, which can be defined as “speaking on behalf of God.” Consider the following:
  1. Edification, or strengthening. How have you felt strengthened, or edified, by the words someone has spoken to you recently? What was the result of that edification?
  2. Exhortation, or encouragement. These words have an emphasis on the future promote a sense of positive urgency. How have you been exhorted through a sermon, friend, or the Word of God lately? 
  3. Comfort. These words look to the past and bring peace in the midst of struggle. What kinds of words bring comfort to your heart when you have been in a trial? Is there someone you know who needs to hear a word of comfort? Who does God use in your life to often bring comfort to you? 
  4. Conviction. God directs us to Himself by calling out sin in our lives and the need to change our behaviors and actions, and move toward Him. What’s the difference between conviction and condemnation? (See Rom. 8:1). In what ways do you feel you need to respond to conviction more in your life? 
  • Read James 3:5B-8. In this passage James draws out analogies that reveal the tongue’s power to DESTROY. How have you witnessed the destructive power of the tongue in your own life recently? 
  • Read James 3:9-12. Through the fountain and the trees, James shows us the intrinsic DICHOTOMY of the tongue. From one source come both life and death, blessing and cursing. How does this challenge or convict you?

Wrap Up: Through this study, in what ways has the Holy Spirit encouraged you about your tongue? It what ways has He convicted you? Ask God to help you respond in obedience to these words of encouragement and conviction from Him.