Archives for : sermon illustrations on the book of james

NOT MY PROBLEM

The Browns were shown into the dentist’s office, where Mr. Brown made it clear he was in a big hurry.  “No fancy stuff, Doctor,” he ordered, “No gas or needles or any of that stuff.  Just pull the tooth and get it over with.”

“I wish more of my patients were as stoic as you,” said the dentist admiringly. “Now, which tooth is it?”

Mr. Brown turned to his wife… “Show him, honey.”

It’s easy to be brave when someone else is the one experiencing the pain!  I wonder as I write and speak about facing trials with a positive attitude if I could be so upbeat if I actually suffer the loss of everything I own in a hurricane or tornado.  It’s easy to be brave when someone else is experiencing the pain!

It’s also easy to believe that someone else is the only one needing treatment.  “Don’t look at me, doctor.  Take care of her!”  As you sat listening to (or delivering) a sermon Sunday, did you find yourself saying, “I sure hope so-and-so is listening, because this is something he really needs to work on!”

Listen to these words of James:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:23-25James 1:23-25
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

23 For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.

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James does not say that the word of God is a magnifying glass or a telescope to look at others.  Rather, it is a mirror.  And a mirror is only used to look at yourself.

I pray that you will take the opportunity today to use the word of God as a mirror, and may your life be changed by it.

Alan Smith