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Faith That Helps


"26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." 
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift all of you up in our prayers. We would  ask that you would do the same for us. We would also appreciate if you would share our website with all of your family and friends.  We again would like to encourage you to visit our Prayer Wall, not only to pray for our brothers and sisters in their time of need, but to also add any prayers or concerns that you may have.
There are many people in the Church today approach spiritual truth with a hearer’s mentality, receiving God’s Word only passively. I submit to you that only hearing is unregenerate. It is no better than unbelief or outright rejection of God's Word. The person who hears the Word, and does not have the proper heart response, that which has been sown cannot bear fruit.  
All true believers are doers of the Word. When we divorce ourselves from meaningful obedience, our hearing is worthless.I believe that we need to drop the mask that we so often don and realize that we all struggle with the issue of sin. People often assume that pastors don’t understand the concept of struggling with such issues, when in fact, we do understand and struggle with the same issues as everyone else. We must come to the Word of God being honest with ourselves, our situation and willingness to be taught and corrected. It’s all too easy to make a profession of faith; it’s quite another thing to put that faith into practice.
Believers often fail, sometimes miserably, yet, even when we fail, true believers will not altogether cease having the disposition and motivation of one who is an effectual doer.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You for this Word, for this wonderful reminder that holy obedience to You begins with love. It is nurtured by prayer, and purified by our detachment from the world's unholiness.Lord, help us to take an accurate inventory of ourselves. Lord, we pray for those who find the absence of loving compassion in their heart toward those in need. We pray that You would bring the gospel of Christ to bear on those hearts and bring them to the  knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Savior, that there would be a new heart of true regeneration. May we all leave today with the freshness of a new soul and may we offer You our deepest gratitude.  Make us to be a people whose attitude and heart toward those in need reveals us to be hearers of the world who also do. May we offer up our thanks and praise to You Lord, the redeemer of our hearts, because those are not the desires of our old heart. 
In Christ's name we pray
Today's Message: Faith That Helps
Open your Bibles with me to the book of James. Today, we’re looking at verses 26-27. I invite you to follow along with me as I read the text for you in order that you might have it well in mind, as we prepare our hearts for what the Spirit has to say to us. James 1:26-27.
"If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." 
The word James uses for "religious" is the word threskos, it is often used in reference to ceremonial public worship. It is the same word that the Apostle Paul used in Acts 26:5, to refer to the tradition of the Pharisees. If we will be whole then we must live holy. Our practical behavior must reflect our professed belief. To behave hypocritically is to act without integrity. As we can see, James is passionate that those who say that they have faith actually live as those who have faith.
In his epistle there is no doubt that James is seeking to urge his readers to live a life of wisdom; that is, a life which is lived Coram Deo, meaning in the presence of God. To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. God is omnipresent. There is no place so remote that we can escape God's penetrating gaze. To be aware of the omnipresence of God, is to be acutely aware of His sovereignty. Living under divine sovereignty involves being living sacrifices, recognizing that there is no higher goal than offering honor to God.
A fragmented life is marked by disobedience, disharmony, inconsistency, confusion, conflict, contradiction, and chaos. The Christian who divides his life between the religious and the nonreligious is itself a sacrilege. As Christians, we are to live by principle, not expediency; by humility before God, not defiance, we are to held captive by the Word of God. Scripture repeatedly points to those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. Over and over again, the Bible deals with the fact that not only are there saved people and lost people, but there are lost people who think that they are saved.
Verse 26, "If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless." Here, James is talking about the person whose life is dominated by a pattern that characterizes his very nature. Though he professes to be religious, his character does not live up to his claim. While he undoubtedly thinks of himself as righteous, he is misled about the efficacy of his own religion. 
That despite his external religion, his constantly unbridled and out of control tongue demonstrates a deceived and unholy heart. James argues that true religion is manifested by a restraining of the tongue. This kind of deception is eternally fatal, to behave hypocritically is to act without integrity. There is far more to the Christian life than either mere belief or mere behavior, even when both are correct. The truth is that one can have a correct belief system backed up by correct behavior, yet, his heart is far from God. Our affection for God is as important as are our actions.
In Matthew 12:37, Jesus warns us that "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."  
Although many Christians do not realize it, by their words and by their actions, or lack of them, they deceive themselves. The evidence suggests that their heart is not right with God or their fellow man, and their attempt to hide this lack of love only heightens their self-deception. Rendering their religion worthless. James is not here attempting to define religion but rather to illustrate the principle that true religion involves more than merely hearing. True saving faith will inevitably bear the fruit of good works. I'm sure that you will remember, this is the point, which he began with.
In essence, the doer of the word is not one who is simply involved in religious activity. Rather, he is devotedly involved in both the internal and the external aspects of his religion. James does not speak of religion in a negative sense here; quite the contrary, in verse 27, he speaks of religion which is "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
James has previously dealt with the need to make spiritual adjustments that are pointed out through the mirror of God’s Word. True regeneration changes a person’s will and changes a person’s nature. Here, he seems to address those who have made the necessary changes. Do you bridle your tongue?” One unmistakable evidence of genuine conversion is the ability to hold one’s tongue, to bring the tongue under submission to the control of the Holy Spirit. He is pointing out that what is in the heart proceeds from the mouth. If the life of God is in the soul of man, it cannot be hidden, it will be manifest through desires and deeds of the man, the changed life is lived with a desire to obey the Word of God. 
In Romans chapter 7, Paul in examining the dynamics of his own humanness says "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me." This is the battle that we all face. A new life will show itself by new behavior.
Those of us who are swift to hear the Word of God, we hear it eagerly, and when it confronts us, we don't angrily push away from the truth, we embrace it. We receive it with conviction, and repentance. That is the proper response to the Word of God.  The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. There’s a willingness to remove sin and bring the Word in. Those who are truly regenerate live with an ever-present sense of God, even when others are not watching, we are acutely aware that God is watching our every move. Whenever a Christian meets people’s true needs, it is doing God’s work.
There are numbers of professing Christians in the Church today, who hear the Word proclaimed, they may even discuss the truth of God with others and sadly, think that all of that religious activity is sufficient. The reality is their heart is destitute of the saving grace of God. When true believers look into the Word and they look deeply and linger there, meditating on its truths. 
I believe that when you look deeply at the Word of God, you'll see two things: one, you’ll see your own sin and two; you’ll see your Savior. The man who continues looking into the mirror of God’s Word, more intently, will sees in it things far more wonderful than just his own face. He sees the spots and the blemishes on his life, he sees the filthiness of his sin, yet if continues to look a while longer, he sees the thorn crowned face of Jesus Christ, the Savior whose blood cleanses him.
Joshua 1:8 says "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success."
I have heard it said, that most people spent about 1/5 of their entire life talking, for some, I would say its certainly a much larger percentage. That's an average of 18,000 words a day. That's a 54 page book! If that is true, then we desperately need to live under Christ’s Lordship to bridle our tongues. Because an unbridled tongue is always willing to be corrupted, negative, barren, destructive, critical, unwholesome, defaming, unedifying and backbiting. An outward observance without an honest assessment of a heartfelt affection, divorced from a genuine spirit of worship, brings no joy to God's heart and no glory to His name. As we deliberately cultivate a lifestyle of keeping in step with the Spirit, we will manifest the fruit of the spirit, which as Paul says in Galatians chapter 5, is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
Allow me to share something with you, if the tongue is not controlled, the heart is not transformed no matter how many prayers you say, how much knowledge you may have, how many church activities you are engaged in, its all in vain. Its futile! A religion that doesn’t transform the heart accomplishes absolutely nothing. It is really disturbing how many people can spend their lives in a religion that is absolutely useless. I encourage you to examine yourself, see the reality of your faith and do not be deceived. It isn’t what you do on the outside; it’s what comes out of your heart. 
In Matthew 23:27, Jesus made the same point, when He said "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness."
This is a serious indictment, if one claims to be a doer of the Word, but his tongue is unrestrained, his "religion" is as worthless as Hinduism, Buddhism or any other false religion! Not only is it is worthless to himself, but worthless to others, and worthless to God. The Word of God is unequivocally clear on this. I suggest that you would take it a step further, by not keep company with those who would lead you down the wrong path. It may cause you to make some enemies in order to guard your integrity and the glory of God. However, I believe that is a small price to pay to maintain your spiritual integrity.
God says you are genuinely religious in the true sense of the Word, when your life is marked by obedience and by love. Jesus said in John 13:34-35, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 
Love of others. In verse 27, James picks out orphans and widows. Orphans and widows are a segment of the population within the church that demonstrate the need for compassion. God has always been concerned with the fatherless and widows, and He has a special heart for people who have great need.
True Christianity is manifest from a pure heart by the way we talk and the way we act. But allow me to point out, that is also made manifest by how we love people who are in need, not just how we love people we like. Biblical love goes well beyond the love of this world. It is a love for God and everyone that He loves. In other words, the redeemed heart reaches out to others. If the heart doesn’t reach out to those in need love, genuine affection and a desire to serve, even though the resources may be limited, then that’s an indication that there’s no regenerate life there. The unregenerate heart is committed to his own self-indulgence.
In Closing..
Examine yourself. Look at your life, do you love the world, do you life for the world, do you indulge in the world? If the answer is yes, I can tell you, there is good reason to believe that you may not be a believer. James has been teaching us that pure religion belongs to people who show an inner control manifest in their speech, who show a love for people in need, and who stay away from being stained by the culture, buying in to its Satanic philosophies. That’s how a Christian lives.
If we are truly hearers and doers of the Word, if we are those who truly have God as our Father, then we will actively respond to the needs of the poor and the defenseless in society. Rather than ignoring or exploiting them, we will almost spontaneously seek to relieve them in their troubles.
Sometimes, when I look at my own life,  my mouth says things that it shouldn’t say.I don’t always demonstrate loving compassion towards others that I should. And I hate that about myself. The point I am making is, it’s not our perfection that proves our salvation; it’s our reaction to our imperfection.
Every once in while the flesh comes through, however, the pattern of your life is do that which is right and you desire with your tongue to honor God. Its during those times, when you don't, it burdens your heart to the point that you feel horribly guilty. That’s the mark of a transformed life.
May I suggest taking an inventory of your last 18,000 words. At the end of the day, did you speak more compassionately, more encouraging, more lovingly toward others? If someone were to read your 54-page book, what would they see about your attitude towards others? It is bitter or is it sweet? 

Do you receive great joy out of helping others? Or do you people simply to pacify your conscience a to make people think that you're generous? Good works that express a believer’s faith are divinely ordained and empowered by God.
Lastly, look at your desires, do you want all that you can get out of this world? Or are you more concerned with getting all that you out of God's Word? That's how I believe that you take a personal inventory. Everyone that God sends our way, is seeking His compassionate heart, which is at work through us. I believe that we must listen to the needs of others in the same way that God listens to each of us.
May it be so..
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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