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(James 3:2 NLT) … we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

(Psalm 141:3 NLT) Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.


(James 3:3-5 MSG) A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

(James 3:5-6 MSG) It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

√ My words can DEMOLISH . . .
(Proverbs 10:19 MSG) The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words.’

• Sticks and stones may break my bones… But words will never hurt me.

(Proverbs 18:21 NLT) The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

√ My words unveil my HEART. (OR REVEAL)

(James 3:9-10 NLT) Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

(Luke 6:45 NIV) … For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

• The REAL ISSUE lies in the HEART.
(Proverbs 4:23 NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

1. A heart CHANGE.
(2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NLT) For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

(2 Peter 1:8 NLT) The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Change what you STORE UP.
(Matthew 12:35 NIV) A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

(Psalm 19:14 NLT) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, …

3. Choose words of LIFE.
(Matthew 3:17 NLT) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

(Proverbs 3:2-3 NLT) If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.

(Ephesians 4:29 MSG)’Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.’

(Proverbs 15:4 MSG)’Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.’

• Build FAITH
(Romans 1:11-12 NIV) I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

(2 Corinthians 4:13-14 MSG)’We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive.


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The Book of James
Life's Steering Wheel