18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Not only do we receive the Word through listening, repenting and humbling ourselves by fourth:
D. By implanting – vs 21
The KJV James uses the word “engrafted”. Interestingly this is the only time that original word is used in all of the New Testament. But I love the picture that is painted by the word engrafted because its more than just planting the word. Have you ever had a seedless watermelon? Or a tangelo? How do they come up with those things? By grafting. They take part of one kind of tree and graft it to another kind of tree. And when they do, it grows together and produces a new kind of fruit. That is what James is encouraging us to do. To receive the Word with meekness so that it becomes grafted to you. Actually, you become grafted to God’s Word. When that happens, you will produce a new kind of fruit. You will no longer produce the old fruit of the flesh that Paul talks about in Romans 1:29-31: Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.” Did you catch all of those? Or did you just notice the ones you don’t have a problem with? What about deceit, gossip, proud boasters? That’s not the kind of fruit that grows from a person who has been engrafted with the Word. When you are truly grafted to God’s Word, you will produce new fruit. James reminds us to hold onto the Almighty not our Anger. He says to be slow to become angry! This has to do with your fuse. Many of us have a short fuse why because we have become grafted to our feelings instead of the Father. What is it that typically triggers anger, often we get angry when we don’t get our way! Why do we often use anger as the fuel to try to get what we want, because in the short term we often get our way. But anger has an ugly backlash, while we get our way, we destroy relationships. While we may get what we want we don’t get God’s Will. James reminds us that anger doesn’t work because it doesn’t bring about the righteousness that God desires. Instead of leading to righteousness anger leads to running over people. Antidote to Anger is to spend time with the Almighty, listening to His heart and living according to its beat instead of basing it on our feelings. Anger is often a protest, were we are protesting not getting what we want. We see this all the time in young c children. The problem is many of us have never grown up, we are like the adult children Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” Our outbusts of anger reveal a lack of maturity.Instead of wasting our time protesting we need to be investing our time praying. How much time are you spending protesting and how much time praying? Anger hardens our hearts, spending time with the Almighty softens them. It’s not that God doesn’t care about your feelings it’s that He cares more about your character. Feelings are fleeting they come and go but character determines a successful and worthy life, one lived for the Savior instead of self. Many of us seem to worry more about our reputation than our character. But your reputation is just what other people say you are where your character is who you really are. It has been said:
Watch your thoughts; they lead to attitudes.
Watch your attitudes; they lead to words.
Watch your words; they lead to actions.
Watch your actions; they lead to habits.
Watch your habits; they lead to character.
Watch your character; it determines your destiny.
What are you engrafted to, is it your sin or your Savior, this world or His Word?