Good Morning Joes and Janes;
I recently purchased several books and a DVD on preparedness. Some books were e-books and are on my computer while the others are sitting on my shelf. I believe they all have a lot of good information in them and I hope to share some with you in the months ahead. However if I don’t make the time to actually read them and put the knowledge they contain into action then they are useless. That is what today’s devotional in James is talking about.
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 a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
The part about looking in the mirror reminds me of times I walk into a room to get something but then forget what I was after….but I think James has a different point. Sitting in church on Sunday morning, reading a passage of the Bible every day or watching a sermon on TV are all great things to do, but if you never actually take that message and change how you live your life; then really it is just a waste of time. Actually internalizing and putting into practice the Word of God is what changes our lives for the better.
Every morning at least we make a trip to the bathroom, look in the mirror and wash up, shave, brush our teeth and other activities, often not really seeing ourselves. Stopping to really look in the mirror can be a frightening experience! We can see lines that were not there before, wrinkles, blemishes we don’t envision in our minds eye of how we look. James says that listening to the word but not doing it is like looking in the mirror but then just forgetting what we really look like. Going out into the world with that mental image of ourselves, not the true image of what we are.
Self examination in the mirror can be hard. Self examination of our hearts can be even harder; but that is what is required to realize our need for God and our need for changes in our lives.
Have a great day in the Lord and don’t forget to really take a look in the mirror next time you get a chance.
Good Morning Joes and Janes
Yesterday I went on a 4 mile run that turned into a 4 and 1/4 mile run. I had mapped out a route on the winding gravel roads near the house. After running 2 1/4 miles I was getting winded and missed a turn, finding myself up what turned out to be a driveway with a no trespassing sign staring me in the face. When we are tired and not paying attention in life we can get off the path God has for us. Just a thought for today.
Following on in James chapter 1, I thought I would add a couple of more verses:
James 1: 4 & 5
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Perseverance is not something that comes naturally, at least to me. It is continually making the right choice rather than the easy choice, going forward when you want to quit. Having the wisdom to make the right decisions is a big part of walking the Christian walk and persevering. Fortunately for those who have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord of their life; we have this great promise of God found in verse 5. God gives wisdom generously to all who ask!
Well, I am off for another day in the hot sun, I hope you are able to enjoy some shade where you are at.
- Irresistible Grace in Sanctification (slaveofchrist.wordpress.com)
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
I am back after a couple of weeks of not posting. My life became rather hectic, not that there were great trials, the topic of today’s devotional, just overly busy and not enough energy and time to accomplish the many tasks of the day. Among the many blessings were the celebration of my 40th wedding anniversary which included a 4 day trip away from the Bitterroot Valley. Now I hope to return to a daily devotional and other topical posts that cover the 5 G’s. I hope that you will find them beneficial.
Today some thoughts on the book of James:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
It can be easy to complain, whether about the heat, or in a few months about the cold, or whatever is affecting us in our daily lives but God tells us through James that we should consider all of our trials pure joy! Why would we want to be happy about our trials and suffering? Because it is these very trials that tests our faith and ultimately strengthens it and develops our ability to persevere or overcome these obstacles.
Yesterday I signed up for a 4 mile run that occurs on August 26th in Missoula. Am I ready to run 4 miles? No, but the challenge of preparing and strengthening my muscles over the next couple of weeks will stretch me in ways that I know will help me to persevere when race day comes. Our muscles, like our spiritual life, will either grow or shrink depending on how much we use them. If we use trials in our life to expand our relationship with God, then we will grow in our faith.
- Talking with God
- Relying on His strength, not ours
- Staying in His Word
- Following His commandments
These are the activities that prepare us for the race of life.
I pray that you go forth today seeking Him, relying on Him and counting the joy of your trials you may run into today; knowing that they will bring you into a closer relationship to Christ Jesus.
I am off to stretch my muscles.
Good Monday Morning!
I spent the better part of the weekend just visiting with family and relaxing on a beach yesterday afternoon. It has really helped recharge my batteries. It can be easy for me to get caught up in trying to pay the bills and get ahead a little for the winter months when construction slows down.
That can get in the way of enjoying the short life God gives us here on earth. Sometimes it can get us lusting after money, making us wish we were rich or at least comfortably well off so we didn’t need to worry about getting the bills paid. However, this morning when I opened the Bible I found myself in Ecclesiastes.
8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.
We all have our problems, whatever our station in life, and just having more money will not solve our problems. In fact in my experience we can often find ourselves in more trouble. It can be tempting to fall into the habit of trying to get a little more money, “to get ahead.” But when this starts getting ahead of our personal relationships with God and family it becomes sin. We can fall into a trap that the verses above talk about. No matter how much money you have it is all spent, never enough.
And verse 12 talks about an ultimate shame; getting to the point that you have plenty of money so that you have all that “spare time” that we all so much desire….only to find that you can’t even get a good night’s sleep because you are worried about your riches.
I begin a new week, and a new job with a renewed happiness and satisfaction for where I am in life. I know that at the end of every day I come home tired and get a good night’s sleep.
I pray that whatever your station in life; God is the center, the focus, not an empty love of money, riches or fame. Life is fleetingly short and only God can fill the deepest desires of your heart.
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
I have missed several devotionals this week between the Independence Celebrations and lots of work. But I do have a short one for you to close out the week.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
Sometimes I focus too much on daily events and not enough on the eternal. When I do that I can become negative, and start complaining. We as Christians have a great blessing and comfort that we live with every day if we choose to focus on it. God loves each of us and shows it in countless ways as he matures us and grows us in a closer walk with him. God adopted us as his children when we were still lost in sin, unlovely and did not care about him. This is a hard love to really understand. How often do we even reach out to the person that is unlovable, or shows a total lack of regard for us? Are we nearly as loving of ”those people” as we could be? How would the world around us change if we showed that kind of love?
God has given us his Son, Jesus Christ, that we can have redemption, forgiveness and the riches of God’s grace. He didn’t just give us a little bit, just a taste of, barely enough to get us by. He lavished, gave it in excess!…More than we needed!… and with all wisdom and understanding!
Surely God is Great! It is hard to be negative and complaining when you take all that God has done for us today!