TAME THAT TONGUE!
If we let our tongues run loose, God help us! Our tongue gets enflamed with anger, resentment, gossip and the like. The tongue is like a match ready to be lit! Learning how to tame the tongue is possible if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us on when, where, and if we should speak. The Bible says we should be slow to speak. (James 1:19)
“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:7-10)
DON’T JUDGE ME!
People are eager to give their opinions about others life and choices, especially on Social Media. It has become a favorite pastime to post cruel and rude comments on others post. Where is the compassion and empathy for others? Every day we have an opportunity to be a light in the world, let’s not waste those opportunities by making snap judgments about others. We are all under God’s law, which is good and perfect and just and loving. When we follow God’s law, we live according to his design. Anything else we make up ourselves, and who are we to make judgments according to our own standards?
“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery” also said, “do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery , but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judge by the law of liberty. For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.” (James 10-13)
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge you another?” (James 4:12)
PRESEVERE UNDER TRIALS!
Your spirit is saved by faith in Christ’s sacrifice, and your soul (empowered by the Holy Spirit)) is saved by faith and endurance. (Luke 21:19). That doesn’t mean you are saved by works, but it means your perseverance is vitally rooted in your salvation. Our faith only grows stronger when tested by trials. The choice to keep trusting God in the midst of the trial brings His blessings. True believers “bear fruit with perseverance.” (John 15:1-4)
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED!
There are two days you should never worry about: yesterday and tomorrow. The past is remembered but you should not live there. The future gives us hope, but tomorrow is not promised. Therefore we should live in the moment, the present. Be thankful, love, and cherish each day as if it is your last. Most importantly, every moment and with each breathe we take we should be seeking and searching for God.
“You say “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. “As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)
LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
It is easy to love those who return that love. The thing is Jesus did not say love only those who love us. His desire is for us to love others as we love ourselves. (Matthew 22:37-39) He loves us, unconditionally. He loved us enough to die for us even though we are not worthy. So why is it that we get to decide who is worthy of our love? We live in a world where there is jealousy, hatred, comparison, and the devil is running rapid. But just because we live in it, does not mean we have to be a part of it. (Romans 12:2) We can motivate each other into acts of love and good works, starting with ourselves. Instead of praying for God to change the person in order for us to love them, we can pray for God to give us a heart to love them. Sometimes difficult people are placed in our lives to teach us how to love like God, unconditionally. Everyone who calls themselves a follower of Christ is called to walk in love.
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.” (James 2:8)
SEEK GOD FIRST!
We pursue many things in this life. Fame, wealth, beauty, and love just to name a few. We seek these things presuming they will bring us happiness. However these things can shift depending on time or circumstances. Everything that we chase here on earth is temporary. The steadfast pursuit of seeking God first is the only source of true joy and eternal satisfaction. If we seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, He will provide everything else we need. (Matthew 6:33) He will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) God is our Source and everything else is a resource provided by God.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up in honor.” (James 4:7-10)
So there you have it my people, like it or not. Some hard truths not from me but from The Epistle of James. Early church tradition identifies him as the half-brother of Christ. In his letter to the twelve tribes, he identifies himself as “a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” This letter have been called the how-to book of the Christian life. You could say James was sounding a wake-up call to all us Christians: “Get your life in line with what you believe! If we are honest, we all have been guilty of being out of line at some point in our lives. James references key points from the Sermon on the Mount and calls on Jesus’s followers to live wisely. James combines the wisdom of Jesus with the book of Proverbs in his own challenging call to live a life of devotion to God. How do we do that? By seeking God and being obedient to His will. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) Love and Blessings…