Thursday, October 02, 2014
James 1:19 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.
In the heat of the moment we say things that are hurtful. Words cannot be taken back. They are like murder to the inner man. Once you have said something you regret there’s no undoing what you have done. When someone is murdered there is no bringing them back.
If we could only take the advice of James and keep a slow tongue.
James 3:3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
When it comes to our tongues it would be better if they could be held in suspended animation than to hurt others.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Yesterday, following the sermon, our pastor had us all praying for one another. (Novel idea.) During the prayer time, I prayed for a woman whose parents had set siblings against each other in a battle that apparently had become a life long war. I prayed that God would lift that spirit of sibling rivalry from her. She insisted that there was no sibling rivalry but only anger from what her parents were doing and had done all of her life.
So, I told her that God tells us in the Scriptures that every hair on our head is numbered. And not just those on top but also our eyebrows, ear hairs, and nose hairs as well. (For a man the beard is included.) And that no two people that had ever lived had the same numbers. I told her, “You are unique and God loves you just the way you are.”
I asked her if she felt any different and she muttered, “yes” through tears and red eyes.
There was another woman praying for her also and she said, “I see a road and all along the side of the road there are different things that you come upon that are tempting but these things are not good for you. Stay on the lighted path with Jesus and don’t veer off to the left or right. Narrow is the path that leads to life.”
God loves us and cares about our journey. He wants to be a part of our everyday lives. He cares for you.
We all come from a different place but we are all headed to the same destinations, either heaven or hell. The path is narrow.
How can we know the love of God? Who can claim this awesome massive “agape”?
God is like a mother who clips the babies first curls and keeps them in a memory book. We can’t really measure the depth of his love. But God is a god of details. He knows the desires of our hearts. He wants us to walk with Him.
Yesterday, the sermon was about how the kingdom of God is both/and. It is here and now and also coming. Then this morning as I entered into devotions God said, “Though heaven is future it is also present tense. As you walk in the Light with me you have one foot in heaven and one on earth.” In a completely different devotional He said, “It is a process of dying and living.”
Over and over he reaffirms His presence. “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Let’s begin with a prayer this morning: LORD, lead us to your truth. Open our eyes, LORD, we want to see you. Open our ears, LORD, we want to listen. Let the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in your sight. Inspire each word to your purpose. May the light of your presence, bring us grace sufficient for this day’s plan. In Jesus Christ. Amen.
Each morning, upon awakening, the first thought in my head usually takes the form of something that compels me to action that is laid out in such a way that it quickens my body to respond to a specific detail on a map (God’s Plan for my life) that directs my steps. Throughout the day, I know I am on the right path because this same thought repeats itself over and over both as a reminder of where I am going and how I am going to get there. This thought is what I call inspiration. (In-Spirit).
Due to free will, I can make a choice to either follow that inspiration or not.
When I follow the inspiration it begins with prayer, bible study, praises, listening for God’s voice, thinking about what He tells me, and then acting on what He has said. When I do this, there is peace in Him. There is an absolute joy that comes from obedience. I feel inspired because I am inspired.
You see, my heart’s desire becomes to be righteous because He is righteous, to be Holy because He is holy, and to be pure because He is pure. When my heart is right with God, then I am free to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in my life. He can live and move and have His being in my body. He acts out of love and patience and kindness through me. There is a joy just from watching it all and seeing what He will do next. It makes my days full of the peace that passes understanding. I see goodness everywhere. I see Him active in our lives. I see the grace He gives and it makes my heart thankful. I am humbled by His presence. The Spirit is so gentle and longsuffering. He abounds in forgiveness. It permeates Him. It allows me to be forgiving to others and to myself. I am weak but He is strong.
When I choose not to follow His inspiration, I unknowingly grieve Him. He anguishes for me over the unguided steps, the misdirected purposes, the wailing and groaning of the old self so evident in this choice. Not to mention the consequences. We miss out on so much in life when we go our own way and do the things we know we should not do.
Still, He gently nudges, hoping we will see and hear Him. You can’t see what you don’t look for in life. You can’t hear His call if you turn a deaf ear to Him.
30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Our proof that we are His is in that seal. That’s our deposit on a destiny to the pearly gates. That’s the passcode, that gets us past the gate; living in Him.
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