Saturday, August 11, 2018

August 11

I believe that God gives us assignments in the secular world as a teaching tool. Most Christians that I know, have jobs outside of their faith. This is good for observation. Even with our Christian dealings, when you are diligent in your devotion to studying the Word, it’s easy to tell who seeks the counsel of God and who doesn’t. In secular dealings, we see the frustration of misunderstandings, the confusion of misguidance, lack of peace, bitter jealousy, and selfish ambition. Though they think they are wise, their wisdom is not from above, it’s from the demonic. When I see these things play out before my eyes, it just makes my point! I watched as a person, whom I thought had everything together, also a business owner making a good living, get frustrated over lack of knowledge on a subject. They gave up, shut their book, and lashed out at those who were in their presence, rather than seek to understand. People like this do not draw my anger, they draw my pity, because their soul is lost. Here is the difference: you who are saved have the ear of God, a Savior who understands, a companion who guides you to the truth, and a book of God’s very own words. Use these tools to your advantage and the wisdom which comes from above will be downloaded into your heart. 

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. James 3:13-15

Friday, August 10, 2018

August 10

My daughter and I have many dealings together. We are partners in real estate and work very closely on various aspects of our business. Occasionally we will run across other humans who try our patience and push us to the edge of our faith. Though we are careful not to step across the line between good and evil, the temptation is real, and if it wasn’t for Jesus, some poor soul would have their heart yanked out and sliced into a million pieces! I know I just wrote about keeping control of your tongue a few days ago, but James comes back to that again in chapter 3. The timing is perfect, because she and I were just talking about this very thing. She said that when she worked as a deputy in the jail, that some of the people couldn’t hear her unless she stooped to their level and blasted them with the same language they used, and it was the only way to shut them down. The tongue is a very powerful weapon, and it can make you or break you. James describes the tongue as fire, poison, and salt! We are able to tame wild animals, yet cannot tame the tongue! At the end of our conversation, we decided that being we are not dealing with inmates, we would continue to keep our mouths on a tight leash, so that we maintain our good testimony through our dealings. My suggestion to you is that you do the same. We certainly don’t want to disappoint our Savior.

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:9-10

Thursday, August 9, 2018

August 9

My husband and I are partners together in property management. He makes sure the properties are maintained, handles the move-in and move-out preparations, coordinates the contractors as needed, and all the physical involvement. I take care of the clerical side by, collecting payments and keeping track of who’ve paid, preparing and having signed leases and renewals, insurance, and banking. We work together hand in hand. He couldn’t manage very well without me and I couldn’t manage very well without him. It takes both of us to show a profit. The Christian walk is similar to our working relationship. As a comparison, I would be the faith side of the relationship because you don’t see what I do, and my husband the works side of the relationship because what he does is seen by everyone. If you love Jesus and have faith that He is who He says He is, others will be able to see it by what pours out of you. Your faith together with your works will reveal itself as a profit for the Lord. They work together hand in hand.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:17-18

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

August 8

A person who is rich has financial freedom and are not restrained by the cost. If they see something they want, their wealth will give them the liberty to get what they desire. Though they are free to purchase whatever they want, they are careful with their money, that’s how they got rich to begin with, and that’s how they maintain their wealth. Compare that to freedom from the law of Moses - including the commandments. We are under the gospel, because Jesus was the only one who could keep the law of Moses, everyone else sinned, because it is impossible for the natural man to keep the law. Because we trust in Him and what He did for us by His death and resurrection, we are free from having to keep the law! God’s grace, undeserved favor, is what we have to be thankful to Jesus for, and is what gives us freedom. Mercy, withholding punishment, and is what keeps us from having to pay the price for our disobedience. Like the wealthy person, we are free to spend our freedom however we want, but we don’t because we don’t want to waste it on frivolous things. However, we should show mercy to those who frivolously spend their freedom. Mercy triumphs over judgment! 

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August 7

My church does many things well, but there is one thing it does best, it loves people. We don’t look upon one person as being more deserving than another, we look upon everyone the same, as deserving of love, and love them with the love of Jesus. We aren’t concerned with their status or how much money they have, were concerned about their heart. In all my years of going to church, I’ve seen nothing like it. So many people have a preconceived idea of what church looks like, and let me tell you “church people,” it doesn’t look good for us! They see us in our Sunday best and we don’t look like them, and they can’t identify with us. The man standing at the door with a suit and tie will make the average person feel uncomfortable. We should make it a point to love everyone like they are Jesus in disguise, or that we are entertaining angels unawares. We should love our neighbors as ourselves, even when they don’t seem lovable. James calls this the royal law. I love that, don’t you! If you are turning your nose up or looking down on anyone, does the Holy Spirit really reside in you?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. James 2:8-9

Monday, August 6, 2018

August 6

My grandson, who is six, knows Jesus and the Holy Spirit resides within him. How do we know? Because of his actions! He’s just like the rest of us who struggle with sin, but he knows where to turn when he does. Here is more evidence: His mother kept hearing him mumbling under his breath and ask him what he was saying. His reply was, “I keep thinking of cuss words and have to ask Jesus to forgive me!” We had quite a chuckle over that! He doesn’t know the Bible fully, yet the Holy Spirit is teaching him. We certainly don’t want him to cuss, but his use of the proper words is hardly a problem unless he’s cursing the Lord’s name when it should be revered. What matters is the condition of his heart. The Holy Spirit is teaching him to be obedient to his parents who want him to keep his language clean. When the Bible talks about keeping an undefiled tongue, it’s referring to trashing others, and cutting them down. When you are tempted to blast someone for their faults, remember to bridle your tongue! As a parent, we should set the example and not let our children hear us talking bad about others, but when we do, they should hear us ask for forgiveness.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. James 1:26

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 5

The area of my business is in the neighboring town from my home. During the first of the month, I will go there a couple of times a day. Yesterday, after my wonderful encounter with the Lord in the woods, my husband and I went out there to take care of a few things. On our way back home we came across a road block where a tree had fallen in the road. We were able to go around it by following the direction of the police officer. Later that day we had to go there again and came across another road block! This time a whole company of military vehicles were blocking the roadway. We were unable to pass and had to turn around and take another route. This is what it’s like to navigate through our lives as a Christian. Sometimes God will help you get around a road block and other times He’s the one blocking your path. Make sure you recognize His hand of guidance. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had tried to force our way through the area that the military had blocked? Someone would have gotten hurt and it probably would have been us. 

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. Revelation 3:7