Saturday, 10 July 2010

James Says II

Carrying on with my previous Post on the lessons from James 1, i'll just be talking about the other half of the chapter that has to do with acting on the word of God.

Verse 19-20 of James 1 advises that "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, /for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires".

This here, is a key basic message for use in relationships. It's all about communication, anger only complicates things. We have 2 ears to listen and just 1 mouth to use in speaking so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Notice it also says be SLOW to speak and become angry.

Everytime, somebody says something that annoys you, notice how your anger soars to a 100% and you utter some harsh words without even thinking about it; almost like a reflex action. You need to spend time listening and processing your thoughts so you don't say things that will rip someone to pieces. Words tend to be ingrained in our hearts and minds, they cannot be taken back.

James goes on to say that we should " 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". further on in the passage, we can not do this by only listening to the Word of God --> that's just deceit! deceit to ourselves.

The bible says study to show yourself approved of God. By default, we are sinful beings and evil desires that are part of our nature lead to sin. So therefore we need to train our minds how to think and what to think on. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. What you think is what you become!.

The Word of God keeps us from sin, as David rightly said in Psalm 119:11 "your word have I hidden in my heart that I may Not sin Against you". When there is something good stored in our hearts, we can then compare our actions against what's been saved as our standard to determine if it's right or wrong. That way we'll always be on track.

Philippians 4:8 " whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things". The things which meet these criteria are all found in the Word of God so we need to study it, meditate on it... Let it become a part of you! Live and breathe the Word.

Now let's talk a bit about controlling your tongue! the tongue is a sensitive yet strong organ, used to prepare food for chewing and swallowing, it's primary function is taste and more importantly it forms our speech.

The Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue - Proverbs 18:21

We need to be careful what we say. like i said before, the words you speak can make or break someone. On a more serious note, it can make the difference between you improving your life and you tearing your life down.

With your mouth, you can speak things in to existence as though they already existed. So even when the sky is dark and grey and there seems to be no way ahead of you, still speak positively! Afterall, what you're seeing is NOT what you WANT to see. (i hope. :p)

Anger is another thing that makes us spiral out of control and just say the next thing that pops into our heads. Now check yourself, If you are always so angry that nothing can contain you or you don't just know why you get so mad at times...Know it's not of God, something is definitely not right. God is love and as a christian you should display the fruits of the Spirit which include LOVE and Self Control. So if these two are missing, then you need to go on a self - exploratory journey with Jesus.

If I choose to speak positively but I think differently in my heart, is that OK?
In James 1:7 -8 it says that a double-minded man should not expect to receive anything from God.

David also says in psalm 19:14 "let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord" Not only should our words be right before God but our heart has to be int he right condition too. Remember in Genesis when Sarah laughed. she didn't actually laugh out loud, She did so in her heart but God saw it. God sees our heart so it always has to be in check!

A few closing words: Remember that the Bible is our spiritual food. We need to feed on it everyday pretty much in the same way as you would eat regular food daily. Use the Word of God as a mirror , checking your life is in line with it.

'Man shall not live by bread alone' was what Jesus said to Satan when He was tempted. This statement suggests that if we don't live by the Word, we are dying. Of course you're not going all wrinkly and running out of breath; it's not a physical death but a spiritual death.

Rightly divide the Word of God. Get it into manageable chunks that is easy for you to learn. It doesn't have to be a boring read you know, dig deeper and you'll find interesting things that you may have missed even after reading that verse a million times!

The times we are in calls for seriousness with the Bible! We need the WORD a lot more than our own experiences. The Devil knows a lot more than we do, do not be deceived into thinking otherwise!

Stay Blessed!

...The love of God is like the ocean,you can see its beginning, but not the end. :-)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

James says

Some of you will remember the game 'Simon says' where whatever was said according to "Simon" had to be done. Now we're just gonna put a spin on that and call this James says.
Rather than being a game, we're gonna take lessons from the Book of James in the Bible. Hopefully we'll be acting out what it says! Let's go.

James 1 talks a lot about faith and how it develops in 'trials and tribulations'. It also talks about God's Word i.e. the Holy Bible and advises us to not only listen but to act on the word that we hear.

According to Hebrews 11:1 "... faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see". So now imagine you're standing on a broken bridge at point A, there's a gulf below you and thick looming fog in front of you. your vision is slightly obscured and you cannot see the other end of the broken bridge, point B. however you know that the other end of that bridge does exist.

If we translate that to mean that point A is where you are now (in life, in your career, in your education, in your relationships) and point B is where you hope to be then faith can be seen as that connecting rope that links the two points!
The only thing that connects you here and now to what is ahead which you have no clue about is your faith.

Faith is important because without it we cannot please God. But what does it do for our friends? our brothers and sisters? Faith reproduces hope in others. The Little things about your journey is important to someone else. The testimony you share at the end is great and it will encourage someone out there but it only shows them the finished the result.

When you tell them your 'faith-story', detailing every challenge in the journey, people start to nod their head with you saying "I can identify with that" or "if he could do that then it means I can do it too" or "If she could get through that then there's hope for me, I'm gonna reach for the light at the end of the tunnel".

"But is it ok to just sit there and do nothing since I have faith?" I hear you ask.
The answer is NO. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. For example, you can have faith that you are gonna ace your exam but you also gotta put the work in by studying for it! Faith admits that 'I'm not meant to understand things like God does so I leave it all up to HIM'

Faith says I'm seeking God first even though i'm worried about this and that. it says Let your will be done First!. We have to trust God that He is faithful to complete the work He began In us.

We also have to recognise that when God does not give us something, He has greater plans. He's taking you to a higher level. One thing that I have found is that God doesn't do things in's not like climbing stairs, going a step at a time. No. You may find that He could lift you from the bottom of the stairs and place you midway to the top.

That's something that depends on how long we've spent kneeling in His presence, building our relationship with him and allowing Him to chisel away our rotten, roughened edges.

Our relationship with Him is personal and Through various experiences Our faith is strengthened. Things happen for a reason, but a lot of the time we are so caught up in our feelings about the pain, the loss, the impact that we don't see outside the box. Seek for a reason.

Maybe you're where you are because of someone or something. You may Plan to go through a certain route but God takes you through a different one because He wants you to encourage somebody that day.
Ever thought of the friends you have and how you came to know them? Imagine if you weren't where you where that day, you probably would have never become friends!

"The testing of your faith brings about perseverance.Let your perseverance grow that you may be perfect and complete needing nothing - James 1:3-4"

...The love of God is like the ocean,you can see its beginning, but not the end. :-)