Wednesday, November 30, 2016

James 2:19- You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

I love the book of James because it’s direct and in your face; it gets right to the point. Many believe that there is a God, but that doesn’t mean much. The demons are really bad and they believe their is a God, and they even fear Him. I’m sure we would all agree that we are better than demons, but do we fear God? The Bible says we should fear God but that doesn’t mean live in fear. We should respect and fear God, and our lives should be lived in a way that represents and imitates the life of Christ. Saying you believe in God is easy, but does your life show that your living for Him? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless."  James 2:14-17 (NLT)

Years ago, when I wrestled at West Virginia University, one of my coaches was a World Champion and Olympian - Nate Carr. Nate would often give our pre-practice and pre-match speeches. He was famous for saying, “Don't tell me you are going to be a National Champion, show me!” Nate was letting us know that words are meaningless if not backed up and proven genuine with action. It was ea...

Monday, November 28, 2016

James 2:12-13- Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. 

As Christians, we are saved by God’s free gift called grace through the faith that we have in Christ. Just because it is a free gift, that doesn’t mean we abuse it. We are all required to obey God. We will all stand before Christ and be judged one day and His grace does not cut out the duty of being obedient to Him. The fact that we are saved by God’s grace puts a new spin on the laws. They are no longer laws that hold us back and keep us from God’s blessings, but they are laws that set us free, laws that can be carried out with joy in our hearts and peace as our strength. We must be obedient. We have been saved by God’s grace and thank God that He is mer...

Friday, November 25, 2016

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” 

James 2:10 (NIV)

When you first read this verse it seems super scary and intimidating and almost as if it belongs in the Old Testament. If James, the half-brother of Jesus, is talking about the topic of keeping the law, it must be pretty important. This had to have been a problem back in James’ day: Jesus followers picking and choosing which act was a sin and what wasn’t. But according to this verse, if you just break one law it’s as though you break the whole law. It’s like a chain; if one link in the chain snaps, the whole chain is broken. All this points to the importance of obeying Jesus in everything you do. 

As Christ followers, we can’t pick and choose which of God’s words we want to believe and follow and which ones just aren’t for us. God’s word isn’t...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?” James‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭(NLT)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Ever pick up a book based on its cover looking good, only to have it be a horrible book? How about when you put all your effort into a project and someone else gets more recognition because they were more popular then you? How did that make you feel? How about when your on the bus and th...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

“So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (NKJV)

What do you get angry at? What you get angry at is an indicator of what you value and care about. Do you get angry at the injustices that those with less experience. Do you get angry when you see people living on the streets? Do you get angry when you hear about someone being abused or suffering needlessly at the hands of a predator? What about when someone lies to you, mistreats you, steals from you, or makes fun of you? Well, I know the answer to the last set of questions - yes!  Even though we may get angry at the troubles and hardships that others suffer, we can usually count on becoming angry when we are on the receiving end of those injustices. James says that that is not the sam...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

James 1:13-15- When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Temptation comes from evil desires inside of us, not from God. It all starts with a thought, and when we allow that thought to remain in our mind, it grows and becomes an action (sin). Many christians wonder why they are still tempted even though they follow God. Always remember God doesn’t tempt people and try to make them sin, He tests them. God allows satan to tempt people and it’s important that we rely on God and stand firm in our faith to resist temptation and overcome evil so we can grow spiritual. You will be tested by...

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.  For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business."  James 1:9-11 (NIV)

Self-esteem is how a person sees themselves.  How you see yourself is influenced by many factors. How you interpret the way others treat you, what people say about you, and what you say about yourself. There are more than the ones mentioned, but you get the idea. There is only one truth about who you really are and not many. Just like you don’t have different names, you do not have different worths and values. You have only one value and it is not determined by people,...

Friday, November 18, 2016

"But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." James 1:6-8 (NIV)

For the last three summers my family has traveled to the beach for vacation. This past year, my boys finally had the courage and confidence to remain in the ocean. Playing in the ocean is not only fun, but it also comes with dangers. The dangers of an undertow and strong waves.  My boys are still small, and when they enter the water, my “Daddy” radar is on high alert. I grew up swimming in the waters of the Jersey Shore and I’m well aware of how powerful waves can be. In a moment they can take you out further to sea then you would like. You feel helpless and scared. The same...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 (NIV)

When we look at verse two, it is not common in this world for people to find joy during troubling times. The words are not saying to put a smile on your face and pretend all is good, but instead have a positive outlook. This verse speaks of the strength that only God can give us through the difficult areas in our lives. 

The word perseverance simply means continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, but when we apply it with God as our focus, the meaning becomes much more intense. The Theology definition is continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eterna...

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