Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Want to be happy? (James)

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

Blessed: happy (In congratulations, the reason why one is to be pronounced blessed is expressed by a noun or by a participle taking the place of the subject)
Endureth: to endure, bear bravely and calmly
Temptation: specifically, the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy
When he is: become, come about, happen
Tried: properly, accepted, approved
Shall receive: to gain, get, obtain absolutely
Crown: the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ
Life: real and genuine
Promised: to announce that one is about to do or to furnish something
Love: love to a master, God or Christ, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received

Want to be happy? Start loving God — with reverence, prompt obedience and grateful recognition of all God gives. Following Christ doesn't come with a promise of "easy street". There will be hardships along the way. But through it all, God remains faithful! 

Blessed—happy because no matter what happens, I choose to love God and obey Him with a thankful heart. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pursuits and Purpose (James)

For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. James 1:11

Fade away: equivalent to to have a miserable end
Ways: purpose, pursuit, undertaking

What will I be remembered for when I die? When I am no longer around, what will last? All the stuff we accumulate is that —stuff, no real lasting value. And as the old saying goes, "You can't take it with you."

What legacy am I creating now? The pursuits and purposes for earthly gain while can be enjoyable on earth, have no lasting value. Just as a spring flower withers and dies in the heat of the day, pursuits that have no eternal value will also have a miserable end. 

So, are my pursuits and purposes like a flower? Or am I like a tree planted by the waters? 
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

If I want to be like a tree rather than a flower than my pursuits must be following God's Word.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2

What is my pursuit? Am I after things that will have a miserable end? Or am I pursuing a life that will prosper by God's standards? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

God is Enough. (James)

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. James 1:9, 10
The phrase “of low degree” means one in humble circumstances; one of lowly rank or employment; one in a condition of dependence or poverty. It stands here particularly opposed to one who is rich; and the apostle doubtless had his eye, in the use of this word, on those who had been poor. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

Position doesn't matter. What does matter is one's relationship with Christ and knowing that no matter the situation, God is enough. 

God is enough. 

Is that a true? Is God enough in my life? 

 This post is the continuation of my Study of Colossians. 

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. Colossians 2:10 (AMP)

"In Christ they find the satisfaction of every spiritual want" (Peake). There is no other place for Christ. He is first in time and in rank. All rule and authority comes after Christ whether angels, aeons, kings, what not. Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

Satisfaction. Christ is all I need. But is He all I want? Am I satisfied with what Christ has to offer me? Think about that. Christ not only offered Himself as a sacrifice for my sins, He in His grace and mercy offers me His unconditional love, grace, and mercy. Is He enough? 

He should be. I should be content and overwhelmed with Christ Himself. Nothing more and nothing less. 

But that's just in the spiritual aspect, what about the physical? Christ is enough in that too. Or He should be. In light of eternity, what is important? I can't take things with me to Heaven. Anything I have here are earth, is from God. Those are blessings. 

And if SOMETHING, is more important than Christ, that THING has become an idol. Remember the 10 Commandments?
You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.
You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me. Exodus 20:3-5 (AMP)

No other gods before or besides Me. "Other gods"—anything or anyone on whom I place more importance than God and His Word. If THINGS, take precedent and are more important that the satisfaction I can find in Christ–then those THINGS are idols. And that's a dangerous precedent to set. 

Satisfaction. Christ alone. In order to be completely satisfied with Christ, I must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31; MSG)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

One-Purpose Mind! (James)

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Double-minded: wavering, uncertain, doubting; vacillating in opinion or purpose
Unstable: inconstant, restless
Ways: in all his purposes and actions

I don't know. I'm unsure. What should I do? Maybe. Perhaps. Yes, well wait, no. We've all had times when indecision seems to haunt us. Did we make the right choice? Is this really what I should do? 

Indecision and questioning past decisions can be used by Satan to keep us from fully trusting God. In our lives will face many opportunities to make decisions. Some are easy. Some take much thought. Some are life-changing. James 1:5—8 are about the art of using wisdom—the wisdom that God gives. When we make choices based on wisdom from God, then we know for certain, no matter what happens, we made the right choice! 

As I read the definition of the word, "double-minded"-vacillating in opinion or purpose-the idea of an oscillating fan came to mind. Forever turning, never focusing on any one area. Quickly moving back and forth. The oscillating indecisions will create a restlessness and that will affect my actions and my overall purpose. 

The key to having a one-purpose mind and stability in purpose and actions is using the art of wisdom—God's wisdom!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why would I doubt? (James)

For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. James 1:7

For: indeed (a conjunc. used to express cause, explanation, or continuation); take note of what came before (James 1:6)
Not: where one is bidden to cease from something already begun, or repeated, or continued
Think: suppose, imagine
Receive: to gain, get, obtain, to get hold of
Anything: some or any object
From: the side or the vicinity of one, or from one's sphere of power, or from one's wealth or store
Lord: a person exercising absolute ownership rights; denotes an owner (master) exercising full rights 

Why would I ask something of God, knowing that He has FULL OWNERSHIP of everything, only to doubt that He could supply? (James 1:6- Seasick). Asking in faith, doesn't mean that God will automatically give me everything I ask for— rather it means that I will trust God to supply what's BEST for me. 

And remember what James is discussing here, it's not our "wants" in general. Rather, the emphasis is on WISDOM! We are asking God for wisdom, "the art of USING wisdom", so that we can live a godly life that honors and brings glory to Him. 

God is the only source of true wisdom. And if we want wisdom, all we need to do is ask God believing that we will receive wisdom. But often we become "seasick" as we don't trust God to give us what we asked. 
👉👉👉 Perhaps we don't care for the answer wisdom offers. We'd rather go it on our own—since we know better — (we may think that, but NO, we don't). 
👉👉👉 Perhaps we don't really want wisdom, as we know that we would have to change our attitude, actions, and thoughts. 
👉👉👉 Perhaps we don't really want wisdom, for if we USE wisdom, we may have to make lifestyle changes. 

So, if I want to put into practice the art of using wisdom, I need to ask God believing that He will give it to me — knowing that He is fully capable of doing so, as God is the source of wisdom. 

Why would I doubt knowing that I'd receive nothing? Ask in full confidence knowing that God is the source and will give wisdom—and be ready to put that wisdom to good use!