Tuesday, May 29, 2012

living the book of James-- week five of a simple devotion.

A special thanks to those of you asking about our little Monday James Journey. Due to the Memorial Day weekend, I opted to post on Tuesday instead. ;)

Are you ready? eek! It's all about the tongue and having true wisdom. 

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Let's begin.

living the book of James
week 4
chapter 3:1-18

Tuesday: Read James 3:1-18 (come on, it's little-- you can do it!)

Wednesday: Read James 3:1-8

Notice in vs. 4:

...Or take ships for 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. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.

Is our tongue driven by our emotions or steered by our grace?
Do we lash out hasty like a snake, ready to strike at any minute?

If you are like me, it depends on the day. Some days, nothing can make me upset. Other days, I just snap. Oh my goodness, I hate those days. You see, our emotions are big, they are effected by circumstances. They are like the strong winds, pushing us in all different directions-- we cannot trust emotions. Our grace however-- it's like the small rudder which must steer our "ship." It's hidden deep and capable of doing big things.

Our emotions can be steered by grace--that unexplainable gift we have been given that causes us to accept each others faults-- if we draw daily on the one who gives that gift. If we are living in the spirit, focused on the One Who Gives Life, it makes it easier to see things with new eyes. And drawing daily doesn't have to be a big deal. Remember? It's just about doing it.

Thursday: Read James 3:9-12

...With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.

Oh, My
Oh, My
Oh, My

I really don't know what to write about this. It is so simple and right there. Our options are -- well, there are no options at all, are there? He tells us right there what we do each and every day. This is what I love about James, it's not hard to figure out, it's not sugar coated, or in some sort of code. It's black and white.

...My brothers, this should not be.

Can a Christian worship on a Sunday morning, then go out to lunch and not express a smile to those serving them lunch? Can a Christ follower talk bad about people who work on Sunday -- working on the "Sabbath" -- and then go to Wal-Mart to buy groceries, being checked out by someone working on a Sunday?

I think Rob Bell sums it up best:

"Because with every action, comment, conversation, we have the choice to invite Heaven or Hell to Earth.”

Friday: Read James 3:13-18

Love, love, love, love this passage.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincerePeacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Could it be that wisdom is not found in what we know but rather who we are in Christ?
May we live in such a way, Jesus would be proud.

simple. yet, life changing?