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Showing posts from November 13, 2016

Tongue Tied?

How long ago was it that you said something you really didn't want to say? Maybe you were filled with anxiety when terrible words came out of your mouth. Maybe you said something in defense of yourself but in so doing you criticized another. Maybe you were drunk and your tongue was unfettered by your senses. These all point out the nature of one of the smaller parts of our body, the tongue and its power. It "makes great boasts," is "a world of evil," and "sets the whole course of" a life on fire. (James 3:5-6) Fire spreads and destroys everything in its path, if not burning it, it is scaring or bending through its heat. These phrases create videos in our mind. We can see Hitler speaking, Arab leaders defaming Jews, politicians lying to our faces, and reporters writing stories that are pure fiction. But we can also see families broken up by hurtful words, and spiritual leaders directing the masses toward false religions. James illustrated the power of th…

Communication

Is this a problem of all mankind? I mean by that, does everyone have a problem in communication? Do national leaders communicate well with their constituents? Do owners communicate with their workers? Do reporters actually know how to communicate the truth or just follow an agenda? Do parents communicate well with their children? We can assuredly say that most people do not communicate well. Why is that? Could it be that we are all so wrapped up in our own stuff and have our own preconceived notions about the world around us that we can't hear what is being said? James said there are three things that are important to communication: 1)We need to be "quick to listen." (James 1:19a) Listening is the first step in understanding. Listening is more than just hearing words; it is parsing those words, reflecting back our understanding of those words, and adjusting our impressions of those words until we know exactly what the other person is trying to communicate. It takes time to…

Good and Perfect Gifts

To what do you attribute the gifts you are given? Is it your good fortune, your deservedness, your hard work, or your positive mental attitude? How about God? James said, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17) In the verses just before this one James said we have to be careful not to attribute temptation to God. We shouldn't blame our temptations and ultimate sins on God. Instead, we need to understand that every, I mean each and every gift is good, perfect and from God. To understand this we think of the millions of stars. Every star glittering at night is the creation of God the Father. He has designed a way for them to burn, like our sun, and not be destroyed and from them light is emitted which we are able to enjoy in the dark sky of the night and in the middle of the day. These are a gift from God. Many other gifts come from God, oxygen, trees, water, all o…

Moses' Decisions

We think of Moses as a powerful person who was directed by God but do we think about what he had to do to get to this place? The same question could be asked about Churchill, Reagan, Martin Luther, Galileo and more. What were the decisions they had to make to become the man they became? Hebrews 11, The "Hall of Fame" for faith gives us some examples of great men and women who decided for God. Of Moses it said, "when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the kings anger; he persevered because he saw him who was invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the first born of I…