James 5:9 Don’t Grumble

 

Mountain sunrise

Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! James 5:9

People have talked about grumpy old men, but it is something that many people are like. Grumbling appears to be a favorite pastime of many people. They often see the negative in situations or other people and are willing to let others know about it. As they point out faults in others and in situations, they do it in a harsh way, being rough about it.

At times it can be grumpy about what appears as a neutral subject, such as how a football game was played. Later it is grumping about how the service was at the store or bank. They complain about how a friend, co-worker, or someone else acted around them. And then they grump about how work had went. People are grumpy about various politicians and political choices being made in their nation or world. And above it all, people are grumpy with God and what He does or allows or does not do.

Grumping about someone or something is being a judge. It is making oneself as the one in control and knows what is best. James says that a believer must not do that or else he will be judged also.

When a person is trusting in God for everything and believes that God is in absolute control of everything, he will have no reason to be grumpy about something. God sets up every situation in the life of a believer for a reason. No one is to complain about what is happening, because God has there for a reason to build the believer or another believer up into a person like Jesus.

To grumble is to put oneself in the place of God, and then, God will judge the person.

As a believer, put your entire trust in God for every situation you are in or see. When things are not going your way, know that it is going God’s way. Lean on Him for strength through the situation. Seek to know how it can draw you closer to Him and make you more like Jesus, rather than becoming more like the world and grumbling.

Live a life of peace and love towards God and others, rather than demanding your own way and grumbling about everything. Show joy, rather than anger. Find a reason not to grumble today.

I pray today that you will know that God is in control; that you will trust God is in control; that you will not grumble against others or God; that you will find joy in God; and that you will be a witness of God’s love and joy to others. 

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Philippians 2:14-15 Shine Like A Star

 

Milky way stars

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky Philippians 2:14-15

One thing that a person can count on hearing in a workplace is complaining and arguing. There are very few people who do not complain about their work or argue with someone about politics or sports.

People are often not happy with whatever situation that they are in, so they then complain about it. Some are worse than others, but most people have something to complain about. Complaining about the weather, the spouse, the children, the bills, the news, the breakdowns, the government, illness, injuries, the neighbors and the list is endless.

Along with complaining they want to argue about everything. They argue about how to get something done, or why something should not be done. This can also run in every area of life.

Those in the church are not a whole lot different. They complain about the songs sung, the level of sound, the length of the sermon, and how things are done. They argue about the best way to do something, doctrines, and traditions.

Most do not try to be mean or a downer about their complaining or arguing, but they are still doing it.

Paul says that one is to do everything without complaining or arguing. If this is done, one will be blameless and pure and will shine like a star in the sky.

If a person is not complaining or arguing, he is trusting God in every situation, he is putting others first, and he is showing love to everyone. Doing all of these things is not normal in this world. As he does this, he will stand out as different and shine brightly. He will show the purity and holiness of God in this dark, depraved world.

Think about the words you speak each day. How often do you complain to someone about something? How often do you argue with someone about something?

Turn your eyes on to God and trust that He is in control with your best in mind. That will help you keep from complaining.

Know and understand God’s love for all people, this will help you keep from arguing with them. Know and speak the truth in true love.

Shine like a star.

I pray today that you will trust that God is in control; that God will give you the words to speak; that you words will be words of love and encouragement; and that God will guide you to be pure and blameless in this world.

Matthew 20:14 Don’t Grumble, Accept What You Are Given

man digging

Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Matthew 20:14

Jesus told a parable about some workers in a vineyard. Some came and began working for a set pay at the beginning of the day. Later more came and agreed to work for a set pay. Even later some more came to work for an agreed amount.

At the end of the day, everyone was paid the exact same amount. The ones who worked all day complained that the boss was unfair with the pay. The boss reminded them that they had agreed to the pay, so they must take it and go.

In every society for all time, people want their pay to be fair. The more that they work, the more pay that they should get is what is believed in. It is rare for a person to agree to a set pay, regardless of how much he has to work or not have to work. This is especially true when someone else appears to be getting the same for less work.

Being a believer in Jesus will cause this type of pay. Every worker is to believe in Jesus for His salvation and work serving God in any way he can. The prize for the belief is knowing one is getting into heaven and spending eternity with God. The prize for the work is knowing that one did what God wanted Him to do and made a difference in this world for the kingdom of God.

There is no better prize than spending eternity with God. So the amount of work needed to be done, should not be a matter of concern.

God may have you on this earth for many years working at building His kingdom. He may have another on this earth for only a few years working at building His kingdom. Both you and the other person still get the same reward–eternity with God in heaven.

As you work, do not complain about the amount of work  you must do. It is what you agreed to do for following Jesus. You agreed to do what He tells you to do and be rewarded with eternal life. Each person will have a different job, but all will gain eternal life with God.

Do what God tells you to do and be ready for eternal life with Him.

I pray today that you will know what God has called you to do; that you will not complain about what God has given you to do; that you will not complain what God has called others to do; and that you will work to build His kingdom daily.

Psalm 142:1-2 Where To Bring Complaints

I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. Psalm 142:1-2

People like to complain about many different things. They complain about their work, their health, their spouses, their children, their co-workers, the weather, and the list goes on. Some people love to complain so much that it appears as if they are unhappy with everything in life.

Complaining constantly often will drive friends away. People do not like to hear about other people’s complaints. They only want to hear the good news.

Life does have its challenges and problems. It is not that one life is better or worse than another, but all have separate challenges.

David was going through an extremely difficult time. He had done nothing wrong and Saul was chasing him to kill him. He was being hunted like a criminal. At the time he wrote this psalm he was in a cave hiding from Saul. Instead of crying out to people about his problems, he brought them before God.

Think about his problem: he had been told by God that he would be the next king of Israel, and now the current king was seeking to kill him. Many people would be calling attorneys to fight for their right to be the king. They would complain to their friends about their vision and problem. Yet, he did none of this. David called out to God.

God is there to hear every complaint that you may have. He will listen with a patient ear. After hearing of your complaint, if you allow Him too, He will also give you His Holy Spirit to comfort you and guide you on the journey you are on.

Jesus had promised that you would have troubles in this life, but He also promised that He would be with you through them.

Instead of complaining to people in this world, who really cannot do anything for you, talk to God. Let Him know your feelings and thoughts. Then trust His Spirit in guiding you and giving you strength to continue forward in life.

In the end, David did become king. In the end, if you do not give up, you will win the battle in this life.

Who are you complaining to?

Who are you trusting in?

I pray today that you will bring all your cares to God; that you will not be known as a complainer; that you will speak words of hope and trust in God; and that God will strengthen and guide you in the troubles you are going through.

Being Grateful

I work as a substitute teacher in a local public school. It is a very rewarding job to work with the students, however, when there is no school I have no job. This creates a great concern to be living without a paycheck and having a large family.

In the past, I have been able to secure short-term temporary jobs for the break time. This last break, however, I was unable to get one for the entire break. My wife and I did a lot of praying about it and were still very concerned, ok, very worried about it. In spite of what we saw, God had a different plan for us.

During the break I did get to work for a couple of days for someone for a little pay that did help a lot, but not enough. It also was hard to not be able to do any big family trip during this time, at least that is what we thought would happen.

On the Wednesday right after Christmas, my oldest daughter (an adult who lives with us), had won a pack of four tickets to a Six Flags park in Arlington, Texas. On Thursday, she was then given a four pack of tickets to the San Antonio Zoo.

Since I have a very large family, eight children, we had chosen to split up to use all the tickets we were given. My daughter brought herself and three other siblings with her to the Six Flags Park on that Friday. While she went north, my wife and I brought the three youngest to the zoo.

Both of these trips were a blessing to everyone that was able to go to the place they went. The older ones did not want to go to a zoo, and the younger would not have been able to do much at the park.

As my wife and I left for the zoo, we planned to be back home about 7pm. It was a three-hour drive to the zoo and we planned to leave the zoo when it closed at four.

The younger children had a great time at the zoo seeing all the different animals.

We left as planned to go home. We expected to be home several hours before my daughter and other children would get home.

As we were driving home, we got to about 30 miles from home, when the traffic came to a dead halt. There had been a major accident up ahead. I had decided to sit and wait for the road to open up, since it would have been about a 40 mile turn around to go a different direction around the accident.

As we sat there waiting, we did not know how long it would take. Time kept passing and nothing seemed to be happening. After about 30 minutes of sitting, we saw a helicopter come in and land. It was a medical emergency helicopter. At that point we knew that whatever happened, it had to have been very bad.

It was getting very frustrating to be sitting there, so close to home and, yet, not be able to get home. In just the time we had been sitting there, we could have been home already. The children were starting to get very hungry and tired of sitting.

While waiting there, we saw several people come running up from behind our vehicle to where the accident was. A few moments later, several men and ladies came back wailing very loudly. They stopped just near our vehicle and were holding each other crying.

My wife’s and my heart went out to those people. We did not know what happened, but knew it had to have been bad. (The news the following day, stated that it had been a head on collision of two vehicles, and two others were also hit. One person was killed, and all the rest were hospitalized, several were children. Several were in severe critical condition.)

It was at that point, when we saw the people crying, that we started to be grateful for our own lives and protection. We ended up sitting at that one spot for about 1 1/2 hours. When we did get home, we were home only about 40 minutes or so before my daughter got home.

As difficult as it was to sit there, being very tired and hungry from a long day on the road, it was better than what the other people were going through. Several were in the hospital and one never made it home. Families were destroyed. Loved ones were lost. Lives were changed, and not for what seemed the better.

Instead of complaining about having to sit there, we prayed for those people. We prayed God’s touch in their lives. And we gave God praise for taking care of us and allowing us to make it back home safely. If we had been just a few seconds faster on that road, we could have been the ones in that accident.

In our lives, there a times that things will occur that will be a major inconvenience or disruption in our lives. In those times we need to look at how the lives of others are going. We need to be grateful for what God has given us, instead of complaining or worrying about what we cannot have or what we are going through. Things can always be better or they can be worse.

During that Christmas break, I was able to spend a lot of time with my family, since I could not work anywhere else. Along with that, money came in from different sources that totaled up to almost exactly what I would have made at my normal job. God had a plan that was to support us and meet all of our needs. We were blessed in many more ways than having a temporary job would have been.

Give God praise today for what He has blessed you with. Be grateful for what God has given you or spared you from.

Psalm 19:11 How To Get A Great Reward

By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:11

In this psalm, David is talking about the laws and commands of God. He had already pointed out how they can give joy to the heart and how valuable they are. Now David says that by God’s laws a person is warned, and in keeping them there will be a great reward.

Very few people will state that they like rules and regulations that they must follow. It is always acceptable for the rules to be for the other person, but not for oneself.

Whether it is in the workplace, in a school, a home, or on the street people are always complaining about the rules. There is always a reason why the rule is bad according to someone.

Complaining about a rule is easy when one has the wrong perspective about the rule. Most often people look at rules as a negative restriction on their freedom. They do not see the real value in the rule.

Rules are a warning to a  person on what not to do. Yes, they do limit the freedom, but it does it in a good way. Any time a rule is broken there is a consequence. That consequence may not show up right away, but it will over time, and ultimately when one stands before God after death.

As a person breaks the law by speeding, there may not be a consequence at that moment, but if it continues there will come a day when either the person gets into an accident because of speed, or gets a ticket.

Obeying the laws will always bring peace of mind that you are not going to be in trouble. It brings peace of mind that you are in right standing with God.

God lays out rules to help you be the best that you can be. He does it for your protection and benefit. You must be willing to trust what God wants you to do or not do.

In the end you want to hear God say to you well done good and faithful servant.

I pray today that you will not fear God’s rules for your life; that you will see the value of God’s rules for you; that God will strengthen you to follow His commands; and that God will say that you are faithful and good servant.

Job 19:25 My Redeemer Lives

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Job 19:25

Job gets frustrated with the judgements his friends are making against him. He believes that he must have done something wrong, but also believes that is only between him and God. Job then starts complaining about God being against him, trying to crush and destroy him. Yet, as he complains, he knows that his redeemer is living and will be there at some point to redeem him from his troubles.

The interesting thing about Job’s statement about his redeemer is that Jesus did not exist yet, and the concept of life after death was nearly non-existent in the Old Testament. He had a hope in God that was looking to the future to a savior provided by God.

Complaining about life’s many problems is very common among most people. From the school to the workplace to the home, people like to complain. They will complain about their pay, the workload, the traffic, the weekday, other people, the weather–too hot, too cold, and the list will go on forever. And they want someone to listen to their long list of problems and solve them right away.

It easy to find a reason to complain about any situation a person is in. Things can always be better or go better, no matter how good things are.

However, as a believer, you have a reason to not complain and look past the problems and challenges in life. Belief in Jesus gives a hope that goes beyond the problems in life. The hope He gives goes even beyond life on this earth. There is life after death.

Remember that your life is just a mist that is only for a short moment in time. All of the troubles that you have are light and momentary and will be taken away. Jesus is your Redeemer who will save you in the end.

Jesus died and rose again from the grave to give you life. You must trust in that when times are tough. Do not complain about the troubles in your life, but give God praise because He lives and will redeem all that you have lost some day.

Watch this video, My Redeemer Lives, and make this your song today.

I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will see the life you have been given by God; that you will know God is in control; and that you will know God’s love and care for you.