James 1:19 Slow Speech And Anger

 

Angry man

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

People always want their voice and opinions to be heard. They are very quick to speak about something when it goes against their belief on how something should be. In the process of speaking so quickly, many will also get angry.

Anger arises everywhere a person looks. People get angry during times of voting for politicians; angry in the store when someone takes to long checking people out; angry at the restaurant when the food takes a long time to show up; angry on the road when they are cut off or behind a slow person; angry at home when things are not done a certain way.

In the process of getting angry, people begin to speak quickly and say things that they later regret. If the anger is left unchecked, it can often arise to physical violence in some.

James said that a person needs to be quick to listen. People do not want to take time to listen to what the other person is saying or why they are doing what they are doing. They just see the words or actions as a personal inconvenience and are quick to speak and get angry. This, then becomes selfishness and personal greed–both sinful.

When a person slows down on speaking, he may see and understand what is occurring in the life of the other person. God will be able to reveal ways to help the person, rather than beat that person down. He can show ways to be a witness of God’s great love and mercy.

As you go through your days there will be times of inconvenience or bad things said and done. Instead of quickly speaking slow down and listen. Listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding you in what to say and do. Listen to the other person and what he has to say.

Then be quick to show love and mercy to that person. Love will cover over a multitude of sins or wrongs. It will repair damages done. It will also bring about God’s desires in your life and those around you. It will not destroy and cause division and hate.

Do not allow anger to control you, but control anger with slow speech and listening.

I pray today that you will hear God speaking to you; that you will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit; that you will be quick to listen to God and others; that God will help you slow down your speaking and anger; and that you will be filled with the peace of God towards others.

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Hebrews 13:5 Being Content

 

Roll of money

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Money is something that people need in this world. It is required to purchase things that are needed such as: food, clothing, and housing. In itself money is not bad. It is a tool that has been made to be used by people.

In order to get money, people must work for it. They either work a job and someone pays them a wage, or they work their own business and people pay them for their services or products. And there is nothing wrong with working. A man must work in order to eat.

The problem that arises is the love for more money. People want more money than what they have, so they work that much more to get it. They will also sacrifice things or people to get more money.

People are not content with what they have and continually want more, bigger and better things. Greed takes place in the heart of a person. Discontent rises higher and higher in the struggle to get more money.

In the process of going for more money and being greedy, a believer is no longer trusting in God. He is no longer trusts that God is there for him and will never leave or forsake him.

God will always meet every need a believer has. There is no need so great that God cannot meet it. Not every desire that a person has is a need. Many things are wants and wishes, and may not be the best thing for a person.

God will only give the believer what is best for him. He will only meet what are truly needs. Beyond that is greed and may pull a person away from God. He needs to be content in what he both physically and in Christ Jesus.

Take a look at your life. What are you striving for in this life? More money and things? Or are you striving to have more of God?

God can and will meet every need you have, no matter how big or small it is. Trust in Him and be content with what He has blessed you with. Be content with the wealth you have in Jesus as your Savior. He won’t leave or forsake you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know what you have in Jesus; that you will be content with what God has given you; and that you will trust in God’s provision for your life.

1 Thessalonians 2:5 No Mask Or Flattery

 

Lady with thumbs up

You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness. 1 Thessalonians 2:5

The world likes to use flattery or masks when they are speaking to someone else. It is commonly seen in the workplace that a worker talks very highly of his boss in the boss’s presence, but cuts him down in private talks. In the presence of the boss it appears as though he loves his boss, but in reality does not like him at all.

Children are known for using flattery with their parents to get something that they want. A child will come up to this father or mother telling them how much he loves them (when normally he never says that he loves them) and offers to do some extra chore. A wise parent will realize that the child is desiring something of them. The child put on a mask of feigned love and used flattery to attempt to get something.

Believers in the church will often use the same type of speaking with God and others. Churches speak only good sounding messages, rather than the whole truth of God. They speak only what the people want to hear. People claim to love God, yet refuse to give up sin or do what He asks of them. They worship God, just to get something from Him, not out of true love.

Flattery is used for selfish reasons to get what one wants from someone else. Paul stated that they did not use any of that when speaking to the people. Believers are supposed to speak true from the heart, not from the surface. They are not to act like they care or don’t need anything, when they don’t care and want something from the other person.

The words of a person are powerful, so they must come from the heart. They should not be used for selfish gain, but to build others up and draw them closer to God.

Take a look at how you speak to others. What is the purpose of your words when talking to someone or to God? Are they only for selfish gain or to build God’s kingdom?

Strive to speak like Jesus did. He never used any flattery or put on a mask feigning love when He spoke to the people. His words were true from the heart. Are yours?

I pray today that God will reveal your heart’s motives; that God will give you the words to speak; that your words will be like the words of God; and that God will reveal any greed in your heart to remove it.

1 Thessalonians 2:5 No Mask

“You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness.” 1 Thessalonians 2:5

In the workplace people are often seen trying to make the boss feel really good with their words. They will speak very highly of the boss and give him much praise. Or in a teen-age relationship, one will give lots of praise and honor to the other. Both are trying to get the favor of the person they are praising.

Although it is not wrong to give a person some praise that he or she is worthy of, flattery takes it to a different level. Flattery is excessive praise. It is lifting a person up higher than they really are. It is making the person feel extra special. The purpose behind making that person feel that way, however, is selfish. It is to get something from them.

Salesmen are known for this. Whether selling a car or a house, they will make a person feel like they are the best person on the earth and deserve that item being sold. Or workers in the workplace giving flattery to the boss, lifting him up extremely high.

In doing these things like this, they are putting on a mask. They are making themselves look like they really care about the person, when in fact they are just greedy and want to make a sale or get a position.

Paul says that he was not guilty of being like that. In the church, there are many who use flattery to draw people into the church. Others put on a mask, making themselves look like a great Christian believer, when in reality they don’t have a relationship with Jesus. This is falsehood.

As a believer you must be true in your words and actions. Do not exaggerate what you are saying. Speak the truth.

If you claim to be Christian, do you spend time in prayer with God? Do you spend time reading His Word?

Or are you just speaking the words and putting on a mask to look good? Are you just being greedy?

Take off the mask and live the true life of a believer in Jesus. Put off any falsehood. Allow God’s Word to draw people, not your fancy words of flattery.

I pray today that God will reveal any masks you may have on; that you will use only God’s Word to draw people to Jesus; that you will live a true Christian life; and that you will serve God with all of your life.

Acts 5:3 Lying To God

“Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Acts 5:3

One man, Joseph, had sold his property and gave all the money to the church. This started other people in doing the same thing. Ananias and his wife sold their house. However, instead of turning in all of the money, they kept some of the money. It was turned in as though it was all the money that the house was sold for. Peter is prompted by the Holy Spirit to confront them on this for lying to the Holy Spirit. God chooses to kill both of them.

People often feel that they can fool God because they can fool other people. It is very easy to fool people. People cannot see into the heart and mind of a person.

When it comes to paying tithes, some will pay only a portion of the ten percent, but will put it on the offering envelope stating it is their tithe. This implies that it is the full ten percent required. This is also lying to God.

Others will pray to God stating that they are sorrow for something they did wrong, while they are planning to do it again. Some will state that they love everyone while in church, but condemn someone with harsh, unneeded words when outside the church.

Lying to God can be easy, since a person does not see God, and God does not immediately talk to them audibly about it. Yet, God sees and knows all the lies that are said. He does not necessarily kill people today for lying, but God will deal with them.

When you speak, you should always speak the truth. When you do things, you should always do them in truth. God sees everything. You cannot fool Him. Every closed secret will come out into the open some day. Allow God to change you now rather later in punishment.

I pray today that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide your words; that you will not fear to speak the truth; that you will not try to fool people or God; and that you will allow God to fill your heart with His Holy Spirit.

Matthew 23:25 Clean the Inside

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” Matthew 23:25

Jesus is in the process of bringing many accusations against the Pharisees and teachers of the law. These are the people who are leading the temple worship.

In this verse He tells them that they clean the outside of the cup, but leave the inside dirty.

Cleaning the outside of a dish is good. It will make the dish sparkle when it is setting on the shelf in the cupboard. Would you use that same cup if you pulled it off the shelf and looked in it and saw coffee and coffee grinds in the bottom?

No one would want it. You would also be upset with whoever said it was clean and put it in the cupboard.

Jesus was looking at the Pharisees in the same way. They stated that they were clean because they went through the ceremonial washings and did all the correct sacrifices. Yet, Jesus stated that inside they were full of greed and self-indulgence.

Greed and self-indulgence is the center of self. It is looking out for yourself before anyone else, including God. The Pharisees were saying to the people “do as I say, not as I do”. They knew the laws of God, and yet broke them all the time in their hearts and lives in private.

Why do you do or say what you do and say? All too often it is to build yourself up. Many people in position, in and outside the church, often are doing things for themselves, rather than to help someone else.

Jesus had stated that every believer is supposed to be a servant to everyone else. You are to live like Jesus lived. You are to give like God gave.

It is not about you. It is not about what you can get. It is all about God, being like Jesus, and bringing others to Jesus.

Make sure your life is clean on the inside. Make sure your heart is clean before God of all greed and self. Let God’s Holy Spirit reveal to you where there is sin in your heart and allow yourself to be cleaned.

I pray today that you will seek to be clean before God; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to clean you; that you will be the same both inside and outside; that you will remove all greed in your life; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.