James 3:17 Wisdom From Heaven

 

Sunset over water

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy ad good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

Wisdom is just the knowing how to apply the knowledge that a person has in the best way possible. The world has a lot of wisdom, but it is faulty. The wisdom of the world is selfish and full of envy. It is about self and what one wants for himself.

In places where there is selfishness, there will always be disorder, discontent, jealousy, envy, hatred, cheating, and lying. The person is always striving to get the most out of life at any cost.

The wisdom that comes from God does not have any of those characteristics in it. God’s wisdom will always aim for peace, without compromising His standards. It is concerned with what others are going through or needing. His wisdom submits to those in authority, rather than forcing others into submission.

It has the mercy of God upon others who have done wrong, rather than throwing the book at the person. Heavenly wisdom will be filled with good fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, because it is led by His Holy Spirit. It will treat every person the same regardless of position, money, character or anything else, just as Jesus did and still does. God’s wisdom will always be sincere and true, not joking around and not changing all the time.

In simple words, the wisdom that comes from God will always put God and others first because of love. This is the wisdom of God that is found in Jesus. He put others, who did not love or want Him, first by dying on the cross for them. To the world this does not make sense, because it does not know true love–Jesus.

As you seek wisdom keep in mind how God’s wisdom will look in this life. See why you need that wisdom and how you will use it correctly in your life. Do not allow yourself to be full of selfishness and envy because of some wisdom that you may possess, that is not of God.

Allow God to give you His wisdom so that you may be His witness in this world of who He really is and what He is really like. Don’t be like the world, but like Jesus in this world.

I pray today that God will fill you with His wisdom; that you will know how to use God’s wisdom correctly; that your life will be one like that of Jesus; and that you will love as God loves.

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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.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 Love & Perseverance

 

Turtle crawling

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Every person’s heart is led somewhere. Where the heart is led, depends on who is leading it or guiding it. The world has a heart that is filled with self-love. It seeks to find what is best at the moment for self. It then has extreme perseverance to go after what seems to be best at that moment.

There are stories of people who had a dream to get out of extreme poverty and with years of hard work were able to become self-made millionaires. They had a love for something and aimed for it. They did not give up, but kept going after it. The only thing is that what they went after was of only temporary value, not eternal value.

Many people have a love for something and have the perseverance to go after it, but most of those things are of selfish desires and have no eternal value.

Paul prays that God directs the hearts of the people into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

God’s love is an eternal, undying, selfless love for every person, regardless of who one is or what one has done. His love was so great that He was willing to send His only Son to die on a cross to save that person who did not know Him or love Him.

Jesus, God’s Son, persevered under extreme persecution. He underwent dying on the cross in an extremely excruciating method so that one could be saved from his sins and death.

Every believer needs their heart to match after God’s heart in these areas. If one is filled with God’s perfect love and Christ’s perseverance, there is nothing that cannot be done. It will strengthen the believer to overcome sins done against him. It will give him the hope of eternal salvation and life during difficult times.

All of this starts in the heart with God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

Allow God to work in your heart to know the love He has for all people and gain that love for all people. Allow the perseverance that Jesus went through to strengthen you to continue on in the path God has laid out before you.

Let the desires of God become the desires of your heart. This can only be done by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to direct your heart.

I pray today that you will allow God to change your heart; that your heart will be filled with God’s love; that your life will be filled with God’s perseverance; and that you will live to do God’s will on this earth for your life. 

1 Thessalonians 4:7 The Right Type Of Life

 

Lake reflection

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

Views on how to live life vary from person to person and nation to nation around the world. Some families focus on the goal of getting a high level college degree. Others focus on getting six digit incomes. Others focus on some sport or just on having fun.

On each of these there are many people who just focus on that one area and aim for it. While aiming for it is not a bad thing, often it is done at any cost. Family is rejected, responsibilities are neglected, morals are thrown out, and deception occurs. Each of these things and more become impure motives and lives. Sin has crept in and taken over.

God did not call people to live impure, sinful, selfish lives. Every person is called to live a holy life, one that is pure and free from all sin.

There are some who look at that statement and think of legalism. God did not call people to legalism either. He wants people to want to live pure and holy for Him because of His great love for each one.

Living a holy life means one is turning away from sin. One of the greatest sins people have is selfishness. Nearly every sin comes down to selfish desires. Not just greed, but wanting a way that is not allowed and forcing it to happen, satisfying an emotion or feeling at the expense of holiness.

Jesus lived a perfect, holy life with no sin. Every believer is to strive to live that same life. God has called each person to live that way. That is the entire reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross to remove all sin from the life of a person.

Since Jesus has removed all of your sin, why would you want to go back to it?

Live a life that is full of God’s love and you will live a life that is holy and pure. As you show love to others, you will not allow sin in your life. Impure thoughts cannot share the same space as love.

God has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you in how to live your life. Listen to what He says and follow Him. Allow your life to be set apart and different from this world, be pure in God’s sight.

I pray today that you will hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance for your life; that you will live a life worthy of what Jesus has done for you; that you will live your life like that of Jesus; and that the world will see you set apart for God. 

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.

Philippians 2:3-4 How To Do What You Do

 

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

The majority of people do not think of themselves as selfish. They want to believe that they are concerned for others. Yet, when it is closely looked at the reason why they do what they do, there is usually an underlying characteristic of selfishness.

Very few people do the majority of what they do without selfish ambition. A person may work hard for his boss, appearing to be looking out for his boss, but inside the person is striving to look good for a promotion or a pay raise…selfishness. Many people help another person out just to look like a good person who helps others out, not for the focus of helping that other person out. Many wealthy people give away millions of dollars to the needy every year, not so much to help the people, but to have a tax write-off…selfishness.

This type of action and thoughts occur even inside the church. People teach a Sunday School class to look good or out of guilt, not out of the desire to help others. Some will argue over the color of the carpet for selfish reasons, not for the benefit of others.

Believers are to put others first, just as Jesus did when he died on the cross. He laid His own life down to give life to others and does not charge any one for the price of that death.

Putting others first is not an easy thing to do, because of man’s own selfish nature. People are out for self-preservation, not the needs of others.

As you seek to put others first and their needs above your own, God will meet your needs. God can bring another person into your life to meet your needs, while you are out meeting the needs of another person.

Putting others first is the ultimate show of love that you can show any person. There is no greater love than putting another person above yourself.

Take time to take a look at what you do and why you do. Ask God to reveal you the true reasons behind your actions. Then strive to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit as you trust God.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will trust God to meet all of your needs; and that you will allow God to use you to meet the needs of others.

Galatians 5:13 Free To Serve

Serving Others

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Freedom is usually seen as all about one’s own self. It is the ability for one to be able to not be under the bondage of another person, to be allowed to do what one wants to do. It is having the ability to make one’s own self happy.

The process of making one’s self happy is usually a selfish, and often sinful way. Man’s heart is always inclined to sin, unless God is allowed to change it. Just the fact that it is usually about pleasing one’s self, makes the action sinful because selfishness, in itself, is a sin.

The majority of the things that the world finds pleasure in are sinful. Getting drunk, sex out of marriage, violence, hate, suffering, pornography, greed, and many more things are the things the world loves, yet are sin. Each of these things appears to please self, even though it is destroying self.

God does not want the believer to live in this same way. Paul states that every believer is called to be free, but not to use that freedom for sin. The freedom that is given to a person is not to be selfish, but to serve someone else.

Jesus came to this earth, not for His own pleasure or to serve Himself or be served, but to serve all mankind. He came to give every person a chance at forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus did not have to do it, but He chose to do it out of love. It is only in love for someone else can a person find the power and ability to serve someone else above himself.

As a believer you are free, but you are not free to do whatever you want as the world does. You have been set free from the bondage of sin to live a life for God and to serve God and others. Just as Jesus put others before Himself, you must also put others before yourself.

As you put others before yourself in service to them, God will put others before you to serve you. He will meet your every need. You will then find the joy and happiness that will last for eternity, not the temporary happiness of this world.

I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has given you; that you will know the love God has shown you; that you will show God’s love to others; and that you will serve others as Jesus has served you.