Tag Archives: James 1

Is it Real Religion?

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A little reflection is probably good for the soul, but it certainly needs to be balanced. As I wind down 2015, I’m first of all shocked that I’m winding down 2015! Somebody put my life in fast forward mode and I can’t slow down. Do you feel that way too? But as quick as it went, this morning had me thinking about what I did with the past 323 days. Were they productive for the cause of Christ? Some were, some weren’t but for a fact they are both un-re-doable. Should you double hyphenate a word? Life is short… let’s walk on the wild side.

A little food for thought today from the book of James caused me to ponder the question “Has my 323 days been real religion.”

RELIGION MAKES ME NAUSEOUS

You can be “religious” about anything. I was raised in “religion.” A theory of theirs was religiously going to church was “enough.” Saying you are a Christian was “enough.” Don’t overdo church, once a week is “enough.” Well enough already! There is no point in rehashing pre-salvation failures, those are under the blood! Glory to God!  Lukewarm Christianity that makes my Lord want to puke and spew us out of His mouth isn’t good. So when I start “going through the motions” of Christianity it concerns me. I want to arrive at church with great expectation of what the Lord is going to do, I want to get up in the morning and say, “Reporting for Duty Sir!” to the Lord… and mean it. I want there to be excitement in my life every day for the opportunities before me. I don’t want to be religious, I want to be as spontaneous as a fire on a windy autumn day, igniting everything around me. Yes I’m getting fired up! How about you?

James 1:22-25

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:   For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

My second point is this

RELIGION MAKES ME NERVOUS

And it’s why I’m reflecting today. Not living up to my potential as a child of God can cause eternal damage and a friend to be in that fire that cannot be quenched. If I get lacks on my responsibilities as a Christian, and concern myself more with the affairs of this world and not the cause of Christ, who will I not see in Heaven? I look around at friends and family and I’m nervous for them. Because I don’t see Christ in their life and I have no assurance if they were to die today that they’d be in Heaven. I don’t want to go through the motions of Religion, I want a relationship with Christ which will motivate me to share the gospel. Reflection and reading God’s word blesses and readies my heart for service.

James 1:25

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

RELIGION MAKES ME NEGATIVE

It’s a line I have to try so hard not to cross, and one that I see so many good people crossing. They spend more time setting fires of destruction with their negative attitude and critical spirit than lighting a fire for Christ. They’re constantly (religiously) concerning themselves with what’s happening in another church, rather than concerned about the lost and those in need.

James 1:26-27

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

As I wind down 2015 I want to be wound tight for 2016. I want to be busy in my relationship with Jesus and the people I meet every day. I want to open my “Big Stinkin’ Mouth,” in the words of a recent sermon title I heard. I want people to see the love of Christ, and that I am religious with my relationship with Him so that they’ll know it’s real!

Join me! And if you feel so inclined… share me. Post this blog link on Social media or share it with a friend!

Love ya… mean it!

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3 Habits of the Heart to grow in Faith

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See a need, fill a need

Galatians 6:10
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

The world is certainly filled with people in need, and so is the church house. The bible is clear that it is the responsibility believers (who God has empowered with ability) to fulfill the needs of certain people. Now… the sad part of this story is, there are people who take advantage of good hearted Christianity and cause us to question whether or not we are lending a hand or enabling someone who could have taken care of it themselves. I could tell you dozens of stories from my own church of less that reputable people staging themselves for assistance. But that’s where spiritual discernment comes in. A twenty year old begging at the door of the church may need help with diapers for her baby, but she also needs help learning to provide for her family and most importantly needs the Lord in her life. A hand out should always be a hand up. I have more concern over the needs of the elderly. Most of which will never darken the door of a church, will not ask for a hand out or a hand up but will suffer silently because that’s how their generation was raised. As a church we’re instructed to take care of the elderly… and to teach the young. Make it a habit to be aware of the elderly who cross your path.

Look more within than without

James 1:22-24 ~ But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

If I spent as much time preening myself spiritually as I do physically I’d be a much better woman of God. A post it note strategically placed that reads “Who were you today?” where you see it often would serve us well. Did you help or hinder. Show love or hate. Did any see Christ, or only you?

Give More, Take Less

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

What has God gifted you with? Money, time, talent? Likely all three if truth be told but assuredly He has gifted you with the power of the Holy Spirit if you are saved. If every day we made it a habit to give something away, imagine the blessings that we’d receive each day from God. Are you in the medical field… what a gift to stop by and check on an elderly person who will feel loved and honored that a person of your stature thought enough to stop by. Child of God… you have His Word, give it to someone today in some form. Have a few dollars in your pocket, or a cake mix in your cabinet? Why not share some food with a person living alone who never takes the time to cook.

These are not notions that we think of as  habits. Because they take a conscious effort to make something happen. Making something happen regularly is what we call a habit. It’s how Christ lived His life… what a novel idea! Is three too much pressure? Try just one!

That’s What Makes You Strong

CHICK STRONG

James 1:1-4 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Not once have I ever said to a friend going through trouble, “Wow, your life is a mess and this is a reason to party! We should break out the pop and chips because today is a celebration day. You’re in trouble!” Not one time have I said it, it’s absurd is it not?

But James is telling his friends who are facing trials, tribulations and persecutions the likes of which we have never known to celebrate the day. He doesn’t stop there, he at least tells them why; because that’s what makes you strong. There’s a Claire Lynch song that I’ll post below that I love it because the words are powerful

If you love somebody, Then that means you need somebody
And if you need somebody, that’s what makes you weak
But if you know you’re weak, And you know you need someone
O it’s a funny thing, That’s what makes you strong

That’s what makes you strong, That’s what gives you power
That’s what lets the meek come sit beside the King
That’s what lets us smile, In our final hour
That’s what moves our souls, And that’s what makes us sing

That’s what makes us sing! Nobody likes trials, but man alive I love the other side of them. Because it’s there that we discover the provision, the power and the plan of God. It’s there that we’re made stronger through the exercising of our faith muscles. If we never had to depend on God, if we never needed Him, we’d never appreciate Him. The truth of the matter is, in this wicked world, we’re lion bate. Satan is just waiting to devour us. But God’s swoops in, in His supernatural ways and delivers us out of the mouth of the lion and stands us back on safe ground.

Trials prove the Power of God

Who but God could prove to Satan that trials only draw us closer to the Creator, not further away. Satan heaps trouble upon us in hopes of us being angry at our lot in life, but to those of us who know Christ it just causes us to cleave tighter to the Lord knowing that it is He alone that will bring us through.

Trials prove the Plan of God

It is often times through the trials that our course in life changes. Putting us on a path of greatness that we never imagined. Sounds almost like a Hallmark Card, but it’s truth. Often times we’d never even look in a direction for another way out if God hadn’t blocked off the way we were traveling.

Trials prove the Provision of God

The wanting of nothing. When you’ve made it through a real hardship, the illness or death of someone we love, our own health or financial struggles, whatever it is… once you’ve made it through you realize that God truly provides everything we need. And it’s not possible for any person to provide it. He alone is the Giver and Maker of life.

I hope you’ll listen to this Claire Lynch song… she’s a dandy!