Tag Archives: James 3

A Nice Thought To Begin the Day

fireNobody is any more surprised than we ourselves when something we’ve said ends up being the start of a pathway to destruction. Yet, there it is in James 3:5

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things, Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

As I read through James last night and this morning, preparing my Sunday School lesson for the teen department; I am reminded that the same tongue that can start a fire of destruction… and we all know it can! Can also start a fire for the cause of Christ that will burn until His return and God won’t mind in the least! As a matter of fact He’ll reward us for the effort. I pray that my thoughts and God’s words unite to ignite my youth. I pray that’s true in your church too.

The tongue is such a small portion of the body, and yet yields so much power. So do each of us in the body of Christ. That’s a nice thought to begin the Lord’s Day with. Encourage one another today!

The Experimentation of Youth and Life

experiment

Not their experimentation, but rather mine. Having raised my own two daughters and now being the spiritual mom of many others in the teen ministry I’m pretty sure, then and now, I’ve treated it like a weird science experiment. I’ll add a little Word, a little conversing, an illustration or two and “poof” let’s see what happens. My poor girls went through several years of me being an unsaved mom doing the experimentation without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and for that grace I’m just glad they survived. But post salvation, raising kids, working with youth and now having grandchildren, my experimentation is a lesson in the chemistry of God’s word. So is life in general really.

No matter your age, being that age is irrelevant in the coming Kingdom, we’re forever in the learning process of living. Some just learn faster and with less experimenting than others. Me, I’m always adding a new chemical compound to the mix to see if the results are any different. It’s usually followed by KABOOM! But I’m more cautious with the ministry knowing that I’m held to a greater accountability in Christ Jesus.

James 3:1

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

1 Timothy 4:12-16

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these thing; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Glamorous Stupidity

In the book of 1 Timothy Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy as a young man serve to remind me as I serve youth, and live my own life, I’m living as an example. Anything that I add to the mix of someone else’s life can change that life for the positive or negative regarding their end result. When giving illustrations from my own life and past mistakes I try to be very careful that I don’t glamorize stupidity. It sounds crazy but I’ve seen it so often when someone is telling a tale of their youth and it sounds fun! Yes it was. Right up until the point where you could have died. Let me make sure not to leave that tidbit of information out, and about the regret I feel now having been a bad example for my friends rather than a good one. Youth is not to be despised, we and they will make mistakes. But don’t ever forget to remind them and us that we’re the standard by which the world measures Christ.

Glimmering Stimulus

I am for certain a lover of all things shiny. If it sparkles I am captivated, which can get me into serious trouble. But it can also work to my advantage in that I also like to shine! I want to be entertaining (for the glory of Christ, not self). I don’t want to say look at me, look at me! I want to say look at Christ in me! Look what He’s done for me! Because of the experimentation of someone else on this earth who was willing to invest some time and energy into me, I now serve a Mighty and Awesome God! And serving Him should stimulate others to have that same desire if I’m doing it right. Humdrum Christians bother me… just sayin’.

Glowing Stewardship

Of every gift and ability we’ve been given we’re going to be accountable that it was used for the purpose of the Kingdom. Paul told Timothy to meditate on those things.

Have you thought about the gifts within you? Are you aware that they should be shiny and evident so that people can see what Christ is doing in your life and in so doing you may have the opportunity to see their salvation? I know virtually nothing about chemistry. Science was not my forte. But I know Jesus! And I know that anytime He is mixed into the equation success is imminent. And so I keep on keeping on in the ministry, because just so you know… you are my experiment!

2 Corinthians 9:13

 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

Don’t Look Back!

chick 2016 cropped

Unbelievable!  We’re teetering on the edge of 2016,  and although my body feels another year older, my mind is saying “What happened?” It was just New Year’s Day 2015 yesterday! It’s like we’re on a Nascar track headed for the finish line and we’re not even slowing down for crashes. Troubles beset us round about but our eyes are on the next pit stop in life.  Try as I might, I can’t slow it down and it will do no good to look back.

Jesus said in Luke 9:62 No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Forward Ho!!!! Well I guess I just went back from the race track to the wagon train. Today on the Eve of 2016 I’m scheduled to sing at the funeral of a dear child of God who lived a full life and to her too it no doubt seemed like but a day. To her children they surely long for more time but it’s not possible. We’re on the course and the time allotted is known to no one but God. So what do we do when we’re teetering on time passing and the future? If we’re wise we’ll go to the Word of God!

James 3:17

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17 is a good reflection point that provokes anticipation. Sounds like a great verse for New Year’s Eve!

Reflection

Wisdom from above – From the creation of all, the Word, which was authored by God has been pure and infused into the soul of a child of God through the Holy Spirit. That same purity produces purity (not perfection) into our lives, our conversation, and intentions, by driving us forward to a better life in Christ. The purpose of reflecting on 2015 is not to look back on the failures (although they can be good lessons) but rather use it as a gauge on where you’ve been and where you are at this point in time so that you can determine where you want to be when you stand on the eve of 2017, if God allows. Looking back for the purpose of counting failures is detrimental to your purpose. It causes doubt and confusion… neither of which bring anything good to the banquet table. They bring stale leftovers from a dinner you didn’t even enjoy the first time… throw them out and move on!

Peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated (treated) full of mercy and good fruits. Sounds like a place I’d like to be in 2016! A day spa that lasts 365 days of the year and at the end of the day has the Lord rubbing your shoulders like a player on the field of life, telling you what a great game you played. That game is well played by extending the mercy we’ve been shown by Christ. We’re not on the field to crush our opponents, we’re on the field to win them over to our team and then they become the fruit of the banquet table! Glory to God isn’t it wonderful how God uses food analogies. Because He knows we’re a hungry people… be it for physical or spiritual food… we long for it… and lots of it!

God is no respecter of persons, nor should we be. Without partiality, and without hypocrisy. He loves you just like He loves me, although sometimes I’m pretty sure I’m His pet, just sayin’. In the words of my sister Sarah…. God is soooooooooooooooooo good! And so very real. We need to share that message with every soul that crosses our path… or race track… or trail.

Anticipation

As I anticipate 2016 I’m looking forward to the Lord doing great, unusual, mighty things in my life and ministries. What are you looking forward to? Don’t look back unless you’re using it as gauge to see how far the Lord takes you next year. Forward, ho!!!!

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How To Deal With An Idiot

chick idiot

Do you ever have those days where you’d like to jerk a knot in someone? I know… that’s not very godly is it? But I’m being honest when I say that I’ve had multiple lately. I will confess that often times it’s entirely me, but other times there are people who I fully believe need a knot jerked in them. I’m not sure where that phrase came from, and although I’m pretty sure it’s just an idiom and you cannot literally jerk a knot in someone, it still leaves room for fantasy and makes me feel better when I imagine I’ve done it. Especially when I’m in the presence of an idiot. I know… I know… another ungodly word but the world is full of them! At least since the 14th century when that word came into existence. And I need wisdom today on how to deal with them, and me. And there in God’s word, at Biblegateway.com was the answer in the verse of the day! God didn’t even make me look for it, He laid it out in pure sight as if to say… “Yes Shari… you need some help.” Perhaps you do too!

James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

How to deal with an Idiot:

  1. Remember first that in comparison to God, none of us are even close to intelligent! But the wisdom that is from above is first pure. However, the Creator of all the universe saw fit to infuse us with His wisdom through the Holy Spirit, therefore we have access to that pure wisdom from on high, but fail to access it. That is idiocy. We rather trust in our own though process which most usually ends in disaster or at least a lesser blessing than God intended.
  2. Seek Peace and speak Peace. Then peaceable, gentle… When I say idiot, I’m not referring to a person’s mental aptitude, I am more often than not speaking of a person’s moral attitude. In the political climate of today it seems that idiocy was a prerequisite for office and the nation just blindly follows along as if we have no say in the matter. Dear gussy…. I’m an idiot too! It’s frustrating, is it not? But God instructs us to live in peace with all men. Meekly… anger in control. Getting up on a soapbox with contention and hatred toward people won’t fix America. Getting down on your knees in prayer would be a good start. That would be seeking peace. Speaking peace would be to stand on the Word of God boldly, but meekly (gentle).
  3. And easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits. A sure fire way to stop a productive conversation is to assume those who disagree with our opinion have nothing good to say. Sometimes their adverse opinion is there because the Lord’s good Words came out of a foul Christian’s mouth.
  4. Pick Apples. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. If you sow peace with your words, you’ll reap peace in your soul. If we go to the Word of God, and eat of the fruit that God provides, and take the seeds that God plants in our souls and replant them in the world… how awesome will our harvest be!

It really is so very simple, that even the simple minded can understand it. Christ is the answer.

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Church Words… a hot topic!

James 3:6 ~  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

What church doesn’t have that “one among their members” who never understands the need of keeping their trap shut when it comes to expressing an opinion without regard for the feelings attached? Perhaps you’re that person (insert smile here, for you likely don’t know it) and it is for certain that we all have the ability to be that person. But this morning as I prepare my heart for attending service my thoughts are on the others attending and the importance of feeling loved and understood. Part of the charm that attracted me to Victory Baptist Church was that I felt a part of it from day one, that I mattered. The Pastor at that time called me that first Sunday afternoon and ask what I thought of services that day. Wow! Was my response to him, but not about the church, about the fact that he called to see what I thought! Don’t get me wrong, I loved the church too, but what was most important to setting me on a course of salvation was the words that fueled the fire. A pastor have never called me before… nor a church member for that matter to tell me that I mattered. That’s a lot of “matters,” but it does!

There’s a right fire and a wild fire and both have the power to turn a body of Christ as the helm of a ship as it says in James 3:4 ~ Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Words are a mighty thing. Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, a nineteenth century author coined the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword;” a phrase he knew the meaning of full well having lived years with a discontented wife (and possibly rightly so) who then became his ex-wife . She berated him in books and musings as well as publically. In June 1858, when her husband was standing as parliamentary candidate for Hertfordshire, she indignantly denounced him in a pubic event, he retaliated by threatening her publishers, withholding her allowance, and denying access to the children. He then had her committed to a mental asylum but with public outcry had her released a few weeks later. Her words were ruining his life, but the both of them were the willing victims of one another.

I fear as the bride of Christ, our words have done far more damage than we’re aware. I won’t go into the words spoken that harm and discourage God’s children, for they are too many; and it does little to speak about a condemning, gossiping tongue, for those who have one usually choose to justify it. I’m assuming this morning that you are of the lot who desires to encourage and edify the body of Christ… well let me encourage you with my pen, or the stroke of the keyboard. Let your words speak Christ into the heart of someone today. Tell them you’re glad they came to church, call them afterwards and let them know that you loved their visit. Perhaps it’s someone who’s been in your congregation for a while, let them know that you enjoy their presence, speak life into their soul!

Those few words that the Pastor to spoke to me that Sunday in February of 1996 set a righteous fire in my heart that is still burning with great passion for Jesus Christ today.