Slow to Become Angry
James 1:19-20 NIV
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
I used to be on Facebook, a social network on the internet. I got off of there maybe 7 or 8 years ago. I was on Twitter, another social network, at the same time, or part of that time. I got off of there about 3 years ago, and then the Lord led me to get back on there less than a year ago.
The reason that I got back on Twitter is that I noticed that many Christians were on there sharing Scripture and they were encouraging each other in the Lord, and I was drawn to that. And it has been a rich blessing in my life to encourage and to be encouraged by these believers in Jesus Christ.
Nonetheless, social networks are a breeding ground for fights and quarrels, even among those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. I personally believe that there are specific people whose job it is to put controversial material on these platforms and then to just sit back and watch them do their job.
Some of these controversies come in the form of what is called “memes,” and some in the form of news stories (either from mainstream media or from other media sources) or from videos. Others come from the Tweeters themselves who are sharing what they have heard or what they believe.
Some controversies also have come from politicians, actors, sports figures, and the rich and powerful, etc., who put information on these social media outlets, some of them, I believe, for the purpose to stir up hatred, fighting and quarrels. And many people take the bait and they go at it with one another.
Now, I am not saying we can’t share information on these platforms that disagrees with what others believe, for some of us are on there to share the gospel and to encourage our brothers and sisters in our faith. And the truth of the gospel is controversial to those who do not believe it.
But, as Christians, we can have friendly discussions with people and share differences of belief without it turning into a knock down drag out fight. And we also need to be discerning about what we believe regarding what we hear, and not just jump on a story without praying about it first.
Which Can Save You
James 1:21 NIV
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
The Bible teaches us what causes fights and quarrels among us. They come from our desires that battle within us. We desire but do not have, so we, as a people, kill.
We covet but we cannot get what we want and so we quarrel and fight. We don’t have because we don’t ask God. When we do ask, we don’t receive, because we ask with the wrong motives, that we may spend what we have on our own pleasures (James 4:1-3).
Now, not everyone does this. This is speaking in general. And this does not mean that we never say a strong word to someone who is lying about God or the Scriptures or themselves, or who might be leading other people astray. Jesus did. Steven certainly did. Sometimes we have to confront lies with strong (not filthy, but firm) words.
But this is talking about Christians fighting against each other, sometimes over things that don’t even exist, but that someone has made up. And they fight over which politician is better, when both could be lying to us and deceiving us, and are, I believe.
But all this fighting of such a nature as this stems from what is in the hearts of human beings. Christians are not immune to this. And those who are worldly and fleshly (mostly Christians in name only), who are living not any differently from the world, and so have adopted the attitudes and mindset of the world, will often be those most likely to get into fights.
So, to stop fighting and bickering with other people, those who are in this mode need to get rid of all the moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent in the world, which has infiltrated their lives, and they need to humbly accept the word of God planted in them, which can save them.
For, out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander (Matt 15:19).
Do What it Says
James 1:22-25 NIV
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
If we want to live godly and holy lives, evidenced by the fruit of righteousness in our lives, we can’t be those who listen to and who believe everything we hear coming from the mouths of other humans, many of whom are espousing lies, fighting, and quarreling.
And we can’t be casual about our walks of faith, either. We can’t just have “devotions” each day but then walk away and forget what we just read because we didn’t apply what we read to our daily lives. We have to be those who put the word of God into practice in our daily lives.
We must be students of the word of God who look intently into the perfect law (the gospel) that gives freedom (from sin), who believe it, who practice it, and who continue in it day in and day out.
So, this means we don’t just cherry pick Scriptures we like, but we take in the whole counsel of God, not forgetting what we have heard, but doing it, in daily practice. And for those who have never read the Scriptures in context, I recommend reading book by book, and verse by verse, so you learn the context, so that you are not led astray by false teaching.
If we are those who follow the word of God (in context), and we do what it teaches us (under the New Covenant), we will be blessed in what we do.
Praise Be Told!
An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.
He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.
He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.
By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.
He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.
Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.