James

Humble

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~James 4:10~

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Laying aside of pride

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This final command found at James 4:10 sums up the preceding nine commands, which mark the truly humble person.  “Humble” comes from the word meaning “to make oneself low.”  Those conscious of being in the presence of the majestic, infinitely holy God are humble (Isaiah 6:5).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for James 4:10.

Complete faith

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Intellectual assent – agreement with a set of Christian teachings – is incomplete faith.  True faith transforms our lives.  If our lives remain unchanged, we don’t truly believe the truths we claim to believe.  Living the way God wants us to live does not earn our way into heaven, but it shows that our commitment to God is real.  Godly conduct is not a substitute for, but a verification of our faith in Christ.

Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, November 10.  Tyndale House publishers, Inc.  2003.

To speak or not to speak

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What you say and what you don’t say are both important.  Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time, but controlling your desire to say what you shouldn’t.  Examples of wrongly using the tongue include gossiping, putting others down, bragging, manipulating, false teaching, exaggerating, complaining, flattery, and lying.  Before you speak, ask, “Is it true, is it necessary, and is it kind?”

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, November 11.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2003.

Disorder

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Which is easier-to make your bed in the morning or leave it unmade?  To volunteer for a community project or to watch TV all weekend?  Leave your car parked in a field, and it will rust and fall apart.  The easiest choices reflect the Second Law of Thermodynamics:  All work processes tend toward a greater state of disorder over time without fresh injections of new energy.

This law works physically and spiritually.  Forget to maintain the spiritual disciplines you have learned and, in time, your life will take on increasing signs of disorder.

Self-centeredness leads to wrong actions like lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, revenge, abuse, and sexual immorality.  Instead of a disordered focus on self, a focus on God and on following His path for us, which He describes in His word, is what keeps our lives in order.

If you can see disorder creeping into your life, make sure you are still giving your first and best to God.  Remembering and responding to God’s will takes new energy every day.  That’s just the way it is this side of heaven.  For those who do not yet follow Christ, know that God does not expect anyone to clean up their lives before coming to Him.

“People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”  Samuel Johnson

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Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways devotional, January 5th, and The One Year NIV devotional NT, January 5th.

The plain birds

Who is interested in the plain birds?  Those that aren’t colorful, nor flashy…

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…but God knows they all sing beautifully  

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Sing to the Lord, praise His name;

proclaim His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonderful works among all peoples.

Psalm 96:2-3

Drawing image credit:  retrieved from-https://www.pinterest.com/pin/518547344577609737/