Saturday, April 30, 2016

What do we want? James 4:1-10

James 4:1-3
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
What do we want?
Are we seeking the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life?

1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Are we trying to get what we want, what our mortal flesh desires, by ourselves? Should we be seeking after those lusts and desires?
When we do ask for God's help, we do not receive it because we are asking for the wrong reasons, or the wrong things. God is not our personal genie, someone to provide our fleshly desires.

James 4:4-5
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
I will ask again, what do we want? What do we desire?

James 4:6-8
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Romans 8:13
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
We should be mortifying the lusts of the flesh, resisting the devil, drawing nigh to God, submitting and humbling ourselves.

James 4:9-10
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
We must crush these worldly desires, recognize the afflictions of the flesh, be repentant, sorrowful, mournful of our sinful nature, humble ourselves to God, knowing that through Him and Him alone we have Salvation and relief, that without God we are nothing, and can do nothing.

John 15:5
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 
We should want to praise and glorify God. Everything we do and think should be God centered.

Psalm 96:1-9
O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Psalm 118:28
Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
Psalm 34:3
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 69:30
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 86:12
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
Everything we do, everything we say, everything we are, should be glorifying God!

John 14:13
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
We should want to honor and obey God, bring glory to God, and with that our needs will be met.

Psalm 34:10
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Matthew 6:31-33
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
So, it is not what we want, it is what we need!

We live for God, bring glory to God, praise God, honor and obey God, witness for God, be God's ambassadors to reconcile the world to Him.

God will provide all of our needs! Our cup will be overflowing!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Careful what we say

Words have weight, words have meaning, words communicate ideas, thoughts, and intentions.
Once spoken, words can not be taken back. Words betray your heart. You are what you say.

Matthew 12:34
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Luke 6:45
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
 Matthew 5:37
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
If you don't have something good to say, then don't say anything at all, or how about we don't say anything at all...
It seems that more we talk, the greater chance we have of saying something we shouldn't.

James 3:5-6
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
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.
Our tongue, for such a little member, will boast such great things, things we have no right to boast, serving our pride, hypocrisy and vanity. Think of how a little spark can ignite a whole forest.

We know that we do nothing of ourselves, it is all by and through God, for the glory of God.

John 15:5
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
How should we control our tongue, and speech, what are the rewards of control, and what is the consequence of a "loose" tongue?

1 Peter 3:10
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Proverbs 15:1-2,4
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 15:28
The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
Proverbs 13:3
He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
Matthew 12:36-37
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Through the control of our tongue, and speech we are able to show the world whose we are, and who we serve.
We serve God, promote peace and love, minister to the world, show grace, and have fellowship with our fellow man. 

Without control we fail. We fail God.

James 1:26
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.
If we allow God to speak through us, using his Holy Spirit to communicate, we can not fail.

Matthew 10:20
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 
 Luke 12:12
For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
Luke 21:15
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
We should speak with charity, and love.

1 Corinthians 13:1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
This verse has always stuck with me.

Proverbs 18:19
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
I think of it like this, if my actions or words offend someone that I should be witnessing to, someone I should be setting an example for, someone I should be leading to Christ, that verse points out how difficult I am making it to win them for Christ. I have gotten in the way of God.

I certainly do not want to do that!

Through prayer and supplication to God, studying His Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to control my thoughts, actions, and words. I hope to bridle my tongue.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Faith without Deeds - James 2:14-26

James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
As Christians what good is it to say we have faith, but don't live in, or through our faith? Are we just boasting, saying we have idle belief? If we truly have faith wouldn't we have something (good works) to show for it? Can that faith without works produce Salvation?

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
James was not talking about this faith, this faith is heart belief, not head belief, this is faith provided by God from faith to faith through grace. A gift of God, it has nothing to do with how good we think we are, or how much we think we have done, or donated.
It is the belief in the heart that God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins.
It is the heart belief that we are sinners and undeserving of the greatest gift ever given.
It is the knowledge, acceptance, obedience, and trust in God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
This faith is the faith of salvation, and this faith will have good works.

James is showing us the difference between true faith and "pretend" faith.

James 2:15-16
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Cheap words and charitable wishes do nothing, we must live our faith, love our neighbor, brother, and sisters as ourselves. Provide for the needs of others. What good is it for those in need if we do not provide, the stomach is not filled with kind words, or the back clothed with wishes. Salvation is not witnessed without testimony, faith to faith, ministering to those in need.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
John 15:5
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 21:16
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
James 2:17-18
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Faith without works is dead, true faith, God living in Christians and Christians living in God, must produce good works, fruit, evidence of God, evidence of real faith.

James 2:19
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Matthew 8:29
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Acts 19:15
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Even devils and demons know that there is one God.

James 2:20-23
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
James is rebuking those with head belief, those that are not living by faith. Providing an example of true faith, showing how the trust and obedience in God by offering his son on the alter, manifest as works with faith, fulfilled scripture, and was counted for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

James 2:24-26
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
We are able to discern our Salvation, and other Christians by our works, deeds, and behavior, along with our knowledge, acceptance, obedience, and trust in God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit (True Faith), not just head faith, because even the devils and demons know and fear God.

The body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also...

We must live our faith, we must live our lives for the Lord.
Every moment of every day!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Favoritism - James 2:1-13

Christ died for all mankind, God shows no partiality, rich or poor, great or small, we are all the same before our Lord and Savior.
Christians should treat each other and the world with the same equality and love.

Romans 2:11
For there is no respect of persons with God.
1 Timothy 5:21
I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
James 2:1-4
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
James lays it out for us, do not show favoritism, do not differentiate between persons, based on riches, apparel, or status. If we do, then we judge, harboring evil thoughts.

James 2:5-8
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
James reminds us who is chosen of God, the poor, rich in faith, and those that love Him, they are the heirs to the Kingdom of God. Not the rich and powerful that oppress Christians, and demand respect and adulation, they care not for the things of God.

Notice: It always comes back to this, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:".

If we can learn to do that simple thing, to love our neighbor as our self. We will do well.

James 2:9-13
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
James shows us the sin of favoritism, judgement, and its consequences. Laying out how there is no difference in sin, all sin is equal, all sin carries the same weight and consequence.
Teaching us to behave as we should, as children of God and the liberty afforded to us, to not judge, instead to show mercy and love.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Love - This love is not warm fuzzy feelings, this love is God's love, this is unselfish, unabashed, genuine love of God and others as you love yourself. This love is good will and devotion to others. This love is given freely without deserving, and with no expectations.

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 15:9-13
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joy - Happiness does not equal joy. Joy is completely independent of happiness, joy is not based on the good or bad things that happen in life, it is based on God's purpose for your life rather than the daily circumstances.

John 15:11
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
James 1:2-3
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
1 Peter 1:8-9
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Psalm 27:6
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
John 16:22
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Peace - Is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of tranquility, the contentment of knowing that God controls the events of the day. The ability to turn life over to God and His Will.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Proverbs 16:7
When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Long-suffering - Patience, lenience, perseverance, steadfastness. Enduring the trials and tribulations of daily life without lashing out.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Ephesians 4:2-3
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Romans 5:3-4
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Gentleness - Kindness, meeting the needs of others, and the absence of malice.

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Colossians 4:5-6
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
2 Timothy 2:24-26
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Goodness - The character of God, to do good and see good done.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
 Galatians 6:9-10
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Matthew 12:35
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Titus 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Faith - Unwavering knowledge, belief, and trust in God, his Son, and the Holy Ghost, God's purpose for our life and His plan for the world.

Hebrews 11:1-3
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
2 Samuel 22:31
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
2 Kings 18:5
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
Romans 1:17
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
1 Corinthians 2:5
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
2 Corinthians 5:7
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2 Corinthians 3:4-5
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Meekness - Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is the selfless, humble, controlled power of God in the Christians life.

Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
1 Peter 5:5
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Psalm 25:9
The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
James 4:6
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
1 Peter 3:15-16
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
Temperance - Control, self control, allowing God's will and Spirit to control our fleshly desires, all things in moderation. Putting away of self, selfish desires, separation from the world.

Titus 2:12
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
2 Peter 1:5-8
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 25:28
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Philippians 4:5
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
 Against such there is no law. - Living in fellowship with God, His Son, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit), partaking of these fruits, provides the Christian liberty and freedom under God's wonderful grace.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:13-14
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:18
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
John 8:36
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  
By God's wonderful love and grace, we are free from the consequences of sin. We have the promise of everlasting life. Abundant and full life, full of joy through our Lord and Savior.