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A month ago, after dinner, a devotional on the cross and Resurrection taught by a lady brought tears to her eyes. “I never get tired of hearing of Jesus’ sacrifice and all He went through-the awful beatings, His beard plucked from His face and ultimately, one of the cruelest forms of execution. He took the punishment for my sins and multitudes of others, some of whom end up rejecting Him.”
Tonight, we attended the dinner in a different locale and it was my turn to present the devotional. I left my statements and Scripture references early with an open-ended question because the ages of the Christians vary and their years in the faith vary. To say they are mature Christians would be an accurate statement. Completely perfect, impossible. Only Jesus is perfect, back when He walked the earth and now, alive in heaven. They are a group of believers that try to keep their eyes on Jesus and they repent when they mess up, but they sincerely try to follow God’s commands.
My text was James 1:5 and then James 1:6-8. God promises us wisdom from Him if we ask with faith. Then I went to James 3:13-18 which tells us in the ASV, (which I downloaded from e-Sword.net):
Wisdom from Above
Jas 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.
Even when God tells me I’ve done something wrong, the idea may be firm but it’s not condemning, nasty, and/or contradictory to Scripture.
So, when I ask God questions like, “Father, what should I do in this situation? Is anything hindering Your will?”
I can expect Him to give me the wisdom I’m seeking. In the past, when I needed answers, I’ve asked God what something meant and then I’d hear teachings from pastors or teachers on Christian radio. Sometimes, I’d sense a Scripture pop into my brain and there would be the answer.
Other times, I’d ask my husband or if we were at a different church sitting under a pastor, I’d ask the pastor. God always showed me what I needed to know.
What about you?
One of the ladies said that she hears from God when she spends quiet time reading the Word and praying and listening for Him and often times it’s such a silent little nudge in her thinking that is outside of her normal way but well within the precepts of Scripture. Once she felt she should share of her bounty with a fellow-believer, but she wanted to be sure and so she prayed for six weeks. She kept sensing the same direction, give to your friend. When she gave her the money she offered an apology for waiting so long. The friend said the income came at just the right time. Our associate said, “Isn’t that just like God? He knew it would take me six weeks to get to the place of obedience, so He started trying to get through six weeks before the need arose. He knew when she would need it. He knew how long it would take me to act. He is incredible and He is gracious.”
Many participated, although some did not. One person said he mostly gets what God wants Him to do by reading the Word and as he sees a need before him, he’ll help if he has the means and he’ll pray that he errs on the side of grace. There are times when he doesn’t give because he can tell the person is totally scamming him and is capable of working but chooses not to. Then he spoke about people losing the fear of the Lord, how God is a just Judge, but not completely forgiving and kind and willing to slip-slide around when it comes to His commands. That brought up more discussion. God does forgive when someone truly is sorry and truly starts to turn from their sin. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, every intent, every word we’re about to speak.
That’s why He tells us in Proverbs 21:23, (NKJV), “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”
That’s a good word for me.
May God bless you.