Hello again dear friends,
I pray you are well today. As we walk this earth may we always rely on the Lord of Wisdom. Without Him we can do nothing. Without Him our words mean nothing. Jesus came to save us from our sins and so we can be living witnesses for the people around us. Today we are going to look at James 3:13-18 where we will learn what the Holy Spirit of truth wants to teach us. I am using the Amplified Bible for greater understanding of the words in the text. Follow with me then, prayfully.
"Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.
This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).
For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity).
And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God's will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts]."
After reading this through a couple of times I really see the contrasts don't you? I am so glad for Jesus in my life! Without Him, I am nothing. So far from wisdom. Yet, all we have to do is call on Him and ask. Isn't that what we are told? Well, have you ever know someone who claims to be wise but acts like a fool? True wisdom can be measured by the depth of our character. By our fruit we are known. Foolishness leads to disorder. God is a God of order, as we can see in His peace and goodness. So, we need to be planters of peace and goodness, just our Lord Jesus.
I am ready to seek God for more wisdom, are you? We can do this at anytime, anywhere, in any circumstance. When we are with friends we will be able to see what kind of fruit they bear. And, they can see ours. We need to love godly wisdom and desire it for a great harvest of righteousness. This world is so needy for genuine wisdom. Our own hearts can deceive us, so we'd better seek the Lord each day. My prayer is Lord make me like You. Use my life, an instrument for Your glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Thank you for taking time to come to Heartstrings. I am thrilled at what the Lord is doing in my life and yours as we are being prepared to meet Him one day. If you haven't asked Him to be Your Savior, now is the time. You might think you are living a good, moral life. Very well, but, that will not allow you to stand before God Almighty and walk into His arms of Love. Heaven is only a breath away for some of you. Maybe even me. Ask Jesus to be Lord of your life today, while there is time. Then you will have the assurance of your salvation and eternal life. Choose today who you will serve. God bless you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, amen. I am excited for your decision! Patricia.
Abundance is...another wise choice
Good morning friends & family,
We are going to dive right in to James chapter three. Be ready to be challenged and hold tight to truth and don't despair. We will be looking at verses 1-12 in the Living Bible to put it simply. Father, I ask that You would apply wisdom and understanding as we read Your Holy Word this morning. Teach us Your ways O Lord, and help us to walk in them. In the name of Jesus, amen.
"Dear brothers, don't be too eager to tell others their faults, for we all make many mistakes; and when we teachers of religion, who should know better, do wrong, our punishment will be greater than it would be for others.
If anyone can control his tongue, it proves that he has perfect control over himself in every other way. We make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong.
So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness, and poisons every part of the body. And the tongue is set on fire by hell itself, and can turn our whole lives into blazing flame of destruction and disaster.
Men have trained, or can train, every kind of animal or bird that lives and every kind of reptile and fish, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is always ready to pour out its deadly poison. Sometime it praises our heavenly Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against against men who are made like God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Dear brother, surely this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble our first with fresh water and then with bitter water? Can you pick olives from a fig tree, or figs from a grape vine? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty pool."
Well, James you gave us poetic word pictures that are sure to keep our attention! When I read this for the first time, I decided I wanted nothing more to do with this book of James. It crippled my flesh and quite frankly made me mad that anyone could say such things about me! Yep, guilty as charged! Then, as time moved on I would be in a situation and still the words came fluttering back into my mind. I just couldn't ignore them. I could be watching horses in a pasture or the sail boats on the ocean. No matter what or where, I was reminded of this truth. Ever been worshipping God at church then on the way home get into a heated argument with your spouse? Point taken. Words bring life or death.
That is how the Holy Spirit operates in the lives of believers. When once we turn our hearts over to Jesus and ask Him to clean up our lives, we are asking for Him to do this in every area. Some things come along to stir up that desire from the beginning. I found it is best to repent and turn completely to Jesus. Even if I have to do this a number of times in a 24 hour period. Just keep turning and then soon, we will get it worked into our spirit and we become more like Jesus. So, how is this working for you?
I know you read my blog, probably more than once. I am not here to change your life, only Jesus Christ can do that. Humbly we each obey God in the call of His purpose for us. He will use each of our lives while here. But, if there is no human being that control the tongue, why bother trying? Because even if we don't learn this perfectly on this journey, we can still learn enough to control the damage it can do. Don't we see this all around us today? In the news media, among gatherings of friends, even in our own thoughts? We can't fight this fire in our own strength. The Holy Spirit, our perfect teacher, will give us increasing power to monitor and control what we say. As believers in Christ we are not perfect, but we should never stop growing in our faith.
If you find your speech contradictory as when praising the Lord and then speaking negatively with critical, cynical, corrosive words...now is the time to change by making a decisive decision. We are in a battle! We choose to invite the Lord to help us. Let's pray. Father we ask that Your Holy Spirit purify our hearts and give us self-control so that we will only use words that will please You. Thank You for giving us Jesus to take our sins and set us free. We are grateful and long for renewal in our heart and mind today. Blessed be Your Holy name, amen.
Have a good day, and don't give up, unless it is to the Lord. He will carry you and keep you as He promised. God bless you as you obey and serve our risen Savior. He is coming soon! Love in Christ, Patricia.
Abundance is...sweet springs of water
Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
Autumns is showing it's colors and I love it! It's voice comes with the rustling of drying leaves as they shake in the breeze. Sparrows fluttering around me and the drone of hummingbirds make my hearing heart glad. They say we could have snow in Montana as early as next week. Wait a minute! I'm not ready, I want to shout! But, change is inevitable. In the meantime, I am trying to take in every wonderful moment and praise the Lord for creating such beauty.
Every season has its work. From seed to harvest. From new life to a quiet death. Waiting for the next thing to happen. In order. It is all in order isn't it? I think the same goes for our faith walk. If we skip a step, we loose the proper timing and growth on our journey. As we look again at James 2:14-26, (New American Standard version). there are alot of words to explain. I won't waste your time with my own reasonings but, get the Word out to you verse by verse. So let's see what James is saying and we not skip the steps.
Faith proves itself by works. Verse 14..."What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?"
15)..."If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled", and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?"
17) "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, "You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
19) "You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?"
21) "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God."
24) "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?"
26) "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."
I hope you are following along. I had to read this passage over and over again. A simple example of faithful works happened for me today. Because I had to make a trip to town, I knew I would be stopping at a particular place. A friend owns a business and has been very discouraged with certain events in her life. They are draining her of her joy and she is overwhelmed even to the point of bitterness. And it has nothing to do with her business. Before I left the house I heard clearly to take her a card and write scripture from Lamentations 3:21-16. So I obeyed. I left it there for her without being able to see her. My heart was certainly filled with the knowledge that Holy Spirit has led me there today. I will continue to pray for her.
A simple gesture is all that is required sometimes. God just wants us to obey His voice. Like the voices we hear in nature, causing us to pay attention, we look toward that voice. In particular, our faith needs to have a voice in this dying world. So many are carrying burdens that God had never intended and sometimes it takes someone to get our attention, to pay attention, once more to the True and Living God. As believers we are not exempt from pain and trials of countless sorrows. We do have the promise of the Lord that as we keep our ears and eyes tuned to Him and follow in His footsteps, our faith will grow and make a difference here. It may be that the Lord asks you to give someone your coat or a meal. We have an abundance and the Lord provides for others through our gifts. I know this has happened for me too. Faith shows amazing love.
Father God, forgive our short-sightedness, our stinginess and help us to have open hearts to share our faith in a tangible way. Help us Jesus to give as You speak to our hearts. First to You and then to others. And, it would be awesome as we obey, to hear You say to us, "You are my friend." We give You glory and honor, in the precious name of Jesus Christ, amen. Blessings to you, Patricia.
Abundance is...listening to His voice
In the name of the Lord let us worship and drawn near to the heart of God. As we continue in the theme of our 'faith removing discrimination,' we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us. The heart of the teachable blesses the Lord. Settle in and wait.
Picking up in chapter two of James and verse 5..."Listen, my beloved brethren: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and in their position as believers and to inherit the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him?" I love again, the reminder that I am His beloved, chosen, to be rich in faith, inheriting all of God's best.
"But you [in contrast] have insulted (humiliated, dishonored, and shown your contempt for) the poor. Is it not the rich who domineer over you? Is it not they who drag you into the law courts? Is it not they who slander and blaspheme that precious name by which you are distinguished and called [the name of Christ invoked in baptism]?" Who do you blame? What is your stand?
Verse 8..."If indeed you [really] fulfill the royal Law in accordance with the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as [you love] yourself, you do well. But if you show servile regard (prejudice, favoritism) for people, you commit sin and are rebuked and convicted by the Law as violators and offenders." The royal law is the law of love (see 1:25; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39). This law is superior to all other laws. So true then, if we show partiality, we commit sin. Wow! I have to pause and think about this!
"For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it." God's Word says that all have sinned...that is why He sent us His Son to redeem our lives from the pit of hell. For this I am so grateful!
"For He Who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not kill. If you do not commit adultery, but do kill, you have become guilty of transgressing the [whole] Law. So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love]. For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment will be merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment."
Praise the Lord for His mercies every morning. Fresh like the morning dew on blades of green grass and upon the petals of flowers. Like sparkles of diamonds we receive His grace for our journey. Only as we are truly desperate for God to touch and change our lives. Why not come to Him now? Wouldn't it be great to be free from sin and set on a path of love?
Jesus put it this way in Luke 14:11..."For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank)." So, where ever we find ourselves today, it might be best to keep this in mind. Less of me and more of Him.
There is a song we sing...Humble Thyself in the eyes of the Lord...and He will lift you up. I think of this whenever I read the scriptures about being humble before God and others. Looking ahead to James 4:8..."Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
Today, let us submit to the Lord. This also means putting on the full armor of God which includes placing our faith in Him and immersing ourselves in the truth of God's Word. Reading Ephesians 6:11-18. When tempted to judge others or look down on them, we must resist this temptation the devil throws our way. Flee from the evil one. We belong to the army of the living God, so stand firm and having done all...Galatians 5:1, keep standing!
This has been rather involved sharing today. And, I have so many personal stories I could relate to you, but better to let Holy Spirit lead and teach us the way to go. You are dearly prized by God and so I pray you remain in His love and walk like a beloved child. Have a great day. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Bless you, Patricia.
Abundance is...living rich in the love of Jesus.
Monday greetings to you,
Have you heard others say that they have a bucket list? You know, do the things you have always wanted to do, preferably before your body won't let you. Well, I was thinking about this recently and realized the greatest thing I could do would be to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as I could reach. That is what ministers to my heart as I share Heartstrings with you. There is nothing in my thinking, that could mean more. And, think of the joy in leading many or even one to Christ!
Even though we are going to begin James chapter two today, I read the book of Philemon early this morning. I did have to shake off some anxiety from a phone call, along with not sleeping enough in the night. Taking my thoughts captive to the Lord was so necessary for me to move forward today. Here is what brought me back to the main point. Philemon 1:6 says, "[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory]." During a time of confusion, and trials of various kinds, we need to remember Who we identify with. I want to stand in faith. Hope this helps you.
James 2 talks about how faith removes discrimination. As I am learning about the character of Jesus and how to apply His Word to my walk as a believer, I am challenged in so many areas. Whether it is reacclimating myself once more to worship and praise in the face of bad news or getting over a wound from another person at church. It comes back down to finding out what the Word of God says. Before I continue with my thoughts, let's see what James has to say.
"My brethren, pay no servile regard to peole [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [altogether with snobbery]!" Everyone preaches equality but this is a problem in the body of Christ. To regard others as better than ourselves takes a real rebirth from our self-love to the Love that Jesus speaks of and showed everywhere He went.
"For if a person comes into your congregation whose hands are adorned with gold rings and who is wearing splendid apparel, and also a poor [man] in shabby clothes comes in, and you pay special attention to the one who wears the splendid clothes and say to him, Sit here in this preferable seat! while you tell the poor [man], Stand there! or, Sit there on the floor at my feet! Are you not discriminating among your own and becoming critics and judges with wrong motives?" This is very pointed, and yes, the finger of truth points to me too. You know, we can take this to outside of the church building too. Think about you reaction to someone who is wealthy. For instance, right now there is a film crew in our town and special acclaimed actors. They chose to use our cafe to eat. This at first made me excited and I wanted to meet a celebrated actor. But, then I saw the same woman, a regular customer, sitting in the corner alone. She is always alone. We are kind and treat her well. Even so, it was easy for me to get sidetracked by the bling and sparkle of wealth in the same space. My heart grieved when Holy Spirit pointed this out to me. It still makes me sad. So, this week I am going to not pass judgement on her because of her lack of beauty and wealth. To look beyond her no more but, to take the time for a conversation.
The wealthy pass quickly through our lives, for most of us anyway. But, the poor are always here nearby like regular customers. Jesus told us to pay attention. It is really a matter of my pride. Yes, pride that I was worthy enough to get the attention of someone who has so much. I confess Lord, I have been a hypocrite in my actions and thoughts. Forgive me and give me another opportunity.
If you are repulsed by the poor and diseased then, change your mind. If you have been favorable to someone in the limelight, change your mind. We are all poor. We are only wealthy in the knowledge in the participation and sharing of our faith. In our identity with Christ as we go from place to place will be our greatest treasure. So, no more snobbery! Humbly come before the Lord. Treat others as you would be treated. Take time to listen. Yes, even the rich will see Jesus and want to know about Him. See how Nicodemus sought Jesus in the night. He didn't want to be seen and yet, he became born again because He searched out the Life Giver! He then became part of Jesus's story. Amazing! Be ready all the time to give an answer for your faith in Christ.
"Grace (spiritual blessing and favor) be to all of you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). I give thanks to my God for you always when I mention you in my prayers." Philemon 1:3-4. God bless you until we meet again. Patricia.
Abundance is...identification with Jesus