Tuesday, December 20, 2005

There are times when I am confronted with how little I truly understand those around me or even the purpose of my in existence in as much as it affects those who, some by choice others by predestination, walk through life around me. Do I really understand what it means to care about others? or do I simply consider each step of my life from the point of my own existence. If so, then what makes my life so important that I overstep the bounds of anothers life and use them to make my life better while at the same time worsening theirs. By being alive am I given power to abuse those around me? Of course not, yet it seems that through my own laziness and self-indulgence I do exactly that. For once I wish that I could simply put my foot down and change.. however I know that its a marathon and change will take miles of my life. But for now I utter these ravings against my inner soul in the hope that I will be able to return to them later and see how far I have gone from them and whether I truly have left them in the miles behind.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

James 2:10-13

10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
11 For He who said, "Do not commit Adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment

I'm guilty! There is nothing else I can say. Whether I have lied or had sex, been drunk, done drugs, or simply gossiped about someone is irrelevant. In any case I am guilty of the whole law and I must be forgiven for the whole law as well. Only Jesus in the law of liberty offers complete salvation by replacing the laws judgment with mercy towards His children. It is in that mercy that I rest and abide.

So what does this say for my life today? verse 12 "speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty." So for today I should interact with those nearby in a manner of understanding that shows them that I am only a sinner saved by grace. displaying my own vulnerability by not judging those around me because I am myself guilty of transgressing the whole law. Humility and encouragement are my watchwords for today....

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

James 2:1-9

1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,"
4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?
7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?
8 If, however you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well.
9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as trangressors.

Slap, slap, slap...... Sometimes people are so funny to watch (myself included). We bow and cringe and try to make the rich people happy but guess what they're already proud, do they care about others around them if they have to sit in the best seat and if they demand special treatment. No, of course they don't but yet we make special allowances for the people with huge pocket books while ignoring the fact that the "poor" person gives in comparison just as much if not more. This is all in despite of the fact that God cares more for the attitude of the heart than he cares for the offering. Many times God told Israel, I don't want your money, I want your love... But somehow we forget all this. God wants our hearts, He desires our humility not our money. This is why He is so angered when the rich are catered too because to Him all they bring is what is in their heart.. He can raise up whatever He wants and tear down whatever He wants our hearts not our money, although the condition of our hearts is shown in our pocketbooks. The next time I see someone that has been blessed by God with riches I'm going to look past them to the heart.

Monday, August 15, 2005

James 1:26-27

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.
27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained from the world

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

James 1:21-25

21 Therefore, putting aside alll filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
25 but one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
To delude is an interesting word it can mean to fool or to be fooled. but in the scientific realm it is used to describe the process of watering down a substance from it's original strength. Any man who hears the word and then does not act upon it deludes himself by false actions, slowly washing away the power of the word in his life until he is so deluded with the world as to be useless. I can look at my own life and see how in so many ways I am deluded instead of purified each day. I can without even trying find hundreds of ways in which I fail to do God's word. For example God has said "love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind" yet if I truly examine my life, If I truly look at my motives I can only see a love for myself buried deep inside of my heart. why am I kind to others, so they will be kind to me, why do I serve? so I will be noticed for it. It is painful to continue because I only find more of the same wherever I look in my life. where I wonder are my spiritual victories? where is the strength of heart and mind that should belong to a believer? I don't know where it is but I want to find it and if it isn't within me then is in the hands of my heavenly father and to Him I will run, to Him I will cling for He alone is my strength and He alone is my refuge. Father I am so full of my own iniquities that I feel as though I cannot even utter your name without blaspheming it. but yet You proffer your mercy to me and you hold out Your grace, You promise to lift me up again whenver I am faint. Today I stand, no today I kneel, no today I fall on my face your mercy to plead for and embrace. Here I will lie forever because I cannot stand I am only your creation please come and take me by the hand. Lift me up once agian to humility and humbleness to graciousness and love in this way I can live with my eyes fixed above.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1 O LORD , you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD . 5 You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD , and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This is my favorite Psalm! I was reading it in my devotions the other night and was struck once again by the awesomeness of our God. He is amazing!! I love how this Psalm opens-a declaration that God has always been there and will always be there. He knows every step my life will take and has had them planned out since before the world began. How awesome is that! But then David goes on to talk of the men who are disregarding God and seeking the things of this world. He talks of how much he doesn't want to be a part of that--which is something I wish I could say more often. But I think the coolest thing is his humbleness--after talking about all the things these men are doing, he comes back and says, "Search My heart O God." He doesn't want any of those ways in him and realizes he is just as vunerable to them as the next person. And I could write a book on this Psalm but I won't. It's just a really good reminder.

Friday, July 15, 2005

James 1:19-20

19 this you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak
and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
Lord, forgive me for the many times when I have exploded in anger or failed to listen to others so that I could express myself. forgive me for every time I have not listened to you and become angry because my plans failed. please forgive me, even though I am unworthy of any forgiveness, because I cling to your sacrifice of your only and most precious. please forgive me in your mercy and cleanse me in your righteousness and purify me in trials to better serve you.