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Tidbits from the Book of James – Part 2

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James 1:9-18

9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: (Though some are just common and perhaps poor in the eyes of the world, they have much to rejoice about if they are high and lifted up as rich in their faith in Jesus and heirs as adopted children of God.)

10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. (The rich may rejoice because they are under the care and protection God gives if they are saved by the blood of Jesus, which usually leads to a humbling attitude of gratitude. But, we are to understand that the temporal wealth that this world offers is a withering thing. So, let the rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises that teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from enjoyments of the world that pass and fade away as the grass that withers. Let the rich man not put his faith in his riches, but in God alone.)

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (Now not all who suffer are blessed; but those who persevere through the trials, not blaming God and whining, “why me.” We can get through those times knowing that it is our duty, and be thankful for tough times to bring us closer to our Lord. It is not the afflictions that make us miserable, if they come through no fault of our own choices. Those of us who make it through the testings that come to make us more like Christ, will be crowned with the Crown of Life by Jesus himself. Jesus promises us this crown if we have Him in our hearts and if we nurture our love for Him as we mature. Every saved soul that truly loves God, shall have its trials in this life fully rewarded for eternity in Heaven where love is made perfect. The commands of God, and His dealings with us as He prepares us for our future with Him forever, will try our hearts, but in time they will show us to be strong in character and count as our testimony to bring others to Salvation.)

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (Though we all have those fiery trials throughout our lives, we must never think that the temptations to sin comes from God. He is pure and Holy and cannot sin. We must remember that there is evil in this world that we must battle every day of our lives. Because we are saved, does not mean that we will not sin anymore. Our saved spirits will battle our selfish, evil flesh until we see our Lord. We are just sinners saved by His grace. Jesus gave us the victory over that evil in His death, burial and resurrection. All we need do is go to His Word and speak it against the evil tempter as Jesus did when He was tempted by him.)

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Temptations come to us in our thoughts that, if we spend time thinking on them, bring about a lust to sin. The temptations themselves are not sin. It is when we spend time thinking on the temptations and then put action to them that they become sin. We must immediately recognize the evil temptations and cast them out through the power of Jesus’ name and the power of His Holy Word, replacing those evil thoughts with God’s pure and powerful/alive Word.)

15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

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. (God never changes. He is the same today as He was yesterday and thousands of years ago and will be for eternity. So we know that any good thing comes from Him, but we also know that all thoughts that would lead us to sin come from God’s enemy and our enemy, the devil. God has, has always had, and will always have power over that sinful creature who only wants to destroy anything and anyone belonging to God. It is up to us if we let him have his way in our lives or not.)

18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (In Israel, the first sheaf of harvested grain was always offered to God – Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:9-14. Those firstfruits were a preview of what was yet to be gathered. James explained that he and other Jewish Christians were a kind of firstfruits. They were the first yield of a much greater harvest that was yet to be gathered as a result of the spread of the Good News/Gospel. We are products of those firstfruits.)

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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The LORD God is our Sun and Shield

I love the Book of Psalms. We can find comfort for any trial throughout them, as well as guidance and encouragement from our Lord. Psalm 84:11 is a great promise to all who “walk uprightly” with Him.

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.”

We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, he will be to us a Sun, to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but he will be to us a Shield, to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thick about us. Though he has not promised to give riches and dignities, he has promised to give grace and glory to all that seek them in his appointed way. And what is grace, but heaven begun below, in the knowledge, love, and service of God? What is glory, but the completion of this happiness, in being made like to him, and in fully enjoying him for ever? Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us. If we cannot go to the house of the Lord, we may go by faith to the Lord of the house; in him we shall be happy, and may be easy. That man is really happy, whatever his outward circumstances may be, who trusts in the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob.–Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in God's Love

 

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How Did You Ring In The New Year!?

I simply cannot believe how quickly each year passes for me as I get on in age! My Momma was so correct in her saying, “The older I get, the faster time flies!” How right she was!

The lesson the Lord led me to share with our children at this past Wednesday night’s service was “God is My Fortress.” (Wednesdays are my turn with them and what a privilege to serve my Lord in this way!) I read Psalm 18:1-2 to them as they colored their pictures of Jesus holding the children in His arms in the garden. “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” I kept it simple for them in that there will be times in our lives when our parents may not be there when we are scared of something or we need help with something, but Jesus is always there with His strong arms open. I showed them a picture of a fortress/castle and, of course, all children know what ‘forts’ are. What fun to build a fort with all our blankets from our beds pulled over the kitchen chairs to crawl under and hide in. 🙂 Who hasn’t done that?

So, to my question, “How did you ring in the New Year!?”

As I have grown in the Lord, I have learned that partying it up for the New Year is not the best way to ring it in. I like to remember the next day (without a sick stomach and horrendous headache, and ugly regrets) the closing of the old and beginning of the new. I am thankful for my Lord’s Grace and forgiveness for when I let Him down in the past year, and ask Him for His help to keep reaching for Him to know Him more in the coming year. Will I still stumble? Of course, until I am physically in His presence, but my wish is to get up quickly from those stumblings and learn what He is teaching me from them, and continue putting one foot in front of the other for His glory and honor. One thing I know for sure, as long as I am “dwelling” in Him, He will be my fortress and my refuge and my strength! My protection!

On a more adult level, I love Psalm 91. Notice the words “He that dwelleth”. The Hebrew word for dwelleth is yashab (yaw-shab’) meaning to sit down, remain, to settle, inhabit, abide, tarry, continue, establish, endure… I think you get the point. Some would wish to receive God’s promise of protection, “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” without the stipulation of living in Him. God Jehovah is a Good, Righteous and Just God. He rightfully expects us to abide in Him to receive His promises. He loves to spend time with us. When we are not abiding in Him, we are abiding or living in this sinful, evil world which is God’s (and our) enemy.

I can think of no better way to start a New Year than to renew my commitment to do my best to dwell in God’s presence and strive to know Him more. That habitation requires my time with Him in His Word and in prayer, constantly seeking His will each day, so that I am less and He is more. That is the only way I can die to my selfish self and let the light of His Spirit shine forth to draw others to Him. How I have grown to love being in His presence, and being protected by His loving arms.

Pslam 91

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in God's Love

 

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A Powerful Love Story

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How we ladies do love a good love story, so I want to remind all of you lovely women, as I am being reminded, of God’s great love for us. There is no better place to find how He loves us than in His word. I cannot think of a better, more loving motivator to being a Godly woman than understanding, to what extent that we can, the pure love of our Heavenly Father.

Psalm 139:17, 18 “17. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18. If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

We are the “beloved of God, called to be saints” Romans 1:7. As sinners saved by grace, God considers us His beloved children. I rather like being a princess.

He lovingly protects us – Psalm 91:4 “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”

His love completes us – Colossians 2:10 “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

He makes us forever free from sin’s power – Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

His love is eternal! I Peter 1:3-5 “3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4. to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5. who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Jesus considers us a precious gift from His Father. John 10:29 “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

He has brought us to life – Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5. even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) 6. and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7. that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

NEED I WRITE MORE!? I think this is enough love for now. How wonderfully overwhelming to be reminded of it. Thank you, Lord. I love you too.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in God's Love

 

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