Posts Tagged ‘God

23
Jun
17

God Hears Our Prayers

You don’t have to be a spiritual superhero for God to hear your prayers. You need a simple faith in Him and His power and you need to pray according to His will. James gives this example from the Old Testament:

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. – James 5:17-18 (NIV)

Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who was concerned about how the king of Israel, Ahab, had turned God’s people away from the Lord in order to worship the false god, Baal. So Elijah prayed that there would be a drought in the land and there was for over three years. Elijah was an ordinary man who believed in the power of God and he prayed for God’s will to be done. James is telling us that the Lord can and will do amazing things if we simply believe in Him and His mighty power and if we humble ourselves before the Lord. Pray in humility and faith and watch God do the impossible.
20
Jun
17

Praying And Singing

As we go travel along our journey of faith, we are going to have both times of trouble and times of joy and happiness. James tells us what to do in either situation. He writes:
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. – James 5:13 (NIV)
How often do we fail to pray to God when we are in trouble? How often do we fail to sing songs of praise to our Heavenly Father when things are going well? We must not forget God! When we’re in trouble, we think that we have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and do it ourselves. Or when things are going well, we’re quick to pat ourselves on the back thinking we’ve done something great to deserve such blessings. This should not be the case. We need to pray to God when life is hard and we need to praise God when things are going well. He is the One who can get us through the difficult days and He is the One who blesses us with joy and happiness. May your day be free from trouble and full of happy moments. Blessings to you!
06
Jun
17

We, The Wealthy

Good Tuesday morning to you! In James 5, he turns his attention to the wealthy who were oppressing the poor. He writes:

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. – James 5:1-3 (NIV)

It is easy to point our fingers at the wealthiest people among us and say, “A-ha! Now you’re going to get what’s coming to you!” What if WE are the rich who are hoarding our wealth? While we may not be living high on the hog, we’re certainly not living underneath it. You’re reading or hearing this on a high-tech communication device of some kind. We have so much more than billions of people around the world and even millions of people here in America. We need to be mindful of just how blessed we are before we fall prey to class warfare. Yes, there are super wealthy people who will be judged by God for how they handled their blessings. But so will we who are wealthier than we believe.
31
May
17

Who Are You To Judge?

We are often confronted with Jesus’ words of do not judge lest ye be judged. James repeats this command in his letter to the church. He writes:

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? – James 4:11-12 (NIV)

When we speak ill of one another, we are acting like judges over our brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether it is slander, gossip or insults, we are judging people against our own standards. How quickly we forget that we are a people who have been saved by mercy and grace. Shouldn’t we extend that same mercy and grace to others? When we hold people up to our standards or even the standards of God’s righteous law, we are in danger of having to be judged by that same standard. Before you judge someone today, show them the same mercy and grace you want from God. Instead of judging them, love them. Instead of condemning them, encourage them. We are a people saved by grace in order that we might extend grace to others.
30
May
17

Drawing Near To God

We don’t have to be afraid to approach God just as we are. God is holy and we do not deserve to come into His presence as wretched sinners. Yet, we see in James 4 that we can come near to God and He will not reject us, but rather He will draw near to us. James wrote:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. – James 4:8-10 (NIV)

The key to approaching God is humility. We have to humble ourselves before the Lord. Instead of puffing ourselves up with pride, we come humbly before Him. We need to recapture an awareness of the majesty and holiness of God. We need to remember who God truly is and who we really are. We are sinners who deserve death and wrath, but God, in His great love and grace, forgives our sins and gives us the gift of eternal life. Praise be to His holy name!
26
May
17

Resisting God and Surrendering To Temptation

Friendship with the world makes God your enemy. If God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, then we should be humble before God. Who wants God to be their enemy? James writes:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7 (NIV)

Tragically, we often do the opposite. We resist God and surrender to temptation. When temptation comes calling, we ignore the Holy Spirit of God and His warnings to flee temptation. We welcome the devil and his offerings of temporary gratification. When we come to our senses and realize what we’ve done, guilt and shame set in and fear takes hold. Does God still love me in spite of what I’ve done? Will God welcome and accept me despite my sin? The answer is yes. God will not reject you because you’ve sinned. Jesus died for sinners like us in order to bring us to God. The invitation to surrender and submit to God is still there and we can accept it at any time.
25
May
17

God Longs For You

Our Heavenly Father is a jealous God. He’s not envious, mind you. Rather, He is jealous the way someone is jealous for their spouse. God wants all of our love and affection because He loves us so deeply. After saying that friendship with the world means hatred toward God, James wrote:

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.” – James 4:5-6 (NIV)

God gave you your life. He gave you your spirit and soul. He knows your deepest longing and your deepest need and that is Him. When we run after the things of this world and choose them over God, it breaks His heart. Yet, He shows us great grace when we return back to Him. The Bible says that we are all like sheep who have gone astray. God lovingly searches for us and brings us back to His arms of safety and love. If you’re wandering away from God, you have to know that it is safe to return home. He’ll welcome you back with grace and love.



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