All posts by pastorj

Handling Conversations

In my daily bible reading I came across yet again this wonderful truth that, bears repeating yet again in this hour.

James is writing to the early –church and giving them a strict look at the power of our actions. He was more interested in the Christians actions than in the Christians words.

James 1:22-23 KJV

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

When we hear and do not apply the Truth in our lives than we deceive ourselves

James is emphatic about it – he lists out that our words and our actions can bring much trouble into every aspect of our lives. Friendships and Marriages alike can be destroyed by our actions or by our words.

The tongue that littlest member has caused more pain than can imagined. James wrote the tongue cannot be tamed by man, it is evil and full of deadly poison. And whether those words are spoken or written doesn’t change the impact upon the recipient. Words can be devastating and they will destroy.

James wrote in James 3:10 that these things ought not to be. We who profess to be Christ Like and have put on Christ – (Romans 13:14, Gal 3:27) should a live life that is different. I want my life to yield good fruit; I want sweet water to flow from my life, not bitter water, nor deadly poison that destroys.

James wrote that (3:13-14) that a wise man with knowledge would present a good conversation with his works with meekness and with wisdom. But a man with a bitterness, envying, and strife in his heart would glory not and is not of the truth. A bitter heart equals a bitter conversation. Whatever is in your heart is what will come out of your mouth. Your heart is what controls your conversation.

James continued by giving a litmus test of what a conversation should be and what it should not be.

He states that this wisdom does not come from above, because every good gift and every perfect gift comes from the Father above (James 1:17), but is earthly, sensual, and devilish. For where envying, strife, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

You should run every conversation, every teaching, and every word of instruction, through that litmus test. If there is any strife, tension, bitterness, jealousy in what I am hearing that I know that that is not from God. On the other hand if what I hear is peaceable, pure, edifying, filled with righteousness and peace then that is a conversation that I will receive.

Do your conversations pass the James Test?

Keep the Faith

Oftentimes in the middle of a battle discouragement can begin to set in, especially when the victory hasn’t come as easily as you thought that it would.

There is not much in life that has value which will not come to you without effort. Effort in the spiritual sense is not necessarily more energy behind all that you do. Quite simply, it is not giving up, or in the biblical terms it is keeping the faith.

Paul wrote to Timothy in    II Tim 4:7

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (KJV)

Paul didn’t say I won every time. He said I just kept fighting, Timothy. God hasn’t asked you to do something that you are incapable of doing. He will bring the victory. Your duty and my duty is to keep fighting. When the odds seem stacked against you, just keep fighting. Fight regardless of the thoughts that you have, circumstances that you see, or the words that come to your ears. Just keep fighting and ultimately God will bring about the victory. For Paul further wrote that despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us (Romans 8:37 NLT).

 

Paul stated I have finished my course. I have finished all that God has asked me to do, the course is His. God is the author and the finisher. I have finished my course. We are to finish the course that God has laid out for us. Make sure that you finish the course with a fight.

Lastly, Paul gives us the key to fighting and finishing; faith. Paul kept it. He never let go of it. Your faith is vital to your fight, and if you don’t fight, you‘ll never finish. Faith is that substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1). You may not see it yet, but keep the faith. Faith will bring you through.

As Jesus prayed for Peter when he was being tested, I am praying for you that you faith fail not.