I have spent several weeks studying different areas of the Bible via video lessons, through reading the Bible, and through short devotions, besides church services, as part of a “reset” of my spirituality. That sounds so righteous of me; so much so that I have to laugh at myself. What I was doing, in reality, was seeking God’s help in determining where I was off track, why some joy had leaked away, and what in the world was I supposed to do about it. Basically, a child asking “Daddy, what am I supposed to do now?”
I felt I needed to be better prepared for the continuing downfall of morality in the world. To be able to guard my heart against the violence, and the vile way people have been treating each other with a variety of excuses, their own personal justifications, of why and how it is being done.
One thing that has struck me is the failure to follow Biblical directives in dealing with everything. Because the core of all the issues in the world, personal, political, and social fall back to the basic fact that people, including believers, are not doing what the Bible has instructed us to do.
I was reading in James this morning and the following verses resonated powerfully.
James 1:19-25 (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Yes, there are those still in this world who have not read God’s Word and have not been exposed to it. There have also been those who have rejected it because it demanded too much of them, or it was poorly demonstrated to them by believers. Let the fault lie where it must. I am as guilty as anyone, and I choose to accept that truth and pray that the Lord helps me do what I can to correct it.
I want to share as much good as I can.
The Word also tells us in James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
God isn’t changing, ever. He wants to give us good things, all of us. So if a brother or sister, or a non-believer, receives something good in their life, I need to rejoice with them. Easier said than done when what they receive is something you want but didn’t receive. Envy and jealousy are core issues in our lives. You Shall Not Covet is one of the Ten Commandments, after all, which shows how significant it and all things related are. But if we are doers of the Word, then when those emotions rise, it is a perfect time to seek God’s assistance and demonstrate love, and an attitude of servanthood, putting others first as Jesus did. God makes the ultimate decision on who gets what, and who am I not to rejoice that He has done so? He has his reasons to give or not give, and I don’t have to know the why.
So on this hot August day, with the heat indices above one hundred degrees, I am blessed to sit in an air-conditioned apartment, and choose to be a doer of God’s Word, and to be thankful for the good gifts I have received, as well as thankful for the good gifts you all have received. It is a journey of growth we take together.
Thank you, God, for your love. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice. Thank you Holy Spirit for walking with me on this journey to be all I have been created to be. Amen.