Do you have a favorite food? Perhaps it’s pizza, steak, tacos, or a juicy water melon? Did you know that Jesus had a favorite food? Elias Abdi, missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship serving in the Lansing area, took us through John 4 to show us what is the favorite food of Jesus. It says there that His favorite food is to do the will of the Father. Doing the will of the Father was to look at the harvest field and then share the gospel to those around Him. It was a compelling challenge to each of us to ask if doing God’s will of considering the harvest is our favorite food.
In today’s message we consider the characteristics James describes as evident in the life of the person with wisdom from above. When you contrast wisdom from the world that stems from man’s flawed thinking and wisdom from above that comes from a perfect God, which would you rather have? Which are you pursuing? We may desire wisdom from above, but what are we doing to obtain it?
James addresses another concern with his audience. It’s the issue of wisdom. He cites two kinds, true or godly wisdom that is from above and worldly or false wisdom. He poses a question for us to consider: who has wisdom. He provides some characteristics of true wisdom and then characteristics of false wisdom. Which do you have? Which do you want?
James has more exhortation about the tongue. He reminds us that one minute we can be praising God and the next minute we can be cursing, insulting, criticizing man. He reminds us that every person is made in the image of God. Essentially what James is saying is that when we say something bad to or about someone, we are actually saying that to God who made that person in His image. Even though we live in a fallen world, cursed by sin, we still bear the image of God. As we think about what we are going to say, be mindful of the point James is making. That should be a deterrent to what we are going to say. The real issue is that it’s a heart problem because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
James gives us some illustrations about the nature of the tongue and though it is small, can wield a destructive force unlike any other. Our words truly do matter. The tongue is powerful. The tongue is perverse. It is corrupt and it is catastrophic. What can we do to curtail the tongue’s devastating affects? There is a path we can take for the tongue. Follow the ABC’s.
In today’s message we are challenged to consider the hidden person of the heart from I Peter 1:3-9. Specifically, we are asked to consider a spirit of gentleness that must be a character of the person who would walk with Christ and live before others. Is gentleness a part of your adornment as a follower of Christ?
The Bible has a lot to say about the tongue. It be used for tremendous and for great harm. We are encouraged to set a guard over our tongue. James 3 gives us some things to ponder about it.
When Scripture is clear about how we become righteous, why does man think he can or should do something in addition to what God has provided already through Christ? Have you been declared righteous by God?
What kind of faith do you have? Is it a faith that is dead? By that I mean you know all the right lingo, you may even prayed a prayer. But has there been no life change in character or conduct? If so, yours may be a dead faith.
Is your faith like that of the demons who believe in God, but it is not a saving faith. They know there is a God and they tremble. But such belief will never save them.
Is your faith dynamic. Genuine faith will be evident in something tangible that is seen, in something that you do. It isn’t that works will save you. They can’t. The evidence of your faith will be in your works. James says, without works, your faith is empty.
What kind of faith do you have?
What is your view of the resurrection. In our passage today from John 20, we note the responses of Mary Magdalene, the disciples and Thomas. Despair, deliberation, disbelief, they all moved through different responses until they came to the place of delight. How you view the resurrection can determine your eternal destiny. John ends the chapter by noting our faith and future if we believe that Jesus is the Christ. Hallelujah, He is risen.