James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.James 1:1(NASB)
Lot… that righteous man.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.—“Remember Lot's wife.”
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?… “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing.”—Therefore do not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light… and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
Gen. 13:10; 11: 2 Pet. 2:7; 8 Gal. 6:7; Luke 17:32; 2 Cor. 6:14,17; Eph. 5:7, 8; Eph. 10:11
Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NLT)
What did He mean? The burden of the law was upon the people, indeed, it was a heavy burden for them. The Pharisees gave more than two thousand interpretations to the law of Moses, and said: "The law of Moses does not mean that you have only to keep the ten commandments; it means that you have to keep two thousand." There was not a single point in all their human life where this law was not applied and made their lives difficult. And all this was gathered up into the Sabbath: "You must not make your bed on the Sabbath! You must not carry your bed on the Sabbath! You must not poke your fire on the Sabbath! You must do nothing on the Sabbath – you may not even walk more than three miles on the Sabbath." Two thousand regulations for their lives! The one thing that they were meeting every day, and especially on the Sabbath, was "You may not."
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). What has happened? Jesus has appropriated the Sabbath to Himself. It is no longer a day of the week – the Sabbath is a divine Person. (If the Seventh Day Adventists saw that, the whole of their system would go in five minutes!) No, Jesus is God's Sabbath. He is the end of God's works, and in Him God has entered into His rest. This is the "rest which remaineth for the children of God" – not a day of the week on the calendar, but a divine Person, the Son of God. In Him we come to rest, and that which was our bondage is now our servant. In Him, that against which we were always struggling is now our victory. Oh yes, Jesus is the Sabbath, and if we live in Him we shall not spoil the Sabbath. Every day should be a day of rest to our souls. Oh, this is a mighty thing that the Lord Jesus has done!
He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” § I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness, and assurance forever.
Stand …, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness… For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. § The Lord is with you! Go in this might of yours.
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9).
We want fellowship with the Lord Jesus in His peace and joy, and naturally fear and seek to avoid suffering. However, it is in the fellowship of His sufferings that we partake of His peace and joy.
"The Lord has a wonderful way of bringing us into the fellowship of His sufferings, even when everything outside looks prosperous. Sometimes the most apparently prosperous lives have the deepest sufferings at the back of them. The Lord must one way or another teach us fellowship with suffering, or we cannot be of much use. We dwell much upon the side of being filled with joy, but let us not forget there are broken hearts all round us, and if we are to be channels of divine comfort to them, we must learn something of the fellowship of His sufferings in our own experience."
"We shall err if we think that life in the Sanctuary, hidden with Christ in God, means freedom from suffering, sorrow, and trial. Rather will the soul be strengthened inwardly to be trusted more and more with the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death' (Phil. 3:10)."
"Our Father can advance His children into conformity to the image of His Son, more by suffering in one day, than in many years of ease from trial."
"See how we call those who thus endured happy! You have heard how patiently Job endured and have seen how the Lord finally blessed him, because the Lord is tenderhearted and merciful" (James 5:11 Wms.).
“Did not our heart burn within us?” Luke 24:32
We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, the fires are kindled, we have wonderful visions, then we have to learn to keep the secret of the burning heart that will go through anything. It is the dull, bald, dreary, commonplace day, with commonplace duties and people, that kill the burning heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.
Much of our distress as Christians comes not because of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test as to whether we ought to allow an emotion to have its way is to see what the outcome of the emotion will be. Push it to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something God would condemn, allow it no more way. But if it be an emotion kindled by the Spirit of God and you do not let that emotion have its right issue in your life, it will react on a lower level. That is the way sentimentalists are made. The higher the emotion is, the deeper the degradation will be, if it is not worked out on its proper level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay on the mount of transfiguration, but we must obey the light we received there; we must act it out. When God gives a vision, transact business on that line, no matter what it costs.
"We cannot kindle when we will The fires which in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides; But tasks in hours of insight will'd Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd."
There is one major weakness in the body of Christ, and individual Christians alike. It is an ignorance of the truths of a close and an abiding walk, in the Spirit. As a result many Christians live a life of spiritual defeat or spiritual depression, and as a result many Christians settle for less than God’s will for their life – because the believer so often lives a life, relying on the flesh and not on the Spirit. The first step of ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ“, is so precious and so simple. God does not make ‘being saved’ complicated or fraught with difficulties. It is simply believe on JESUS – and you will be saved:- Jew or gentile, male or female – young or old – bond or free – great or small. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved… period.
It is not about believing in God… it is believing on the one that died and rose again. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.. and Christ alone – for He alone can save. My little granddaughter before the tender age of four believed this simple truth – she is eternally saved and spiritually secure and she too will hear the sound of God’s trump. But there is so much more for that little one to learn and understand – and should the Lord tarry, it will take her a lifetime of seeking to know the Lord.
But she has a choice.. to remain as a newborn babe in Christ OR to mature in the faith. And whether 4, 14, 24, 44, or 94, maturing in the faith takes trust in God. And whether 4, 14, 24, 44, or 94, growing in the faith takes time in our life-journey. There is one major weakness in the body of Christ – and individual Christians alike. It is a misunderstanding that being saved is not the end, but the beginning. It is a lack of knowledge of how to grow inread more
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth.
Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
What is in a name? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – so sang sweet Juliet to her precious Romeo, in Shakespeare’s tragic love-story. But what of sin? What of those 3 small letters – S. I. N. which combine to separate us from God? Some would argue that a SIN out of sight is a sin out of mind. Others place overwhelming import on one sin.. calmly disregarding another. Most of us are conditioned to point our index finger, at the overt sin we see in society, without seeing the three curling fingers pointing inwards to ourselves – to the covert sin hidden deep within our heart.
The central letter of that little word S-I-N is “I” = “ME” = “MYSELF”. That hidden, secret sin is laid buried deep within the very being of man. That furtive sin which seeps like a toxic poison into the very soul of man. That private sin concealed from all others bites at the very heart of man.. like a venomous snake. The clandestine sin that feeds ones ego so satisfyingly, separates us from God.. as surely as a dagger plunged through the throat.
The first sin committed by the exulted heart of the anointed cherub was one of pride. The arrogant, “I wills” of the falling angel who sought to elevate him to the status of God. Satan is thrust out of heaven for seeking to take what was the Lords.. but God thunders: I will not give my glory to another. I will not give my praise to idols. Isa.42:8
And yet this sin we so despise in this precocious angelic being, can ofttimes be the downfall of the most gracious saint. It canread more