Grace of God
Transgressions big and small must be confessed daily to maintain sweet fellowship:- that thoughtless word; that selfish thought; that mean streak; that proud attitude; that faithless action.
The Father’s Guarantee
In Romans 8 the Father predestinates, calls, justifies and glorifies us, and note, that this is written in the perfect ‘tense,” which means a past action guaranteed its fulfilment in the future.
To watch in every season and pray without ceasing seems an unrealistic request, and yet we find both Christ and Paul giving believers a seemingly impossible task, but the physical action must be transliterated into a spiritual behaviour.
Every step He took and each pray He prayed was an object lesson in godly living: no man ever spoke the gracious words that this man spoke. His very actions and attitude were filled of with grace and truth. He would not destroy a bruised reed nor snuff out a flickering candle, and He humbled Himself before God and man as an example for us to follow.
Christ was the worthy example of the perfect Man and He demonstrated how we should act and react. Christ was the righteous model of what fallen humanity could now become – in Him. He gave us an example of righteous living – of gracious actions – of a worthy life. He modelled the only way that mankind can live a godly life – in Christ Jesus.
It is not that we copy Him by doing what He did but to live life in the way He lived… not to mimic His actions or parrot what He said but to live a life that is pleasing to God. Not to try to become Christ but to be Christ-like by walking in spirit and truth.
“Take off the pointed end – no remove the blunt end” they would scream!!! Yet similarly foolish disagreements can result in the split of a congregation, or can even result in the beginning of a new denomination. Correspondence may be terminated through one foolish action. Fellowship may be in interrupted because of a chance remark, yet Paul exhorts us : be at peace among yourselves 1Thess.5:13
An incautious action can mean the severance of a blessed union – how very sad.
They are heated seven times hotter… where not only life’s little actions and the words of your mouth are scrutinised by Purity’s eyes of refining flame, but thoughts of the mind and motives of the heart – are squeezed through His mangle of purification.
Watching in prayer, is keeping wakeful ‘in’ the strength of the holy exercise of prayer against Sin,, and for God – but in THANKSGIVING: Letting the spirit and action of gratitude, (as it were)…surround your watching and praying lives.
Unlike Saul who justified his wrong actions, David cried out in repentance. Unlike Saul..
David eventually recognised his personal responsibilities towards God. For instance… when confronted by the prophet Nathan with his sin, David accepted his correction. He recognised that his sin was against God – and unlike Saul, David repented. David repented, while Saul continued to justify his wrong attitudes and actions.
THIRD : David accepted responsibility for his actions, his thoughts and his choices. David was willing to learn from the wisdom and instruction of others – he listened to the word of the Lord and was jealous for the honour of God.
But only one was a man after God’s own heart who was jealous of God’s holy name. Only one had a teachable spirit and was prepared to listen and learn God’s will. Only one had a right attitude of heart towards God, only one took responsibility for his wrong actions,. Only one was prepared to listen and learn – only one was prepared to cry out… Search me..
You have all this here in the Word, and it all bears down upon this, that people who are related in Divine foreknowledge and Divine sovereign action come into situations like that, but in the end that sovereignty has been shown to relate to something unusually precious to the Lord, and they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, even Mine own possession, in the day that I do make (Malachi 3:17).
or how shall we who were separated to sin live any longer therein?” This verb is: 1) the aorist tense 2) the passive voice and 3) the indicative mood which means: 1) it is an action and not a process. 2) it was done to you and nothing you did and 3) it is a literal state of reality – now.
Have you ever been told something and made assumptions about what was said? Have you ever been in a discussion and presumed to know what was ‘implied? Have you ever interpreted another’s actions or thoughts without really knowing – just because you think you understand what they’re saying, meaning or thinking? I have many times and I still make that mistake sometimes..
or are you unable to accept His Truth? Can you proclaim the wondrous things that the Lord has done for you.. or are you racked by past actions and attitudes, that sear your soul with self-condemnation?
I can choose to allow my faith to be exercised or not. I can choose to trust His Word or blame Him for life’s difficult circumstances. I can choose to take responsibility for my action, or blame God for my choices. I can choose to accept His ‘boot-camp‘ training – or kick against the pricks. I can invite Him to examine my inner-self so as to identify areas that need His scalpel. I can further invite Him to root out all areas within me that are displeasing to Him. I can permit Him to identify blockages in me, that prevent me from living as He wills – and I can allow Him to search deep within – to heal all hurts that I hide from others. I can choose to admit my mistakes – or I can blame my shortcomings on others – or even on God.
He can do it for me today… And He can do it for you too – beloved one. Today when pain and anguish clasp their icy fingers around my throat, I know it is praise and thanksgiving that can loose their vice-like grip – but it is no good thinking about it – it needs action- mine and God’s.
And even my emotions are God-given spices to enhance my life, and others – but the pains, wounds and disappointments of life, so often distort rational thought, and we flood our conversations and bury our actions in false imaginings that we consider as truth. Yes I do desire to reason with the Lord… but it must be on His terms and not mine. For my own reason will sink my boat. My own reason will bite my own hand. My own reason will bury my desired hope.
God will not compromise His Word just so that our reason can be satisfied, and if God has stated in Scripture that this is how it is, then we have no option but to listen to what God tells us in Scripture and put it into action.
His ears are open to their prayer – but the face of the Lord is against them (that is believers)… but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. This is not evil in the worldly sense – but relates to anything that is not of Christ. Action or attitude in a believer, stemming from the old sin nature needs correction – like Job’s self-righteousness… his wife’s defeat…his friends critical religiosity.
All characters were saved, but not one was in complete right-standing with God – and God corrects all such wrong attitudes and actions, that are influenced by the old sin nature. Job is instructed by the Spirit of God in chapter 5 verse 17 of a truth of God, behold, happy is the man whom God corrects, therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.. that is a truth rooted in Job, but a truth stretching forward throughout the whole word of God.
All our movements, meeting and motives should be under the direction of God. All our risings and sleepings – all our actions and attitudes.
But if necessary He will push us, like Israel, to the last gasp or our extremity… to teach us to trust Him in all our movements, meetings and motives… to train us to submit in our risings and sleepings – our actions and attitudes – until in all things, He alone is our guard and guide.
The first action of the Spirit in the soul for growth is to assure you of the Father's love for you, and then you are not thinking about yourself or your own state, but of Him; though no doubt you will be greatly exercised as to how you are answering to that love.
In thought and word, action and attitude Jesus Christ was the manifestation of God. He was the God-Man – Immanuel – God with us – Jesus Christ was God incarnate. Philip was not the only disciple that longed to see God.
Man of God
Nehemiah was a man of resolve – a man of action – a man of God – a man of prayer. Nehemiah was a man who loved his God – obeyed His word and trusted His promises, and so God used this man of Israel to be an instrument in His purposes for His people.
Man of Action
Nehemiah had spent his life in Persian captivity- far away from his homeland in Israel, but he had proved himself trustworthy- having been appointed cupbearer to the king. He was also a man of action.
Paul talks of the renewing of our mind – our thinking process is to be made new, For it is out of the heart that actions are conceived – out from thoughts of our heart. The old has gone and we are to be new – made new in Christ.
To be perfect means to be whole, to be healthy, to be mature, to be complete. God is perfect and fits the complete description of perfection. There is no lack in Him and there is no excess in Him either. There is no failure in Him due to ignorance or inexperience. There is nothing in Him that spoils His glorious nature. There in nothing in Him that impairs His gracious actions. God is indeed perfect and requires perfection of those who trust in Him.
We are not to be led by the appeals that decide the actions of the many – It is the popular thing!
We are not speaking merely of such things as are sinfully personal, positively personal, but simply of independent action, action taken for the best ends, for a good motive, with quite a proper intention.
Action, as it were, nerves us to the conflict; but quiet endurance of wrong, or suffering of any kind, which neither friend nor foe sees, but only God, this indeed needs divine power, and without God's support none would bear the strain.
Nature of God Love
The disposition of God Himself is to be the guide of our actions and attitudes. The nature of God is to be the indicator of our moods and motives. The character of God is to be the pattern of our words and wisdom. The fruit of God’s Spirit are to mellow into gentleness, goodness and grace. If our path leads us into disagreement..
Some people add works of the flesh, works of the Law – self-imposed rules or Church regulations and a variety of ‘add-ons’ to the basic gospel of salvation by grace – thru faith in Christ Jesus , while others insist on actions relating to eating or drinking – places of worship or times and seasons – spiritual fruit or gifts of the Holy Spirit.
FOR our SINS
In 1 Corinthians we read that Christ died for our SINS – He paid the price for our sins. Every transgression in action or attitude are sins for which Christ died on the cross. Every sin we ever commit falls into the category of SINS – sins that we have committed. Transgression in thought, word or deed are sins against God, and need forgiveness.
Sins are wrong actions we carry out.
But the Spirit leads according to Scriptural directions; hence that which is called the leading of the Spirit, and which has not the truth of the Word for its line of thought and action, is necessarily false. -H.F.W.
Is this the action the Almighty God having sport with His children?
Rev.22:12 Had Satan and his hosts understood the consequences of their actions: they would not have killed Him: they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, 1Cor.2:8 for His death brought life to you and me.
and too many of us look at the overwhelming circumstances in our teetering lives. Too many of us become anxious as the ominous future looms ahead. We have just enough for today but tomorrows’ advancing shadows haunts us, and we become troubled in our hearts and sick in our soul – lest tomorrows bowl of meal becomes empty – and tomorrows cruise of oil runs dry. But He tells us if we seek Him and His kingdom and live righteously before Him.. He will supply all things needful and all essential things will be added to us. He will better provide for His children than for lilies and sparrows! He will ensure the daily necessities of life will be added and poured into our lap. If God’s promises are sure then no circumstances can displace His assurances. If God’s Word is true, then no action or governmental law can overthrow His oath.
As we cry out, “seek out all the hidden depths in me that are displeasing to You”, and as we give Him permission to root out wrong attitudes, actions and perspectives, He will search out the depths of our hearts for things that grieve His Spirit – for our whole Christian life is a process of being conformed into His image..
Doctrine and practice, theology and morality, knowledge and action are inseparably connected, being related to one another as foundation to superstructure, as center to circumference, as cause to effect.
He lived a sinless life and so there was no requirement for Him to confess His sins. His words were always seasoned with salt and His actions were full of gracious truth. He walked a path of righteousness.
STUDY - Character and Attributes of GOD
God’s actions are always determined by His will.
And God’s actions are always determined by His whole nature.
If we have an understanding of God’s nature, we will understand His actions.
Understanding God’s Nature provides an understanding of His actions, for God’s actions are always determined by His perfect nature..
and God’s actions are always determined by His perfect will.. and God will never violate His holy character..
Understanding God’s nature – provides an understanding of His actions, for God’s actions are always determined by His whole nature.. and God’s actions are always determined by His will.. and God will never violate His character – and God will never violate His will.
And alongside that, many are looking to organization, the society, the mission, the church connection to which they are related, and expecting a new day for themselves to originate there, and that when the institution, whatever it may be, takes action, then the work of their lives will begin.
Though all the disciples left Him and fled the actions of this one – the actions of Peter, surpassed the others in thought, word and deed – and he was overwhelmed with grief at the death of Him Whom he loved so very dearly.
The only safe place is where the Cross is still at work, touching all that is ourselves, touching all our independence of action.
Is it an acknowledgment that Peter felt his need of co-operation and fellowship, that he had seen the perils and disasters into which independent action led him, even where his intentions and motives were of the best?
Only once did Jesus refer to His own deep humility of heart and poverty of spirit, when he said: “I am meek and lowly in heart” Matt.11:29 But throughout His earthly journey, in action and attitude, humility streamed forth.
A Demonstrated Reality
Every step that He made, every action, reaction and decision that He took, every word He spoke and each thought of His heart, was carried out as a man and was carried out for man, for He had laid aside His deity for a season, in order to demonstrate all that God had intended for us, but which man had lost through sin.
“he delays!” What are we to do in these inky days of perplexity and confusion? What must the obedient disciple do in a season of such anxiety of heart? What actions should the faithful believers do in such moments of nagging concerns? What should you do if you’re groping your way through a fear that the Lord delays?
Simple in its terms, but very, very drastic and very utter in its action.
All this can be if we will go the way of this man, and say, “Yes, this has gone on long enough and it has to end, and to end, so far as my giving diligence is concerned, at once, and I do most truly by the grace of God take a deliberate and definite faith action and faith attitude toward the Lord Jesus for my complete deliverance and the setting of me upon my feet for His glory, for His praise!” I think there will be an issue, and I think it will be — “he, leaping up, stood upon his feet, praising and glorifying God.” May it be so with every one of us.
In fact, God was using the evil actions of wicked men to chasten and train His own people and forward His own perfect plans and purposes.
He reflected and meditated on the unchanging character of God and when the painful circumstances of our lives are not removed or when God permits evil actions of wicked men to seemingly succeed in our world, we should immediately turn our focus on the unchanging character of God, and trust Him – as did Habakkuk, who said: Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One!
It is the misguided love of money that is rooted in all sorts of evil attitudes and ungodly actions and so we are instructed by the Lord Jesus Himself not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
Indeed their speech; their actions; their attitudes and even their motives were to accord to godliness - and to reflect sound doctrine and wholesome teachings - both of which are firmly anchored to scriptural facts in the Word of God
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action, to which it is not literally applicable while an allegory draws a comparison between one thing and another, for the purpose of greater explanation or clarification. And in this passage in Galatians we see an example of this.
May the words of our mouth, the actions in our lives; our conscious attitudes and even the unconscious motives of our heart be so attuned to the will of the Lord that we do only those things that are pleasing in His sight - to His praise and glory.
Indeed even when we do exhibit 'caring concern', how often our choices are rooted in selfish pride, knowing that our 'thoughtful' actions will excite the applause of others and feed our ego, which will only result in a selfish smugness or a self-absorbed pride!!
He details in sober terms the inner thoughts of man's mind and he records in stark language what God thinks of man's actions, man's attitudes, man's words and fallen man's sinful state:- as it is written, there is none righteous, no - not even one.
On the one hand we should not be critical of those who choose to worship and behave in a certain way – but on the other hand we should also be careful that neither our actions nor our abstinences place us back under law!
But in this age or grace we are to be sensitive to the fact that actions, which we know to be permissible before God, may become a stumbling-block to a Christian brother or sister, whose conscience dictates otherwise, causing them to falter in their faith.
Despite him deceiving Eve and cunningly wresting man's God-ordained dominion over the earth from Adam's hand, Satan ultimately remains under the authority of his almighty Creator - and is required to report his activities and actions, before the throne of God.
But though he instructs young men to be subject to those that are older in years and spiritual maturity, he calls ALL believers to clothe themselves with humility towards one an other - explaining that God resists those that are proud but gives grace to those that are humble in action and attitude.
Too often, ungodly actions are accepted or ignored, while spiritual gifts are abused, when certain groups, or individuals, use their God-given gifts and talent, for self-glorification or self-centred motives.
There should be unity in the essentials of our faith; liberty and Christian courtesy surrounding any non-essential doctrinal issue, and godly love and graciousness should be demonstrated in the actions and attitudes we show, towards our brothers and sisters in Christ - knowing that God is not a God of confusion but the God of peace.
Many had adopted the prevailing behaviours, beliefs and attitudes of the world, indulging in fleshly actions, becoming carnal believers and not spiritual men and women that were maturing in the faith.
So Paul also picks up the same instruction to this group of worldly Christians, for although we are to be salt and light to all who we meet, we are not to become infected by the world, and all that makes up the world systems, world politics, world religions, worldly actions and worldly attitudes.
Let us diligently seek to sever our heart and will from all that is contrary to the mind of God. Let us come out from among them and become a people separated in mind and motive, separated in action and attitude - separated unto God.
The deceitful heart of man delights to judge his own 'goodness' against the 'evil' actions of his fellow men - but God remains true to His immovable standard of truth and righteousness - rendering man's judgement of others to become man's own accuser.
It was John the beloved apostle who spent over three years living with the Lord, walking in His gracious footsteps, watching His godly actions and observing His dependent prayer-life, and John was the one that testified that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world.
He lived His life as a demonstration of how we should live our lives - not imitating His actions by what we do, but imitating the way He lived - in willing dependence upon the Father; in humble submission to the indwelling Holy Spirit and walking day by day in spirit and in truth.
Giving should also be a personal choice that is made in the quietness or our own hearts and not a reaction to the expectation of other people and it should be a deliberate choice and not an action performed for the praise of men – but rather to glorify our Father Who is in heaven….
We are in the world, but we are not of it, and so our attitude and our actions must show compassion toward those that are dying in their sins, while not being influenced by the prevailing gloom of this evil world-system.
And whether we find ourselves to be alone or in the company of others – whether we are thrust into the business of every-day life or quietly confined in the isolation of a sick-bed, our attitudes and actions should be such that they are a positive reflection of God's glory.
all believers that would grow in grace by dying to self and living to Christ, until the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit become manifest within the new-life of the believer – until it is not I that live in me, but Christ, until it is not my old-sin nature that controls my actions and attitudes but Christ in me, the hope of glory.
And as His children - the Word of God should become our plumb-line for truth, the standard for living and the non-negotiable criterion that not only influences our words and actions but the motives of our heart.
As we journey through this life of pain and sorrow we are to proclaim to the world, in thought, word, action, attitude and motive, the excellent glories of our heavenly Father, Who redeemed us from the darkness of sin and death - into the glories of His life and light, in Christ.
James compares the fleshly carnality of a worldly Christian, with the attitude and action of an unfaithful wife, who is having an illicit love affair with the world, and breaking her sacred marriage vow.
Paul desired to present the Church as a chaste virgin to her betrothed husband: the Lord Jesus Christ.. (without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish), but because of their attitude and actions he feared that they were being enticed away from the glorious gospel of grace to another, false gospel.
Whatever flows from our new-life in Christ is pleasing to the Lord – but if we choose to allow our actions, attitudes and the words that come from our lips to be influenced by our old sin nature – we may fool other people, but we can never deceive the Lord, for He alone knows the intent of our heart.
May we each take to heart the need to be above reproach in our words and actions; faithful in all of our relationships and interactions with others and temperate, prudent, respectable and hospitable, at home and in the wider community.
Nicodemus did not understand that Jesus was talking of a spiritual birth – an immediate and irreversible action that is carried out in the human heart, by the Holy Spirit, on everyone who believes in Christ Jesus.
Nicodemus could only relate to our physical birth – our natural birth where when a human baby is born through the action, will and work of man.
But the new birth is not something that can be implemented by the action, will or work of man.
A profound love for the Lord and benevolence towards brothers and sisters in Christ is not a warm, fuzzy feeling or some romantic, emotional sensation but an unselfish action that is quietly carried out in sprit, in truth, in reality and in action.
This section makes it very clear that when we are children of God our actions and attitudes should reflect those of our Saviour.
May we examine our own actions, attitudes, moods and motives, lest we fall into Christian carnality and unloving responses to others.
As new Testament Christians, we are no longer bound by the statutes, commandments, ordinances and testimonies, as laid out in the Mosaic Law, for we are no longer under the law but under grace. However, we are subject to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which is laid out in the New Testament epistles, and as blood-bought children of God, our conduct, behaviour, actions, attitudes and motive is equally important, if we are to walk in His ways and honour His name - and should be wholeheartedly embraced.
The joy of the Lord is indeed our strength and we are called to rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing; give thanks in all things and live in godly unity with one another - but we can only do this as we allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly and the Mind of Christ to inform our actions and attitudes.; our thoughts and our motives.
so that our words and deeds, actions and attitudes may be a true reflection of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Just as God manifested His love through His action, we too are to demonstrate the love that we have received from above, by the things that we do for others, and the way that we act towards them.
Divine love demands that we do what is best for other people, in the light of eternity - no matter what may be the cost to us - for divine love is an action that flows from an attitude that seeks to consider what is best for another, to the honour of God - as prompted by the Spirit of God.
What a great encouragement it is, to all the people of God - to know that the Lord is aware of the thoughts of our hearts, the words that we speak and the actions that we carry out in love - for His praise and glory.
How vital that we do not carry out our kind actions and considerate deeds from the source of our old sin nature - for when we do good works that are produced by ME, rather than by God working through me, they are works of the law – works of the flesh – works of the old sin nature - works that God will not accept, for God will not share His glory with ME.
There are certain characteristics and identifying marks of the believer, who is walking in spirit and truth – and a changed life that is exercising the gift of the Spirit and producing the fruit of holiness, is a testimony of the inner workings of the Holy Spirit of Christ – which is transferred into the outward actions of the individual life.
There are certain principles that a spiritual believer is exhorted to put into action, and of all God’s holy attributes, the one we are commanded to engage-in and develop, is love – which seems to be both the guiding principle and pinnacle of the Christian life – for God is love.
To transparently bestow kindness and love on one's enemies, or to show grace towards those who exploit or exasperate us, is not an action that can be whipped up in the blackened heart of fallen humanity.
Whether we are asking for prayer or responding to a call to pray for others, may our outward actions reflect an inward dependence upon God, knowing that the effective fervent prayer of a trusting child of God availed much.
When first introduced to the believers at Corinth we find a group of Christians that despite boasting their diverse spiritual gifts were devoid of love, and wallowed in a divergent range of ungodly actions and attitudes, including: quarrelling, envying, anger, bitterness, back-biting, carnal intrigues and gross spiritual immaturity.
that in all our day-by-day dealings we remain submissive to His leadings and obedient to His corrections - that we trust HIS Word, listen to His voice and depend on Him alone - not relying on our own human abilities, actions intuition and strength - but doing only those things that we hear from Him.
He uses the great patriarch Abraham, and Rahab the gentile prostitute, to illustrate the importance of faith in action... and contrasts a wealthy man, dressed in fine clothes and wearing a golden ring with a poor man, clad in dirty clothes - to emphasise the evils of prejudice and the need for impartiality.
Jotham courageously challenged the leaders of Shechem to examine their actions and motive in supporting Abimelech's grab for power by telling them 'a parable of the trees' - All the trees of the forest set out to anoint a king over them.
Jotham finished his parable by saying that IF they had acted honestly and done righteously in going along with his plan to make Abimelech their king, and rewarded him appropriately - then their actions honoured his father Gideon, and they could rejoice and it would be well for them.
However, IF that were not the case and their actions were dishonourable - then they would be cut down and destroy one another in a civil war.
When Jotham escaped the massacre, and stood on the mountain and shouted, Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you, he was calling them to account before the Lord for their actions.
Earlier in the psalm it appears that all David wanted was to be avenged for the wrong these wicked men had done to him - but as he listed their evil actions, it caused him to remember that he served a God Who is full of loving kindness, and has promised to protect the needy and save them from those that would judge; accuse and abuse them.
Before our salvation we were among those that exhibited the evil works of the flesh - some of which are listed in verses 19-21 and include:- sexual immorality; moral impurity; promiscuity; idolatry, sorcery; hatred; strife; jealousy; outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions; dissensions; factions; envy; drunkenness; carousing; and other ungodly actions.
They were incensed by His actions, indignant that He was being hailed as the Messiah and furious that He had exposed their crooked commercialism, ungodly trafficking and lack of respect for the things of God - and so we read that: they became indignant.
We should not allow our attitude, actions, comments or clothing to be adversely influenced by the pagan culture of our day, lest we are tempted do develop a careless attitude towards godly behaviour and neglect our spiritual development - or lest we leave our first Love, the Lord Jesus, and adopt the profane values of the society in which we live.
It was not because of David's exemplary life or military successes that this great honour was conferred upon him, for he became embroiled in many indiscretions, ungodly actions and sinful acts against the Lord.
The actions and attitude of this man towards his fellow believers as well as strangers that crossed his path, reflected the lovely Lord Jesus, causing John to write to this brother in Christ, with these words: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
The staggering consequences of this poignant event was veiled from the eyes of the bewildered disciples – yet the eternal significance of this amazing, sacrificial action, will reverberate down through the corridors of time -and throughout the eternal ages that are to come.
If the desires of our heart reflect those of the Father, they will be good and wholesome, wise and pure but too often the old sin nature causes the lust of the flesh and the pride of life to rear its ugly head, so that we desire foolish things and think and ask unwisely – causing our craving to give birth to sinful actions, evil attitudes and a covetous heart.James picks up this human trait of covetousness, which all to often manifests itself in the life of believers, and which occurs when the fleshly desires within each one of us are not kept in check, for the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit lusts against the flesh.
Indeed, James points out that the sin of covetousness is so powerful that he allies its fruit with murder, which is rooted in anger, envy, bitterness, malice, cruelty, savagery, inhumanity and greed.When the covetous self is determined to have its own way, it often translates into hidden manipulations and blatantly evil actions, which can even pour fourth in the form of pious praying.
The outward action of Ananias and Sapphira, may have appeared to other church members to have been benevolent and generous, but God is omniscient, and reads the intents of the heart, and inner motives of the mind.
He can read the inner motivating force behind the outward actions of every man and woman, no matter how deceptive their behaviour may be, and irrespective of their smooth-sounding words.
for although we may be able to deceive others with deceptive words and deceitful actions... we can never deceive the indwelling Holy Spirit!
Every act and action, every temptation and trial, every pain and every prayer was preparing Him for this ultimate hour - without which the sins of the world could never have been forgiven and Salvation could never have been procured.
It not only caused him to recognise his own sinfulness and admit to his own foul speech and impure actions, but caused him to identify with his own people - a sinful nation with blackened hearts and unclean lips.
During that pre-salvation time we were spiritually dead and without God, which means that both the noble deeds we carried out in the flesh, as well as our evil works, selfish actions the undisciplined behaviours, were ALL considered by God as unacceptable, and only fit to be consumed by the fire of His righteous judgement.
This verse is not dealing with sinning, which is clearly laid out in Scripture, for our learning - but is explaining that if legitimate actions or activities cause us, or another Christian, to backslide or stumble, we should recognise the problem, and quickly turn from it, for although all things are lawful unto me, not everything is expedient - and although all things may be lawful - I must never be brought under the power of anything.
He warns Titus to avoid the worldly habits of unkindly actions and deceitful words – but encourages him to live a life that reflects the beauty of Christ’s gentleness and the glory of His grace and kindness.
John argues that the closer we are in spirit to Christ the more we reflect the love of God in our words and actions, our attitude and behaviour, our motive and mind… for how can someone say, I love God, and hate his brother.
We need to examine where our loyalties lie and what motivates our actions and attitudes and we need to check to see if we have turned away from our first love towards the fluff and flitter of this filthy world system.
May we all take to heart this touching picture of the incredible love of the Lord towards His people and if we have in any way indulged in ungodly actions or attitudes towards the Lord or simply left our first love - may we turn from our sinful way and return to the Lord.
None of us have the right to 'play God' in the lives of other believers and should the actions or behaviours of another not meet with our local tradition or personal practice, we have no right to inflict on others our own set standards nor have the peculiarities of others inflicted upon us, but whatever we do we should do as unto the Lord, for one day we will all stand before God, to give an account of ourselves, to Him.
as the Spirit of God directs the steps of a man and guides him in his actions and attitude.
And may we all with our action and attitude reflect the same resounding reply, which was identified by James in his singular epistle - so that by God's grace we reflect the beauty and wisdom of the Lord Jesus..
Let us be careful to take to heart the whole council of God in every area of doctrine and church life, so that our homes and Churches become places where God's word is followed and the Lord is glorified through our actions and attitudes.
The ungodly actions and unbridled lust of such people was so gross that they even denied and disowned the person and work of the Lord, Jesus Christ Himself - challenging His right to rule; denying His eternal deity; discrediting His vicarious death and rejecting His glorious resurrection.
They will be shockingly deceived into thinking the Saviour has already arrived - until this evil imposter completes the abominable action described in this verse: in the middle of the week, he will go into the Temple of God and put a stop to the daily sacrifices.
Paul gives a reason that the spirit of gentleness should be evident to all – because the LORD is near. As believers we have the indwelling Holy Spirit who is a Listener to every conversation, an Observer to our every action, a Guest at every mealtime and a Guide and Comforter for every eventuality that life may throw at us.
May we, by God's grace, become so Christ-like in our actions and attitude, minds and motive, words and walk, that we, like the apostle Paul, become an exemplary life to others, and a pattern upon which they are able to model their own lives - for His greater praise and eternal glory.
Sone do what is good because they heed the call of their conscience while other do what is wrong by ignoring this inner, moral witness - but whether they heed the promptings of their conscience to do what is right OR go against the persuasion of their conscience and do what is wrong - they are taking heed to a God-given moral code, such that their actions either approve their right choice or condemn their wrong choice.
But either way it is their conscience; which influences their actions and the choices they make, which either defends or accuses them... Paul explains it like this: they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.
Whether convenient of not – in season and out of season we should be ready and prepared to patiently preach the truth of Scripture…not only with our words but in our lives…not only with our actions but with our attitudes … not only in our behaviours but in the hidden motives that rules our thinking.
Although it was evident to Naomi that the actions of Boaz towards Ruth were noble, and that he would certainly fulfil his intentions towards her and make her his bride, nevertheless Ruth had to wait for the matter to be settled - and she was not to be present when the marriage arrangements were beginning to be finalised.
Our actions and attitudes, words and motives should all be done to His glory - not out of duty but from a heart-desire to walk worthy of our calling in Christ - not because we are instructed to do so, but out of a deepening love for our heavenly Father and our glorified Saviour.
Since the cross, ALL who believe, both Jew and Gentile, are redeemed by Christ's shed blood, as a completed action - and today we are living in the last days, which is why Paul said 'NOW is the 'day of salvation, and reminded the Corinthian Christians that God had said, at the right time I heard you, and on a day of salvation I helped you.' Listen - NOW is really the 'right time'!
The intimacy between the Father and the Son is an unfathomable mystery and a magnificent truth that we cannot explain in human terms, but God's full and final revelation to mankind came in the Person of the incarnate Son of God - the Word made flesh, Who is one with the Father in thought and mind; word and will; action and essence- for Christ only did what the Father told Him to do..
Although a fleshly Christian life and legalistic leanings does not necessarily mean gross indulgence in sexual immorality and other unseemly practices, it does mean that our actions are in opposition to the will of God for our life - for the appetites of the flesh are not necessarily sinful, but they do refer to any works of the flesh that emanate from the old sin nature, (our fleshly heritage before we were born-again)..
It is a prayer that asks God to do a good work, deep within our core-being, as well as Him working through our outward actions and mental attitudes, so that we are pleasing to the Father, in all that we are and all that we do.
To know the truth of Who God is and what He has done in our lives without there being a significant change in our actions; attitudes; words and witness identifies one that has taken a superficial glance into God's word, BUT..
Like Israel we should confess our sin and recognise how far we may have wandered from the Lord – we should turn away from our wrong attitudes and actions and look to Jesus, for every day is a day that is holy to the Lord.
Immorality was accepted unchecked and spiritual pride has become pervasive as each boasted of the merits of their favoured apostle or preferred teacher - nor recognizing that such attitudes and actions demonstrated their foolish carnality, fleshly worldliness and lack of true spirituality.
The action to pursue righteousness, faith and love, is a definite decision of the will, which can only be achieved as one purposes in one's own heart, to turn away from every kind of fleshly pursuit and craving for self-recognition - and follow after righteousness, faith and love.
Faithfulness towards our Father and fidelity towards our fellow men, is reflected in a sincere and energetic confidence in the Lord, and an unswerving trust in His word - while the divine love of Christ, is manifested through the words we speak and the actions we carry out.
the words we speak with our lips, the thoughts we imagine in our hearts, the acts we carry out in our lives and the motive behind our actions will reflect our relationship with Him - which either honours His name or dishonours His word.
The outward actions of our life should be the transparent reflection of an inner soul and is submitted to His Word and His Will - a life that only says and does those things that are honouring and pleasing to His holy name.
and although it caused Saul to tearfully acknowledge that his own vindictive, hatred for David was unjust, and that the actions of the future king demonstrated kindness and righteousness, Saul's change of heart was short-lived.
However, throughout the entire episode, David honoured the Lord in his actions and attitude, and no doubt he learned a valuable lesson, which was to abide by God's timing..
What an accurate description of our Lord and Saviour for He is the eternal King of kings in Whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and His words and actions are full of grace and truth - and He is worthy of all honour and praise.
but we are to live out our personal, trusting faith in Christ in every aspect of our daily life... by the way that we live - by the words we say and the actions that we carry out - by our attitudes and our behaviour; the inner thoughts of our mind and the hidden motives of the heart.
Some consider that God was unjust to condemn the whole human race because of one man's sin - but, in reality, this is the most gracious and loving action on God's behalf - for as through the one man's disobedience (ADAM's sin) the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One Man (JESUS CHRST and His sacrifice for sin) many will be made righteous.
Jesus indeed demonstrated His zeal for the House of God as exemplified in His life and actions, when he overthrew the tables of the money changers and cried out in fury: You have made My Father's House into a den thieves.
These good tidings of great joy was the gospel that God promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy scripture and were the gracious thoughts and actions that God had willed towards fallen humanity.
The young carpenter of Nazareth was God incarnate, Who in His humility had kept every aspect of God's holy Law, and His baptism in the Jordan was an essential action to be carried out, in order to fulfill all God's righteous requirements.
The people of God were to rend their heart in sincerity and truth and not to simply tear their clothes in an outward show of mock remorse and hypocritical actions, if the coming judgement was to be averted.
Israel, boasted of their superiority to all other nations, and yet they did not behave in a manner that reflected the sacred precepts entrusted to them in God's holy Law - Their behaviour and unbelief dishonoured the Lord as it caused the Gentiles to judge the character of God based on the ungodly actions on His chosen people.
However, the old sin nature is still there, and the believer has the free-will to plug himself back under the power of the old sin nature - which causes our thoughts and actions to be influenced by the world, the flesh and the devil, instead of the new life in Christ.
But we can grieve the Spirit of God by our words and actions and we can quench the work He desires to carry out in our lives when we are not walking in humbleness of spirit and in dependence on our Father in heaven.
Esther is also a book that warns against the anti-Semitism, which has plagued the world for thousands of years, as well as a reminder that God has not... and will not reject His nation and is able to accomplish His sovereign plans and purposes through the actions of pagan rulers and ungodly men—irrespective of circumstances and whether or not they acknowledge Him as God.
And this verse is a simple yet timely reminder that we are to live by faith in the Word of Truth, and to trust God's judgement in all things - for He sends blessings on the just and unjust alike and He takes the foolish schemes and rebellious actions of men and turns them to His greater glory, in order to fulfil His ultimate plan and purpose, which is Christ is all in all.
Actions and works that cannot be performed by the old putrefying person we were before salvation (the old man which was governed by the old sin nature).
Actions and works can only be carried out through our new abundant life in Christ, which is to be governed and guided by the Holy Spirit working in and through us, so that the works that I do are not of me (my old self ) but my new nature in Him.
But neither the multiplied wealth of humanity nor the proliferation of man's exemplary actions are sufficient payment to inherit eternal life, for the heart of humanity is incapable of ridding itself of fleshly desires and the love of this world, which can only be rooted out by a supernatural act of the omnipotent God.
He generally reminds us of our position and privileges in Christ and then continues by instructing us on how to live godly lives, and what worldly actions and attitudes need to be avoided.
Malice in this verse suggest a violent temperament, designed to do harm to others and can often be spawned from the build-up of anger or hatred... and it can often explode into a myriad of ungodly thoughts or actions, while slander is connected with malicious lies; speaking evil of others or even participating in gossip or spreading cruel rumours.
There is nothing we can add to God's wonderful plan of salvation - no meritorious work, no good deed, no kindly action, no financial contribution, no painful penance - nothing... for if there was the smallest amount of merit on man's behalf that could be added to Christ's sacrificial offering of Himself..
Meritorious works; kindly deed, humanitarian actions, financial contribution, painful penance and everything else that man may contrive to secure his salvation is excluded - for the one and only way to God is by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Joseph's actions fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, His grave was assigned to be with wicked men, yet with a rich man in His death. The death of Christ was indeed honourable... for he died that we might be saved...and it was also linked with both lawless men and those who were wealthy and honourable, as foretold centuries before.
May the mind of Christ direct all our actions and attitudes, our thoughts and the motives of our heart, and may His gracious attitude be reflected in my life as I seek to live a life that is pleasing in His sight to His praise and glory.
Each member of Christ's body is accountable to the Lord for the way we live, but we also are responsible for the attitudes we adopt, and the actions we take towards our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
The convicting power of the Holy Spirit was so mighty on that day, that 3000 people were cut to the heart when they realised the severity of their sinful actions - so much so that many cried out to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, 'Brethren, what are we to do?'
In word and deed, action and attitude they were to become a worthy witness to a wicked world, of the glorious gospel of Christ, that transforms a doomed sinner in the clutches of Satan into a saved saint - redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; transferred into the kingdom of God's dear Son and a life that is being transformed into the image and likeness of Christ.
Because we are in union with Christ and identified with Him, we are exhorted to follow Him in our attitudes and actions and even the motives of our hearts, that are known only to God.
The only way to grow in grace and mature in the Christian faith is to put away all the influences and characteristics of the old sin nature that are exhibited in a wide range of outward actions, inward attitudes and secret motives that are acceptable to God
We are not to take part in actions, attitudes and motives that are unacceptable to God.
As his treatise unfolds, James uses Abraham's offering of Isaac and Rahab's actions in protecting the Israelite spies to prove we are justified by works.
A corpse does not have the breath of life within its frame and cannot perform any actions - and in the same way a man that has faith in God but does not produce good works is as useless as a human body devoid of a human spirit, and has no practical value.
How important therefore that we daily examine our walk and our ways - our words and our actions, our attitudes and our motives, to be sure that we do not fall from grace, but live godly in Christ Jesus, being careful not to be tempted ourselves.
Every action and every attitude; every word and every work; each thought of the heart; each decision of the mind and even the motives that influence the choices we make, need to be bathed purifying gaze of the Holy Spirit; washed in the fountain of God's divine love and covered with the unconditional grace of Christ, Who for love of His church went to the cross willingly - so that like Him everything we do, may be done in LOVE.
The deadly sin issue in our lives was a settled action at this point – for in Christ our sins were forever forgiven, and we were eternally redeemed – we were bought with a price – the precious blood of Christ.
Our inner resolve and heart-determination should be to consider the needs of our Christian family before our own personal needs, in order to provoke others unto love and good works - by the gracious example we set in our own actions and attitude - our words and our motives.
Godly action and attitudes should demonstrate that we are already His children.
God examines the thoughts of the hearts and the hidden motive behind our actions and we are warned that IF the motive behind what we say and do is done to be seen and applauded by other people, rather than carried out for the honour and glory of God..
We need to reflect on the motive behind all that we say and do, so that we do not fall into the temptation of trying to carrying out hypocritical actions in our own fleshly power..
in order to impress God or to others of our piety in order to receive their warm applause, for God sees the secret motive behind all our actions and attitudes and knows whether or not they are done for self-glorification or for the praise and glory of our heavenly Father.
The lawless attitude and rebellious actions of this 'son-of-perdition', will not only oppose the true and living God and all He stands for, but exalt himself above every religion, including Christianity and every other form of worship..
In verse 9 Paul tells us about the demonic actions of the Antichrist, which will be empowered by Satan.
But God is so gracious, and His mercy is without limits, which is why He planned in advance to save us all from all our sin by implementing the only possible way to forgive every sin we ever commit – past, present and future sins; overt and covert sins; action and attitude sins - ALL the sins of the entire human race, along with our twisted and corrupt inherited sin-nature – ALL forgiven.
We also read of the Tabernacle and its articles of furniture, the various Feasts of the Lord and sacrificial offerings, Sabbath day regulations and other ceremonial dos and don’t - all of which point to certain aspects or actions of Christ character and life.
This verse however is certainly a guiding principle for Christians, and should influence our attitudes and motives as well as our seen and unseen actions, and it should be a life-principle that impacts every area of life and is exercised on all with whom we come in contact - but when it is considered to be the sum total of all biblical truth as is evidenced in many parts of Christendom today, it is to water-down the whole counsel of God, to circumvent the cross of Christ and to redefine the truth of God's word.
He rejoiced to know that in recognising and responding to the material needs of their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem; they were demonstrating obedience to Christ, and their actions and attitude would glorify the Father in heaven.
God’s attributes speak for themselves and God needs no human witness to defend His cause or character, His words or His actions.
God’s attributes speak for themselves and God needs no human witness to defend His cause or character, His words or His actions nor is God obliged to answer our petulant and foolish questions as to why and how and when and what and who…
May we examine our actions and attitudes to see if we fall short of God's best in our lives, and learn to be gracious and hospitable, appreciative of that which is good and turning away from that which is evil.
Hannah's song of praise affirms the holiness of God; exults the character of God; rejoices in the uniqueness of God and attests to His gracious wisdom - for the Lord is a God of knowledge and with Him our actions are weighed.
And how necessary that the meditation of our heart is always honouring to the Lord and that the thoughts of our mind are always acceptable in His sight - for the Lord is a God of wisdom and understanding and with Him all our actions are considered.
Although the book of Acts is often described as the acts or actions of the apostles in the fledgling Christian church, this volume of Scripture would more accurately be called the continuing acts or undertakings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Luke's gospel the Lord Jesus was seen to wear in His own humanity in a human body, while in the book of the Acts the Lord Jesus clothed His activity and actions with the humanity of forgiven sinners, who were redeemed by His blood and indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God, for good works which God Himself prepared that they should do - IN CHRIST.
Though God alone knows a man's heart and can read the secret thoughts in the inner depths of his soul, it is the outworking of those concealed attributes, which are demonstrated through words and actions, that manifests a man's true identity to his fellow-man and shows forth his character in his works and words.
No doubt this man was witness to the reviling actions of the Jews and the distress of the women, as Christ was led as a lamb to the slaughter.
This man had no doubt been present at the cruel beating of Christ and witnessed the point when the sun was darkened for three hours and an great earthquake announced heavens verdict on the sinful actions of sinful man - as well as Christ's redemptive payment for the sins of those same sinful men - and for your sin and mine as well.
God's plans and purposes for man were not to be thwarted by the sinful rebellion and foolish action of the first man Adam - for God had a greater plan and an eternal purpose for the Son of Man, the last Adam - that through Him all who are made a new creation in Christ will bear God's likeness and receive God's nature - as day by day..
The life of faith is filtering our thoughts; actions; attitudes and words through the holy Scriptures, as we listen to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit; follow His directions and trust in the Lord with all our heart.
Our word and actions should become a living testimony of a pure heart that is clothed with Christ no matter where we are or who we are with, so that others may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
Repentance for the remission of sin and believing on Christ for the forgiveness of sin are not two separate actions but combine into one act of faith in the Person of Christ together with His work on the cross.
The church of God, individually and corporately, should rather stand fast on the firm foundation of Christ Jesus our Lord - and should shun every kind of evil thought, unkind words, ungracious action or selfish motive.
Indeed we are encouraged to be quick to hear, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God - but we should also be wise in our actions and circumspect in our reactions by being slow to speak and slow to anger..
We learn that this evil enemy influences the actions of the wicked against the righteous..
but the devil's actions are always subject to God's permissive will, Who in His goodness and grace, uses all things, including our own personal suffering to work together for the good to those that love and trust Him - and for His eternal glory. We also learn that God is not obliged to tell us why we suffer nor to remove our sorrow and grief.
Too often in life we discover the folly of opening our mouth and responding in careless haste to the words and actions of others and too often we react in annoyance or anger, only to discover that we had misunderstood the facts of the matter, causing us to regret that we spoke so quickly and reacted so hastily.
If our words and actions are to be seasoned with salt and honouring to our Father, we should especially be quick to hear the words of wisdom that comes from the Scriptures and to be wise in our response to God's voice.