Devotional Thought for Today – 06/10/2021

James 2:13 | Insights From Tom

JAMES 2

CONTEXT: Matthew Henry comments: All professions of faith are vain, if not producing love and justice to others. (1-13) The necessity of good works to prove the sincerity of faith, which otherwise will be of no more advantage than the faith of devils. (14-26)

Our text for today comes at the end of the first theme of James Chapter 2. We find the stage set if you will in v.1 show no favoritism, no prejudice, no snobbery] the chapter then goes on v.2-7 to describe situations that may arise when one might be tempted to discriminate. James then goes on in v.8-12 to note other areas where believers might fail.

Understanding our text requires two key points first it does not mean that those who do not show mercy are condemned to hell. Romans 8:1 and other similar verses settled that issue forever.

What it does mean is those FULLY committed to Christ will show mercy just like Christ. If you have been indwelled by the Holy Spirit it is pretty difficult to resist that call to be merciful. We (believers) are going to be surrounded by sin daily; our own, fellow Christians, and for certain non-believers. What kind of testimony would we have if we went around condemning everyone?

Let me be clear about this, we should be discerning (judgmental) as to the sin of others and ourselves. We need to be protective of our property and families while at the same time as Paul emphasized to the Church in Colossae C.3; 12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.

The following Devotional may be of help:

Commended or Condemned?

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matt. 5:7).

God commends merciful people but condemns the merciless.

Scripture shows that those whom God blessed most abundantly were abundantly merciful to others. Abraham, for example, helped rescue his nephew Lot even after Lot had wronged him. Joseph was merciful to his brothers after they sold him into slavery. Twice David spared Saul’s life after Saul tried to kill him.

But just as sure as God’s commendation is upon those who show mercy, His condemnation is upon those who are merciless. Psalm 109:14-16 says, “Let the iniquity of [the merciless person’s] fathers be remembered before the Lord, and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out . . . because he did not remember to show [mercy].”

When judgment comes, the Lord will tell such people, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me” (Matt. 25:41-43). They will respond, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?” (v. 44). He will reply that when they withheld mercy from those who represented Him, they were withholding it from Him (v. 45).

Our society encourages us to grab everything we can for ourselves, but God wants us to reach out and give everything we can to others. If someone wrongs you, fails to repay a debt, or doesn’t return something he has borrowed from you, be merciful to him. That doesn’t mean you excuse sin, but you respond to people with a heart of compassion. That’s what Christ did for you—can you do any less for others?

Suggestions for Prayer

If there is someone who has wronged you, pray for that person, asking God to give you a heart of compassion for him or her. Make every effort to reconcile as soon as possible.

For Further Study

Read Romans 1:29-31. How did Paul characterize the ungodly?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Devotional Thought for Today- 06/09/2021

Philippians 1
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Philippians 1

CONTEXT: Chapter 1 includes a brief introduction (Philippians 1:1–2) followed by three key sections. First, Paul gives thanks and prayer on behalf of the Philippian Christians (Philippians 1:3–11). Second, he focuses on the expansion of the gospel (Philippians 1:12–18). Third, he emphasizes that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19–30). Along the way, Paul explains that how the Christian life is a reflection of what they set their mind on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects the faith to concepts such as glory.

Our text today would seem to be a verse that all peoples could get behind, but we would of course be wrong in our postmodern world. Think of it who would object to someone loving more, by using knowledge and discernment.

It is not until we apply the last word that folks take issue. You see they want you to love everyone (especially them), they want you to think you are smart (even if they think you are dumb and treat you as such) but apply discernment and you have crossed the line.

Discernment according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is The act of discerning; also, the power or faculty of the mind, by which it distinguishes one thing from another, as truth from falsehood, virtue from vice; acuteness of judgment; the power of perceiving differences of things or ideas, and their relations and tendencies. The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.

Everyone applies this to their daily lives. We make judgments on what to buy, what is safe, who our kids should or should not hang out with, etc. These JUDGEMENTS are part of our normal routine and no one complains, until…

… once you start using your “smarts” and applying discernment, especially in a Biblical manner, then you are a Bigot, Racist, or some newfangled term I can’t keep up with. If you speak out against Abortion, any LGBTQ issue or anything the Bible says we are to stand up for you are labeled a troublemaker and accused of being judgemental.

Or maybe we are just dedicated Christians and believers in the Constitution, no matter the label.

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Like a Tweet, Lose a Lease

This is what America is becoming a place where trolls search the internet for your posts and then sensationalize all you post our like against their ideology. Never mind the 1st Amendment and the fact you said nothing illegal, immoral or unethical that no longer matters. You are not part of their supposed beliefs, so although they deny judging you;  you gotta go! – Mike   

Like a Tweet, Lose a Lease

Most people don’t scroll through their Twitter feed thinking a few simple clicks will change their life. But for Birmingham Pastor Chris Hodges, who’s been a friend of mine for years, a handful of “likes” were all it took to make the biggest church in Alabama homeless.

You can lose your lease a lot of ways — if you fall behind on payments, abuse the property, or follow conservative media. Like most people Chris Hodges probably didn’t think a quick tap of support for posts on Donald Trump or China’s role in the coronavirus would amount to much of anything. Turns out, he was wrong. A local English teacher decided to catalogue Hodges’s “likes” and share them with the press. Little did anyone know, it would be the beginning of the end of the church’s services at two local high schools.

“I do not attend Church of the Highlands,” teacher Jasmine Clisby said openly. And, she insisted, “I can’t see into Pastor Chris Hodges’s heart.” But his support for what she considered “culturally insensitive” views is “troubling.” “I would be upset if it comes off as me judging him,” she said without a hint of irony. “I’m not saying he’s a racist.” But thanks to her smear campaign, the Birmingham Board of Education is…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE