“ For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are
instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world
with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that
wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He
gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own
people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” – Titus 2:11-14 (NLT)
The Christian life is a NEW LIVE, one that is transformed from sin and self-centeredness to
righteousness and other centeredness. It is a life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit – a life
that reveals that indeed we are children of God. The book of James has much to say about how
we live out this new life and we invite you to meditate on the passages and build our lives upon
the foundation of God’s word.
CONTROLLING THE TONGUE
“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who
teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control
our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can
make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small
rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are
strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny
spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame
of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life
on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and
fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it
praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image
of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers
and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter
water? Does a fig tree produce olive, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh
water from a salty spring.
TRUE WISDOM COMES FROM GOD
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good
works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is
selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy
and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of
every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all
times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no
favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and
reap a harvest of righteousness.
DRAWING CLOSE TO GOD
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at
war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are
jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away
from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even
when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will
give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you
an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an
enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate
that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously.
As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble
yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God
will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is
divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be
sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
WARNING AGAINST JUDGING OTHERS
Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each
other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to
judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the
power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
WARNING ABOUT SELF-CONFIDENCE
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay
there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life
will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise
you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it
is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”
THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD – JAMES CHAPTERS 3 AND 4 (NLT)
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