Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Wednesday encouragement


 

Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share some encouragement from one of my favorite passages of Scripture today. Side note, just about every passage I read becomes one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Does anyone else do that? 

Here is the passage that I love. It's James 1:19-21.

My dear brothers and sisters understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God's righteousness. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth, and the evil that is so prevalent, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

The words quick to listen stood out to me, because so often that is the last thing I do. I am quick to jump in with a solution or advice, but sometimes what I need to do is just listen. I will never forget a conversation I had with someone about that one time. They were "venting" to me and I thought they wanted a solution, but really all they needed to do was to just talk. Once I learned that, I've tried to make it a habit to listen first and only speak when asked directly for my thoughts.

Being quick to listen leads easily into being slow to speak. You can't listen and speak at the same time, so one has to have a greater importance. It's more important to listen than it is to speak. Have you ever been around someone who is constantly talking over someone else? I was recently, and I have an issue with my ears that when that happens, each person talking cancels the other one out. I used to tell my boys that when they were little—"ONE AT A TIME!"

One person talking over another doesn't work.

Have you ever wondered about the part that says slow to anger? The next part of that same verse explains the meaning—human anger does not accomplish God's righteousness. As believers, we are to be aiming for holiness—we should be looking more and more like Jesus, the more time goes by. How can we look more and more like Him? After we rid ourselves of moral filth (filth=sin), we can humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (Praying and reading the word of God is so important! Don't just read the word, apply it to your life everyday! Reading the Bible without application makes the Bible meaningless, and it's far from that.)

We are all sinners and we all need to be saved from that sin. The only way we can be saved from sin is through Jesus Christ. Paul said in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin (disobedience) requires punishment, much like a child needs to be disciplined for disobeying its parents, and that punishment is death. Paul said in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This gift from God is eternal life in Jesus and it's a free gift! Nothing you or I do would ever be enough to save our own souls from death. Only Jesus can save, that is why He is called the Savior of the world.

I ask you this all the time, but I'll ask again—do you know Jesus? If you put one hundred people in a room, all of them would probably think they're saved, that they're a Christian. They would think that because most people think that because they're good people, that means they're a Christian. That is not the case. You only become a Christian when you confess that you're a sinner and that you need a Savior. You have to believe in your heart and accept Him as Lord of your life. 

It's as easy as that! If you want to talk more about this, please reach out to me either here or at allboys@gmail.com. I'd love to talk to you! I say all this tonight because we're approaching the holiday season and Jesus is the reason why we celebrate the season. The gifts are nice, the decorations are beautiful and nobody loves a twinkling light and a good Hallmark movie as much as I do—but that's not what the holidays are about. It's all about Jesus. None of those other things matter, as fun as they may be. What matters is the difference between life and death. Do you know Jesus?

I pray these words encourage and challenge you.

Love to all. 

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