James is the practical one. His book and teachings deal with real life issues and his instructions are to the point.
He commands Christians to stop complaining about each other. His reason? … because God, the great judge, is at the door and He will have the final word on everyone. It’s too easy for us to see the imperfections in each other. They actually limit our appreciation for the strengths that should be seen in others.
Paul said it this way, “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another.” Gal. 5:15
READ/LISTEN: James 4,5; 1 Peter 1
James labors the point that Christians should avoid giving preferential treatment to some over others. It’s very easy to find ourselves making judgement calls on the value or profile of people based upon their appearance, income level, professional acumen, or racial orientation. All such judgmentalism is to be shunned.
God’s love is without reservation to each person he has created. We should be the same, being careful to see them through is impartial eyes rather than our political lens.
READ/LISTEN: James 1-3
Hebrews instructs us to “fix” our eyes upon Jesus because He not only starts us on the journey to heaven, but He sustains us and actually crosses the finish line with us.
Runners are coached to look beyond the finish line when they run. Motorcycle riders are instructed to look through a curve to keep the bike on the road. Baseball players are taught to keep their eye on the ball as it is released from the pitcher’s hand so they can hit it.
When we focus on our problems or shortcomings, we need a readjustment. Just look at Jesus.
READ/LISTEN: Heb. 12,13
From the famous and pivotal faith chapter in Hebrews, we understand that a believer’s future is secure when lived by faith. It’s the currency that supplies every need. It’s the roadmap to Godly destinations. It’s the confidence that whatever we commit to God will ultimately bow to His purposes and fit in with His eternal plan.
We raise our children by faith when we get discouraged. We face afflictions that have the capacity to take our lives. We approach ministry opportunities with an energy and confidence that God will use us in a mighty way and bring results for His Kingdom. We act in obedience to whichever direction he sends us knowing that our finances will be sufficient. We could go on and on ….
READ/LISTEN: Heb. 9-11
Christ Jesus is our eternal great high priest. He is constantly making intercession for us before our Heavenly Father. The sacrifice of His blood paid the ENTIRE price of our redemption … our sin was appeased once and for all. As we live in Him, we have unending right standing with God, rather than a day to day, up and down relationship. God sees His righteousness rather than our sin.
READ/LISTEN: Heb. 5-8
The Word describes the security and confidence we can have in our salvation because of what Christ did for us in one word … rest. Whomever has entered into this rest has ceased from his own methods of becoming righteous before the Lord. So many labor under misconceptions about how to make God happy. Simply accepting Christ’s act of self-sacrifice on our behalf ushers us into this privileged realm of confidence and hope.
My mother is nearing the end of her earthly journey … she’s 90 and receiving hospice care. Yet, she is living in a rest and confidence that her ticket to heaven is paid for by Christ’s blood. She rests very well.
READ/LISTEN: Philemon; Hebrews 1-4
Titus was a trusted leader in the early church that Paul commissioned to raise up other leaders. The three chapters of the letter to him are very practical in teaching Christians to conduct honorable lives. He warns against being unproductive.
As we continue in prayer, study of the Word, and faithful church attendance, God will impart clarity on opportunities of service in His Kingdom. Obedience to His promptings will combat lack of productiveness and lead to greater fulfillment and opportunity. One act of obedience can lead to a lifetime of reward.
READ/LISTEN: 2 Tim. 3,4; Titus 1-3