Thursday, June 30, 2016

7 Years in Review

Seven years ago I began blogging, and while my pace has slackened because my time and responsibilities have shifted, I'm grateful to God for every chance I get to delve into His word and learn from it. It's difficult to believe that seven years ago my wife was seven weeks away from having our twin girls and we had only been married for less than two years! Now we have a summer of festivities as it were: Gabriel's birthday in early July, our anniversary (9 years) late July, our girls' birthday mid-August, and finally Gillian's birthday late August. That's a fairly full docket.

Monday, June 13, 2016

James Chapter One, Part 7

1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; (24) for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (25) But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Go back just a little to verse 19 where we read James' admonition to be swift hearers, slow speakers and to be slow to anger. Too many words chosen from emotion rather than reason hinders spiritual progress, while being a thoughtful hearer can aid our understanding. While human emotion and anger will not lead to godliness, James informs us that the implanted word (scripture received in a readied heart) can produce such righteousness and once more cautions us to jettison the things that would hinder our ability to walk beside the Lord, learning from Him, verses 21, 22.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

James Chapter One, part 6

1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

The Greek word for filthiness means literally that: dirtiness or anything that befouls, defiles or dishonors. The KJV originally translated wickedness as "naughtiness," a silly term in today's nomenclature but carried a strong connotation hundreds of years prior. Naughtiness carries its base term "naught" which is essentially nothing or worthless. To call someone naughty essentially meant their life had no value to it; they were sons of Belial or sons of worthlessness. Someone's life wasn't empty or worthless because they did nothing; it was because they excelled only at sinning. James here instructs us to lay aside our moral impurities and our overflow (an excess or overabundance) of wickedness as a prerequisite to truly appropriating something of genuine value. That is, the implanted word or the Gospel which is able to save our souls.

Friday, April 29, 2016

James Chapter One, Part 5

1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (20) for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James proceeds to give us some practical advice regarding our relationship with others. In hearing a matter we are informed to listen intently; the concept of being swift to hear simply means being willing to genuinely listen to someone. This might mean hearing someone telling you about a trial of theirs, or of a fellow saint falling to temptation, or any matter that would invoke a saint's judgment. Now I do not use the term judgment in the modern sense, as in condemnation; but rather judgment in a deliberate and intelligent effort to discern good and evil, and to separate a proper course of action from a foolish or sinful one. Jesus gives two examples.

All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.