Posts Tagged ‘James’

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

James 1:19-20 NIV

We seem to live life at 100 miles an hour these days. We get up in the morning, rush to get ready and out the house, then rush from one place to another, from one task to another, until we reach the end of the day and finally lay down to sleep.

Maybe it’s because we rush around so much, that it feels like we no longer want to stop and listen to what others say, but instead we’re quick to pass judgement on others without knowing the facts.

It’s time to slow down. It’s time to make time for others.

It’s time to listen to what others want to say – you may be the only person they feel they can confide in.

It’s time to listen to what God wants to say to you – He’s been trying to talk to you but you’ve been too busy to listen.

It’s time to speak words of comfort and encourage to others – they may be just the words someone needs to hear to make feel their life is worth living.

It’s time to keep our temper, and not get angry or annoyed with others, just because they don’t say or do what you expect or want.

Be patience, be understanding, be who and what God desires.

Another day at a time

Posted: April 4, 2019 in bible, faith, life, music, quotes, religion
Tags: , ,

Yesterday I talked about living one day at a time, but here’s a thought for you – God is the one who determines how many days we have on this earth, but he gives us one day at a time. So if he only gives us one day at a time, that must mean as of now, today is all we have!

So we only have today, because yesterday is long gone, and tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us, only God knows.

How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? the apostle James asked. For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog — now you see it; soon it is gone.— James 4:14 TLB

When you meet someone for the first time, we tell them our name, and if it’s a work situation, we’d probably give them our job title or our current role.

How about if I were to ask you, who you are in Christ? Do any of these describe you?

I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7)

It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20)

I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)

I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)

I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13)

I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22,25)

I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7)

We need to know who we are in Christ so that we can live our life as God intended and fulfil our destiny.

Here’s a great description of who you we are in Christ:

James 5:16 (The Message)

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

When we do something we should do, when we sin, we must not only apologise to the person/people we’ve wronged, but we must also apologise to God.

Saying sorry may be a hard thing to say to those around us that we’ve hurt, however saying sorry to God, confessing our sin, should be easy – After all, if we are sincere in seeking God’s forgiveness, He will willingly forgive us.

Pray for yourself and those around you. Pray that we may each find it easier to say sorry to one another when we hurt or upset each other.

Following on from yesterday’s blog post, I like to tell you about some other qualities you will find in a good listener:

  1. They carefully listen to the words used by the speaker, to get a better understanding of how the speaker is feeling. e.g. anger, hurt, despair, delight.
  2. They understand that everyone has different communication styles, and adjust their listening style to correspond to the speaker’s communication style. e.g. If the speaker is shy, they will try to draw the person out; but if they are talkative, they will interject more.
  3. They love people., and making a connection with them. They understand that there is simply no substitute for genuine affection for other people.
  4. They do not unreasonably question the motives of the speaker and assume the speaker is trying to communicate clearly and truthfully.
  5. They understand that sometimes they have to tell the speaker that they cannot listen to them as what they are saying or talking about is wicked or dangerous or goes against their beliefs. i.e. They use their common sense.
  6. They don’t equate listening with silence, so will contribute to the conversation in order to further it.
  7. They will work hard to understand what the speaker is trying to tell them both through their words and their nonverbal communication.
  8. They actually value the contributions of other people and don’t want to be the one talking all the time.
  9. They understand their own listening qualities and limits.
  10. They understand that there is a reason or meaning behind every communication and therefore know that different situations call for different kinds of listening.

Now you’ve read yesterday’s and today’s list of qualities, do you recognise yourself or other’s around you?

”Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

listen

I’ve recently talked a lot about listening, and talked about the best listener I know, God, so now let’s think about the qualities you find in a good listener:

  1. They understand that careful listening equips you to disagree well, because by listening you understand more clearly what it is that you disagree with.
  2. They don’t make hasty judgments but instead they’ll think things through.
  3. They ask questions to clarify and inform, not to embarrass or belittle.
  4. They interrupt sometimes, but in a gentle, understanding way.
  5. They don’t mind not being in control of the conversation.
  6. They don’t feel uncomfortable if there are silences in the conversation, as they are happy to let the speaker talk in their own time.
  7. They listen to something even if when it’s hard to hear. i.e. They don’t stop listening as soon as they become offended or turned off by the speaker, and can be told off without feeling rebuked.
  8. They understand the importance of listening in every relationship, so are continually trying to improve their listening skills.
  9. They remind themselves that you can learn from anyone, so understand that even the most educated person can  still learn from a little child.
  10. They “listen” to nonverbal communication as well as verbal communication, but count both as equally important.

Do you recognise yourself by any of these listening qualities?

”Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

listen

Do our actions speak of the same Jesus that we talk about?

As James says ‘What good is it if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?”

It’s no use claiming to be a follower of Christ, a true believer, if your life does not reflect Christ’s teaching.

How can we ever hope to convince others that following Christ is the best thing they could ever do, if our life does not reflect that?

If you profess to follow Christ, your actions are an advert for Christ – are you the advert Christ wants you to be?

Actions speak

Let your church help!

The James 5:13-15 (Good News Translation) we are offered the following advice when we are hurting:

Are any among you in trouble? They should pray. Are any among you happy? They should sing praises.  Are any among you sick? They should send for the church elders, who will pray for them and rub olive oil on them in the name of the Lord. This prayer made in faith will heal the sick; the Lord will restore them to health, and the sins they have committed will be forgiven.

counsellingThe above verses reminds us that there will be times when trying to cope by ourselves will get us nowhere. Therefore we must reach out to our church community as they can offer you spiritual support as well as practical support during these difficult days.

Be in the presence of other as they worship and sing praise to God, ask them to pray with you and for you. The above passage from James can be adapted to read as follows:

Is any one of you grieving? He or she should call the elders of the church to pray …

In conclusion, don’t try to get through these days on your own, turn to your church community for support, I’m sure you’ll find them supportive.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

James 1:5 (The Message)

I guess we can all relate to many of the sentiments mentioned in the above passage from James:

  • don’t know what we’re doing
  • pray only when we’re desperate
  • pray only as a last resort

But as we’re also told in this passage, God is there for us every time we pray, whether it be when we know exactly what we’re doing, or when we’re lost. Either way though, God is always willing to help us. All He asks is that when we ask Him, we are sincere in our pray, and we pray believing that God is listening and will help us

So don’t ever be lost again, turn to God and He will guide you through today and through the rest of your life..

When challenges have come your way, have you ever considered them to be gifts?

I certainly haven’t! In fact I’d go as far as saying I’ve always considered them to be obstacles or burdens. So why am I now saying we should be embracing our challenges? Well in James 1:2-4 (The Message) we read the following:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Wow! When you come under pressure or are challenged, how do you react? Do you abandon your faith and try to “get-by” on your own, or do you put your faith fully in God to get you through those difficult times?

Just remember that no matter what challenges you’re faced with, they are little gifts from God to help your faith to come to the surface.The challenges you face in life make you stronger and make you more mature in your faith.

So don’t feel downhearted and despondent when trials come your way, be patient and embrace them just as God is embracing you.