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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't run away, don't become misled

"For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything." (James 1: 3-4)

To help our Christian brothers and sisters get back on the right path, we need to walk with them and show them the way. We first need to be sure we ourselves are in right relation with the Lord.

"And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, 'God is tempting me.' God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions ... so don't be misled." (James 1: 13-16)

"Be quick to listen
(Be) slow to speak
(Be) slow to get angry.
Your anger can never make things right in God's sight."
(James 1: 19-20)

"And remember, (the message God has planted in your heart) is a message to obey, not just listen to. If you don't obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your faith in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like." (James 1: 22-24)

"We all make mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. ... And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself." (James 3: 2, 6)

"If you are wise and understand God's ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don't brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise! But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don't brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie! For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual and motivated by the Devil. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil." (James 3: 13-16)

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven 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 good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere." (James 3:17)

David Sper from Our Daily Bread offers up this prayer, "Lord, give us courage to confront believers who have strayed, and then with gentleness restore by coming to their aid."

All Scripture today comes from the New Living Translation.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6