So hear we are again….Did you check yourself today? And did you see what I just did there? Sometimes I think I am funny(I said sometimes). I can’t tell you how excited I am about learning the book of James. I honestly can say I never thought I would be so open to conviction. But as I am learning, if you are not open you can’t grow. And you can never learn enough.
So now that we know admitting you were wrong for hurting someone’s feelings, or just being rude can downright suck rotten eggs, I hope you are ready to do it anyway. Or continue to do it. It will get easier. Probably not in the next week or even two, but you have to give it time. Oh joy-we are so great at having patience aren’t we?
If you go to Thousandhillschurch.org, you can click on the media link to listen to the sermon from this past Sunday. It will help you understand better some of the points I am about to share. My heart starts racing every time I think about it. Ok so let’s get to what we all need to work on-checking ourselves. Checking our attitude, putting others first. Not being selfish. I think I just heard someone groan.
4 ways to do this of course means….
- You have to give the Holy Spirit access to your flesh James 1:19 My favorite part of the sermon was hearing this-I am paraphrasing but you will get the point. 2 ears-1 mouth-easy math-quick to listen slow to speak. “The inability to control your flesh will greatly diminish your spiritual life.” It is so true! I have found that when I stray from His word daily, I will become grumpier, easily aggravated, just tired. I found myself just that way this last couple of weeks. Granted I didn’t feel good, and I have some other health issues going on, but I could feel myself going the wrong way. I could feel the Holy Spirit calling me back. That is the only way I can describe it. I knew I was going down the wrong way, and I am so blessed to have felt that.
- You have to give the Holy Spirit access to your heart. James 1:21, Matthew 15:19, Proverbs 28:14, Proverbs 4:23….Paraphrasing again…Humbly accept Gods word and it will save you. “Your heart must be kept clean in order for the word of truth to grow in you.” I wish you could have been there! I am listening to the things being said, saying amen, nodding my head, acknowledging that I am guilty of some of these things. But I know I am working on them.
- You have to give the Holy Spirit access to your mind. James 1:22-24. Listen and obey-DON’T listen to the world. Romans 12:2 I know that I am guilty of struggling with this part….Changing the way you think. It seems easy enough. How many times do you have to fail at something before you call yourself a loser? How many times does it take for someone to tell you how horrible you are before you start to question yourself? How many times does it take for someone to tell you that you can’t do anything right, you will not amount to anything, or you are a burden before you start to believe it? If you are being honest, it doesn’t take long. I have questioned myself in things even knowing that God loves me no matter what. Most days I can do really good with this. Some days, I am gut wrenchingly at odds. Many times, as Pastor says, you know too much and do too little. Ouch. So, I lied, there was another thing said that was one of my favorite things. Sorry, please forgive me. “Your obedience directly affects your blessing.” Again, true, true, true!!! How is your game looking? How is your faith?
- You have to give the Holy Spirit access to your mouth. James 1:26. Let us all be real. Our mouths get us into more trouble than needed. It’s the whole not listening, speaking before thinking outbursts we tend to do. Especially when emotions run high. Run to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and admire that person. The person who though you don’t want to admit it, has used or currently uses their mouth to hurt, lie, or just gossip, or say things to make themselves into something they are not. Thank you God for your daily forgiveness. We all screw up. We all sin. Are you willing to work on being better? Are you up to the challenge of doing all that God gifted you with? It doesn’t mean you will be rich or famous. Luke 6:43-45 in The Message says “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.”
I am all in. I want to be better. I want to grow in Him. There will be days I fail. Yet I know that he has a grand plan, even when I have no idea what it could possibly be.
*photo courtesy of keyword-suggestions.com