Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lesson from the Lake

James 1:19-22So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

This last Memorial Day weekend, my family and I traveled to Bass Lake, California to spend some quality time together. Whenever I visit, the wife and I always attend the Sunday worship service at my father’s Little Church in the Pines there, where we are honorary members, to see our second church family. Sometimes, I get lucky and actual stay an extra day at the lake and have the privilege to participate in their Tuesday “crack of dawn” Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study group in, the exact center of California, the small town of North Fork @ the Buckhorn Restaurant and Saloon. They convert this nightly tavern into an abode that searches the Holy Scriptures for further understanding and application.

This morning focused on the passage from the book of James above. We discussed how the Apostle instructs the loved brothers and sisters (aka beloved brethren) in Christ with such excellent teaching on (1) quick to listening / slow to speak – we have two ear and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you talk. How important it is to truly listen and hear what is being said by others and not to be thinking what we are going to say next. (2) Slow to anger – having thick skin and a long fuse. Give the benefit of the doubt and try to figure out where the other person is coming from. Being in Christ should make the worries and care of this world like “water on a duck” in terms of our walk this side of Heaven and in light of eternity. Yet, we acknowledge that we are human and battle the sin nature of the fallen flesh desires (Galatians 5:16-21). But, also realize that in our weak flesh, we depend upon the Lord and need to consciously walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) to not indulge nor gratify those desires, grieve the Spirit  or offend our Maker and heavenly Father. And the basis for this is our “right” relationship with Lord God Almighty.  

Galatians 5:19-23 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, drug abuse, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

The result of a “right” relationship with God is the willful laying aside of filthiness and wickedness in our life, then having the “living water” of the Word of God flowing from us in meekness, visible in the good fruit we produce as we “walk the talk”. That is the doer of the Word and not just hearers. Keep in mind that saved souls is our goal. Do not be deceived; walk by faith. 

In Christ, Brian

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