Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-24-18

September 24, 2018

James 4:8-17  New Living Translation (NLT)

God is calling his children toward holiness; he is getting us ready for his second coming.  We can judge ourselves and submit to his purification process, or we can wait for God to judge us and purify us then. According to God, it is an easier path and pleases God for us to submit and draw close to him now.   If we are going to embrace God’s plan as his children, we are going to need to stay on the path with his instructions and welcome the purification process as he deems necessary.  He is the only one who can make us holy, because he is holy.  

In our passage today, the Apostle James is calling for the people of God to stop being divided in how they are living.  They have allowed the world and their flesh to tempt them and cause them to deviate from their devotion to God. In true fashion, we like to look at the lives of others so we can say we are more holy than “that person.”  But, judging another person is not our job.  So, if we are inclined to judge others, we should stop, get out the duct tape, put it over our mouths, and bow our own lives before God.  Keeping track of our own sins and repenting is enough work to keep us busy. Amen?

James 4:8-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Warning against Judging Others

11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

Warning about Self-Confidence

13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.

17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for calling me toward your holy presence.  Help me to stay faithful and on the path you have created for me.  Burden my heart for others who do not know you and help me to cease from judging other brothers and sisters in Christ.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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