But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. James 3:8-10
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Today is the start of week nine of a ten-week Devotional Series entitled, “Spiritual Life Pathways.” This series is essentially an anatomy of spirituality. There are many approaches to the Christian life, but the amount of emphasis put on spirituality is really varied. Our “Spiritual Life Pathways” series is filled with expressions of spirituality that all together combine to provide a comprehensive and distinct approach to the Christian life.
Note: This set of ten devotionals is being used in conjunction with a course entitled, “Building Spiritual Capacity” that will begin on October 2nd at the church. The course covers spiritual understandings that explore God’s design for spiritual living and how they can help build our spiritual capacity. The devotionals are supplemental to the course materials. They are being offered here to all our devotional readers for the help they can provide to enhance our spiritual journey in significant and important ways.
The series is a compilation of separate weeks of Devotional material. They were selected and put together because they all contribute very nicely to our emphasis. This series has ten weeks of Devotional material with four weeks having six Devotionals and six weeks having five. Week one: Becoming Spiritually Whole. Week two: Divine Adjustments. Week three: God as Our Source. Week four: Communion with God. Week five: Transformation in Christ. Week six: True Greatness. Week seven: The Living Word of God. Week Eight: Being the Body of Christ. Week Nine: A Revolution of Blessing. Week Ten: Life on a Higher Plane. We begin week nine: A Revolution of Blessing, with the following:
We all have those moments when a sense of the overall condition of things on the planet hits us and we want to say, “Lord, beam me up.” The words of our opening passage, “things ought not to be this way” ring loud and clear for us in those kinds of moments. I can readily see these words capturing the heart of God as well, as He takes in the condition of mankind (check out the story of Noah). While we might say them with some despair and desperation, God (although different at the time of Noah) would not do so now. God’s complete expression, I think, would go something like this: Things ought not to be this way and that is why I sent my son, Jesus Christ, and He makes all the difference. My kingdom is being built one person at a time with multitudes who have come to Me through Him and multitudes who will yet come to Me. Through my Son I am purifying for Myself a people for My own possession, zealous for good deeds. All along the way I am at work doing this until I wrap things up for mankind at the end. Through the indwelling presence of My Son by means of the Holy Spirit, I am using “My people” to reach and not react to the “ought not to be this way” people of the world. Even though my people at times revert to “ought not to be this way” behavior with the unreached and with each other, ultimately my kingdom shall come, and My will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven. My people, through the work of my Son, becoming more and more a people from whom “blessing” and not “cursing” flow is my one and only game plan. I am counting on them, and they will come through for Me.” So, we must cast aside despair and desperation in favor of hope and endurance. Jesus came to make a difference and the difference (blessing, not cursing) He is making in our lives is the very means He will use to impact the lives of people all around us, both friends and enemies alike.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, revolutionize me and make the difference in me you came to make in the world. Purify me for yourself so that I am truly your possession and not my own. Make me zealous for genuine good deeds. Show me how to reach and not react by blessing and not cursing. Amen!