Recently our church lost not one but three pastors, which has left a void along with the recent pandemic lockdowns. Like “Pastor” James, our church is seeking to keep the ties to the flock. This letter is chock full of wisdom to the dispersed regarding the tests they are sure to experience.
Satan would like nothing better than to destroy the flock through our tongues. Therefore, James encourages choosing wise words because the tongue is a deadly evil and needs the gift of self-control. There is a principle here; we can either draw listeners close to the Lord or drive them far from Him just by the words we choose as well as our countenance that is revealed behind the words. He reminds them not to forget the mirror example. You can see who you are in the mirror, but it is up to you to take heed to the image you see.
Knowing what to say and how to say it requires wisdom. If you need or want wisdom, all you need to do is ask God in full faith and He will provide the answers you are seeking. Twice he reminds his audience that true wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.
Today listen to how you are speaking as well as how you respond. Ask yourself if you are quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. Remember, if we are merely listening but not applying, then our faith is futile and without merit.
If you are still in need of help try reading C.S.Lewis’ book: The Screwtape Letters in which he crafts a dialogue to show how Satan strategizes to fool and to disarm the believer.
C.S.Lewis wrote a book on how Satan works. Along with James we can learn his strategies so we can be wise
God in his sovereign love directed the runaway slave Onesimus from Colossae to encounter Paul, an aged prisoner, somewhere in Rome. Watching Paul and hearing his story, he would see, not fear but a peace that passes all understanding. He would learn the truth and power of forgiveness that would forever change his heart and soul. You too might be just like Onesimus, a runaway. You are fearful of today and tomorrow but God is calling you to Himself. It was because Paul took Onesimus and discipled him that he moved from being a willing slave of the evil kingdom of fear and bondage to being a bondslave of the heavenly kingdom.
Yes, Onesimus would have to return to Colossae and Philemon to “face the music.” However, before he was useless, but now he was useful not only for Paul but also for his earthly master. Don’t you want to meet him in eternity?
Are you like Onesimus? Are you running away from God? Are you living in fear of what lay ahead? Jesus says: Come follow Me and I will remove all your fears and give you the peace that passes all understanding!
Our world is consumed with protecting investments. Seminars are replete with: give me your money and I will invest it and bring you dollars untold. As Paul closes this personal letter to Timothy he leaves him with one charge and it has nothing to do with the investment of money. Instead, he charged Timothy and us in turn, to invest and protect the gospel message. We are to “protect what has been entrusted to [us].” [2Tim 1:14]
He has entrusted us with the precious gospel message. We are to protect it because it is the life-giving message of hope. Practically we protect or guard this investment by being vigilant or intentional to stand firm in the faith. We conduct ourselves as a model of purity and righteousness. We are to be a Christ-like model in speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity being conscious about how we live and what we teach. Intentionally we are to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness.” [1Tim 6:11] And we are to do it until “the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ…” who is “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”[1Tim 6:15-16]
We, who are believers, are charged with being the guardians of the TRUTH. How are we at guarding the investment Christ has left us?