Opinion

LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

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Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee, Executive Director, Salt and Light Ministries

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures.

We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.

 He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” – Titus 2:11-14

INTRODUCTION

The Christian life is a NEW LIFE, one that is transformed from sin and self-centredness to righteousness and other centredness.  It is a life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit – a life that reveals that indeed we are children of God.

The book of James is a practical book that addresses issues Christians deal with both within and outside of the church. We invite you to meditate on the passages and build our lives upon the foundation of God’s Word.

JAMES CHAPTER 3 & 4

 CONTROLLING THE TONGUE

“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes.

For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.  And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.  

In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire.

It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.

Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

 

TRUE WISDOM COMES FROM GOD

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honourable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.  

For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds.

It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

DRAWING CLOSE TO GOD

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it.

You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.

Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously.

As the Scriptures say,“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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. 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. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honour.

 

WARNING AGAINST JUDGING OTHERS

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

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.”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. 

What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” 

 

LEAD US, O FATHER, IN THE PATHS OF PEACE – MHB 613

1 Lead us, O Father, in the paths of peace;

Without Thy guiding hand we go astray,

And doubts appall, and sorrows still increase;

Lead us through Christ, the true and living Way.

2 Lead us, O Father, in the paths of truth;
Unhelped by Thee, in error’s maze we grope,
While passion stains and folly dims our youth,
And age comes on, uncheered by faith and hope.

3 Lead us, O Father, in the paths of right;
Blindly we stumble when we walk alone,
Involved in shadows of a mortal night;
Only with Thee we journey safely on.

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and YFM 107.9 – Sundays 6.30am; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymn and their Stories.

 

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