Wednesday, March 14, 2012

True Wisdom

1.      Pray a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord and praise Him for something He has done this week.  Pray Psalm 91 over your family.  This is great Scripture to add to your prayer time.
2.      Read James 3:13-18.  Do you think there is a difference between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom?  What is worldly wisdom?  What is godly wisdom? 
3.      The kind of wisdom that you have will show forth in your actions.  Are you bitter or envious towards people?  Are you always in the midst of strife and conflict?
4.      The wisdom from above, from God, is pure and peaceable.  Worldly wisdom causes envy and strife among other things.  God desires that we be at peace with people in all our relationships.  A lot of times if someone is envious or jealous of another person it causes strife and confusion.  You cannot control what other people feel, except through prayer.  You can control how you treat others.  I have been jealous of people in the past and I will take it to God in prayer and start praying for that person until the jealousy is removed and love is in its place.  Ask for God’s wisdom and love in dealing with people.
5.      Compare your actions to James 3:17.  How do you measure up?  What do you need to work on?  Pray and ask God to help you.
6.      Read James 3:18.  If you sow peace then you will reap righteousness.  What is one area that you need to “sow” or plant peace?  Is there something you need to make right with your spouse or your child?  Is there something you need to make right at work or at church?  With friends or family?  Sowing seeds of peace might be difficult because you may not see the results or the fruit right away.  God sees your actions and your heart in the matter.  He has the patience to wait and will give you the grace to wait also.
7.      You may not need to make anything right this week, but keep this in mind when you do.  Make every effort to actively live in peace with everyone instead of strife.
Look in your concordance for verses on wisdom and read all the verses and memorize your favorite one.  Then make that verse a daily prayer for wisdom.    

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Tongue

1.      Open your Bible Study with prayer and song. 
2.      Read over James Chapter 1 and 2 and let the Holy Spirit remind you of the truths you have learned.  Don’t be afraid to mark in your Bible and underline meaningful verses.
3.      Read James 3:1.  James is talking to believers in this verse.  The word “masters” in the original language means “teachers”.  We should not desire to be a teacher for the wrong motive of being in front of a crowd or holding a title or position in the church.  Another reason that not many should desire to be teachers/masters is because we are held accountable for teaching the Word of God correctly.  We do not want to be responsible for leading someone astray with wrong doctrine.  I must write these devotions with great care that I am not misleading anyone.
4.      Read James 3:2-5.  These verses are talking about the tongue.  Like a bridle in a horse’s mouth and a helm on a ship, the tongue is literally small but it can control many things depending on how we use it.  The tongue can control how many friends we have based on how we talk.  Do we gossip or encourage?  Are we critical or positive?  Your tongue can stir up a fight or stop one.  How has your tongue (your words) affected your life?
5.      Read James 3:6  What is the tongue related to in these verses?  The Bible says “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity” (sin).  Wow.  How does the tongue defile the whole body?  Maybe when we use our tongue for evil, corrupt communication, back biting and complaining it is sin.  Read Matthew 15:11.  
6.      Read Proverbs 16:27.  “..in his lips there is as a burning fire..” that is so true because when I see or hear something that would make good gossip it does feel like my mouth is just burning to tell someone the gossip!  We must resist the urge!  What do you do to keep from gossiping when you really want to?  I lose this battle a lot but I am trying to do better, are you?  Sometimes I picture how that person would feel if they were standing there when I was saying it.
7.      Read James 3:7-8.  People have been able to tame and train animals.  They can get birds to talk, serpents to be held by magicians, dolphins and whales to put on shows, etc.  However, no one has been able to tame the tongue.  What does James 3:8 say the tongue is?  Read Psalm 140:3.
8.      Read James 3:9-12.  What 2 things are the tongue used to do?  Answer the questions that James 3:11 and 3:12 ask.  Therefore, we should not use our tongue to bless God and to put down His creatures. 
9.      God must help us to control our tongues.  He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit!  This week pay attention to how you use your tongue and use it for the glory of God.