April 04, 2019

BIBLE READING: JAMES 4

1. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Lust seems to be the main subject mentioned in these first verses of this chapter. It shares many of the problems that it can cause in our lives. Notice with me:

LUST BRINGS DAMAGE (1)
List brings “wars and fightings”. It causes battles “among us”. It causes battles inside us. It causes battles around us. The Bible says “sin when it is finished bringeth forth death”.

LUST BRINGS DISCONTENT (2)
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

The word lust in verse two is the Greek word “epithumeo”. It means to covet. Different word for lust than verse 1 and 3. We “desire to have”, which means we become jealous. Lust brings discontentment.

LUST BRINGS DESOLATION (3)
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Lust messes up our motives. It prevents not just our prayers from being answered, but it prevents us from praying for the right things. We “receive not”. Lust brings desolation.

LUST BRINGS DEBT (3)
“Ye may consume it”. This is where we get the idea of “consumer spending”. It means “to incur cost, or to waste: to be at charges, consume, spending”. Lust for things causes us to be consumed with consuming, and eventually we must pay for it. Can I get a witness?

LUST BRINGS DIVISION (4)
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Lust brings division between us and God. The closer we get to lusting after what the world has, the further from God we get. This is the greatest damage of all!

April 03, 2019

BIBLE READING: JAMES 3

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth. 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Our tongue is compared to a little fire placed among a great deal of combustible matter, which soon raises a flame and consumes all before it: Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! In fact, there is such an abundance of sin in the tongue that it may be called a “world of iniquity”.

How many fires does it cause? How many dreadful flames does it kindle? How many human structures has it burned down? It is the tongue “among our members” that “ defileth the whole body”. And the whole body is often drawn into sin and guilt by the tongue. Solomon says, “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin”, Ecclesiastes 5:6.

The snares into which men are sometimes led by the tongue are damaging to themselves and destructive to others. It “setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell”. Hell has more to do in promoting of fire of the tongue than we are generally aware of. So, James goes a step further in verse seven and eight:

* 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

This is what Matthew Henry wrote:
“Lions, and the most savage beasts, as well as horses and camels, and creatures of the greatest strength, have been tamed and governed by men: so have birds, notwithstanding their wildness and timorousness, and their wings to bear them up continually out of our reach: even serpents, notwithstanding all their venom and all their cunning, have been made familiar and harmless: and things in the sea have been taken by men, and made serviceable to them. And these creatures have not been subdued nor tamed by miracle only, but what is here spoken of is something commonly done; not only hath been tamed, but is tamed of mankind. Yet the tongue is worse than these, and cannot be tamed by the power and art which serves to tame these things. No man can tame the tongue without supernatural grace and assistance.”

April 02, 2019

BIBLE READING: JAMES 2

James 2
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

OUR FAITH IS TO BE FOUNDED ON EQUALITY (1)
We cannot claim that God loves everyone, and died for everyone, but then think that certain people deserve better treatment than others based on their accomplishments or assets.

OUR FAITH IS TO BE FOCUSED ON INCLUSION (2)
It should not matter if a person is wealthy or if a person is poor. We should welcome and love anyone into God’s house who wants to be there for the right reasons.

OUR FAITH IS TO BE FREE OF IMPARTIALITY (3-4)
We can be so partial sometimes. We can treat some people as if they do not really matter. We go out of our way to accommodate people that we think could benefit us or our church, and ignore those who seemingly have nothing special to offer. Shame on us!

OUR FAITH IS NOT TO BE JUDGMENTAL (4b)
If we are not careful, we can become people that pass sinful judgement on others. We can judge a person by how they look, or what they have, or don’t have. This is nothing like Jesus would treat people.

Let me give you a few brief statements in closing, so we can gather wisdom from these verses:
* GOD DOES NOT CARE IF A PERSON IS RICH OR POOR IN THIS WORLD, AS LONG AS THEY ARE RICH IN FAITH (5)

* GOD HAS PROMISED HIS KINGDOM, NOT TO THOSE THAT ARE LOVABLE BUT TO THOSE THAT LOVE HIM (5)

* GOD DOES NOT WANT A PERSON’S INFLUENCE TO INFLUENCE YOU (6-7)

* GOD DESIRES FOR OUR LOVE TO BE SHOWN TO ALL MEN (8-9)

April 01, 2019

BIBLE READING: James 1

We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from Jacob Jarriel , our assistant pastor.

James 1:12-17 (KJV)
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

I know the saying “its better to give than to receive.” I enjoy giving gifts, but to be truthful I like to get gifts too. This passage deals with “gifts.” Giving into temptation is like accepting gifts we shouldn’t have. These gifts are like poison dressed up in pretty wrapping, but bring death in our lives.
Verse 12 Says “blessed is the man that endureth temptation:” The word edure means to carry a weight. Temptation is not always easy to resist. It can be heavy. Its also personal. We all have areas that we are easily tempted. Our task in our temptation is to realize what’s happening. Vs. 16 says “Do not err,” God’s not going to tempt us with things contrary to his word. He only gives us gifts that help us be more like him.

God gives us several promises to overcome temptation.
1. Gods word is our best defense- Jesus used the scriptures to defeat Satan
2. Resisting Temptations will make Satan Flee- James 4:7
3. God makes a way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13

If we rely on Gods word and resist temptation we can overcome the weight of temptation and receive Gods blessing.

Jacob Jarriel