Feb 21, 2010

Riches will not profit you in the coming days of Judgement

­Dear Corey,

In this letter I am going to go through part of the end of James, so let’s jump into chapter 5, verses 1-2.

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.”

In many places in Scripture we are told that earthly treasures will pass away and disappear, while our souls endure forever. We are to store up treasures in heaven and not in earth. The end of this passage reads,

“Indeed, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth…You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.”

God hates when we are unjust. God hates when, motivated by personal gain, we take advantage of others. Unfortunately, most of us have a struggle with selfishness, but we need to keep trying. Instead, we need to be patient and content. James 5:7-8 says,

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

We are to love and be patient. I want to end with verse 9, “Do not grumble against one another brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold the Judge is standing at the door!” This week love and forgive all. Be patient and longsuffering. Glory be to God!

Your Brother in Christ,


Feb 14, 2010

God's Gift of Grace

Dear Corey,

I’m going to move away from James this week and talk about something else. Over the past week I’ve been reading a book by C.S. Lewis called, “What Christians Believe.” I would highly recommend it as it shows the differences between Christianity and other worldviews. It is a good reminder to be thankful for the saving grace of Gad and for showing us the one true way. C.S. Lewis compares religion to a math equation: “It [religion] is like a math problem. There is only 1 right answer. Every other answer is wrong no matter how close they are.”
It just continues to amaze me that God would send His Son to die for our sins. The Bible lays out God’s grace very well in the following trail:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

“For it is by grace you have been saved, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

I want to share a story with you that I don’t think I’ve told before. There is one thing that Christianity contains that no other religion does. Glean from this story what you will:

“At a meeting of Christian leaders someone asked the question, ‘What separates Christianity from other religions?’ All of them thought and thought about the question, but couldn’t find an answer. After they had thought about the question for hours, C.S. Lewis walked into the room and asked what they were talking about. When he had been told the question, he replied, ‘Oh! That’s easy: Grace!”

Your BIC,


Feb 9, 2010

Ways of Destructive Speech

"What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar." ~Proverbs 19:22

We often hear the phrase, "If you have nothing good to say, don't speak at all." We've talked about this before, but I want to look at it in a different way. As Christians, we are commanded to do more than "not speak". We are to love our enemies. We should be more anxious to say good things than bad; encouraging words rather than destructive utterances. When we are called names behind our backs, ridiculed and mocked, we should not return their speech with equally bad language of our own. Instead we should seek to show kindness to them. We should not lie and say things we don't believe. We should either speak words that build up, or not speak at all.

Perhaps the hardest place to put this into effect is in our own homes. Because that is true, however, it makes our homes the best, as well as the most worthwhile, place to practice. But destructive language comes in many forms. The first is the simple, "He did ___", with "___" being something destructive. The second is in the form, "I could do it better." The third is, "Well he's good at that, but I'm good at ____" The last two are different from the first in one way: they put the speaker a level above the other person. But this type of comment will only make the other person resentful. Let it be known that you never speak an offensive word, but rather challenge and "sharpen" others with your words. As the verse says, "What is desired in a man is kindness." If you can not only show forgiveness, but also show kindness to your enemies, how great will be your reward! If we are to show this loving-kindness to strangers, even enemies, how much easier it should be for us to show that same love to our friends and more importantly our family! The Lord continues to test me in this area, yet oh! how miserably I fail! How many times have I spoken before I have thought! May you not have the same struggle! Go forth with love on your lips and good will in your heart!

Your Brother In Christ

Feb 7, 2010

James 1 (Part 2)

Dear Corey,
We continue our study of James. In this letter I hope to finish chapter 1 and start chapter 2. So let’s jump in.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” ~James 1:17

God gives every good and perfect gift and that is generally understood. But look at the last part of the verse, “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” God stays the same, day to day, age to age. He doesn’t change His plan, He stays the same and that should comfort us. James 1:19 says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.” This is a teaching that is often taught even in the non-Christian homes. Most often it’s taught something like this: “You have two ears and one mouth, so do twice as much listening as talking.” While this is an important thing to learn, we often leave out the last part, “slow to wrath.” Why should we be slow to wrath? James 1:20 says, “For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” We need to be both slow to speak and slow to get angry.

James 1:26 says, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” James provides warnings about our speech, and for good reason. Our words are important, because they will travel farther than hearing distance. How many times have you heard, “Did you hear what ----- said?” If you wouldn’t want it published, don’t say it.

James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” As this verse is our family’s “motto,” I have strived to reach out, help the orphan, the widow, the poor and oppressed. This is our main calling. Well that concludes James chapter 1. Chapter 2 next letter.

Your BIC,