James

James 3

Frank Alfonso

James 3:9-10

Verse 8 says: "but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." Followed by: "With the tongue we praise out Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." 

James 3 is full of great word pictures. It describes how a relatively small part of our body, such as the tongue, can create such havoc in our lives and the lives of others around us! Wow, I am sure that all of us have instant flashbacks to a time or times in our lives when this was so true. I can think of a number of instances when the moment those "words" left my mouth I wanted to reach out and snatch them back. Of course no way, too late for that!  As I am doing these journals the night before, I thought about my day today. Did my words honor God? Did I refrain from gossip? Did i go with the flow or swim against the current and take a stand and show the Christ within me with my words.

Jesus remind me tomorrow (today for you lol) to "tame my tongue". 

I have had a very simple sign above my desk for years now. It says: STOP-THINK-ACT. Maybe i need to add a fourth line: STOP-THINK-ACT-BITE YOUR TONGUE. 

Thank you Jesus for your constant grace you have shown me in my life! 


James 2

Frank Alfonso

James 2 continues in the theme that Faith without Actions is useless (James 2:14). How often we kinda stand on the fact the bible does say that we are not saved by our works or deeds but by our belief in Jesus Christ. So, we have assured ourselves a place in heaven but now what? Well, we gotta get to it!

Put that faith in action by, once again doing! How often have I obediently gather in "groups of two's and three's" in church and someone has shared a need.

So what do I say? Let me pray for you brother or sister. I pump out by heartfelt prayer, say amen, maybe a share a hug and enjoy the rest of the service. Ahh but verse 16 reminds me: "If one of you says to him, Go, I wish you well;keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"

 

Yes prayer is important. We have to turn it over to God, however, lest I forget that maybe just maybe I may not only be the conduit buy which God receives a need but also the instrument that God intends to use to answer that very need!

Lord don't let me get lazy or complacent. Remind me to pray, but also, move me to action and provide an tangible answer, when I can, to a need. As far verses 1-7 go, I don't show favoritism. I am equally annoying and obnoxious to everyone. Amen, I think?


James 1

Frank Alfonso

Last week Nicole Chiniaeff shared her journal entries with us, they were great.  Thanks Nicole.  This week Frank Alfonso will share his journal entries with us.

James 1 is packed with many things to talk about that I want to pass over verse 2-4 but simply cannot! Pure joy when we face trials which builds our faith through perseverance. This is SO hard for me to live out! I understand what the end result would be: Maturity in our Lord, but pure joy? I am still working hard on that one.I know it's shooting for AN attitude of joy but that's usually where  I find myself. With an attitude, and its usually a bad one!  I find myself skipping to verse 5 and asking God for wisdom to work out this pure joy thing! 

I have referred back to Verse 12 many times in my life: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has STOOD the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." I love the implication of STANDING firm, hanging tough, not backing down, not giving up or giving in! 

Finally Lord, thank your for reminding me once again: Verse 22 "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." Continue to give me opportunity everyday, and the wisdom to recognize it as such, to DO what I know is right and what you have called all of us to be. Doers of the word, not for our sake but for the sake and blessings of others. In doing so, we too will be blessed. AMEN.