Devotion for Sunday, July 31, 2022

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Here is where you see that to be ignorant is a sin.  Naivety is not knowing.  Ignorance is to ignore what you have been taught and should know.  When you know something is right and you ignore it, it is a sin.  That is why the saying, “Ignorance is no excuse.”  The Lord calls for us to be diligent and aware.  The Lord asks us to seek righteousness all the days of our life.  Come then into the Lord’s presence and do as He would have you do.

Lord, You know those places where I ignore what is right.  Help me understand so that in You I may have all hope and a future.  Let me not ignore what is going on around me, but be a willing participant in living in the truth You have shown me.  Guide me into the work You have given me to do and then help me to live out my call according to Your good purposes, for in You alone is there all fulfillment.

Lord Jesus, You came to accomplish our salvation.  You did not ignore what needed to be done but did all that was needed.  Help me to live into the life to which You have called me so that I would not ignore those things around me which I see and know that I can do something  about, doing what I can in the face and fact of this evil age.  Lead me, Lord and then, by Your Spirit, help me to follow You always in and through all You give me to do.  Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, July 30, 2022

“But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil” (James 4:16).

Self-confidence and a can-do attitude are the backbone of good living.  Really?  Sometimes our independent thinking is nothing more than arrogance.  Come then and see how the Lord can and does deal with arrogance, granting humility and a willing spirit.  The Lord knows your weaknesses and desires to make of you someone who is in Him forever.  Shed the arrogance and learn from the Lord.

Lord, You know where I am weak and want others to recognize me.  Guide me Lord so that I may be guided in Your goodness and according to Your mercy into true humility.  Lead me according to Your goodness to know that in You is all hope and an eternal future.  May I not look to myself, but to You to see through the fog of this age and know that You are the One through whom all things have their being.

Lord Jesus, You could have come into this world as a great king demanding allegiance.  For You, it would not have been arrogant.  But instead, You came humbly as the servant of all to show us the way.  If You, who are Lord and Master of us all, came humbly, then who am I to have any arrogance at all?  Lead me, O Lord, in order that I would follow Your example and be led by You and learn what You will teach me.  Amen.  

Devotion for Friday, July 29, 2022

“Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”  (James 4:15)

The Lord is Lord and He knows our days.  In prayer, in plans, in all things, be guided by the goodness and mercy of the Lord and submit to His preparation of your soul for heaven.  There is much that needs to be done and He will do what needs to be done.  Your plans should always include the need to submit to the Lord’s will.  There is only One for whom you should be working.

Lord, You know I need a change of attitude.  Guide me according to Your will to see through the fog of this age and to look to You in, for, and through all things.  Indeed, we pray: may Your will be done in me here on earth as it shall be in heaven.  Lead me toward this heavenly goal so that I may now and always be led by You and look for Your will to be done in my life.  Guide me, dear Lord, into the future You know is coming.

Lord Jesus, God in the flesh, You knew where Your earthly life would end.  You were heading to the cross.  You knew because You are God.  Lead me to move into the future You intend for me because I know You, the One who knows all things.  Guide me in the grace You give to live according to the many promises You have given me.  Lead me this day as I ask for the Father’s will to be done in me.  Amen.

Devotion for Thursday, July 28, 2022

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

What are three score and ten, four score, or even a hundred years, compared to eternity.  We often adopt our temporal perspective on things that causes us to have wrong priorities.  We have been freed from sin in order to become children of God.  In that becoming, our eternal life is infinitely more important than what we think of this life.  Do not be caught up in the thinking of this world, but be transformed by Christ.

It is fine, as long as the Lord wills, to think about what you will do if there is a tomorrow, but it does no good to live as though tomorrow in this age is assured.  How many I have seen that lament and even deny the faith when a loved one dies unexpectedly.  Your faith is dependent upon circumstances?  No, your faith is based upon the One who knows all circumstances, the Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemed you.

Lord Jesus, You are returning to judge the living and the dead.  You have come into this world to free as many as would turn to You in order that we might become children of the Heavenly Father.  Guide me, dear Lord, in the way of living such that I focus upon what is right and good.  Lead me now and forever, Lord, to see past the few years I have in this age and live with You always foremost in my heart and mind.  Amen. 

Devotion for Wednesday, July 27, 2022

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit” (James 4:13).

We do this often in our culture.  We have our calendars and appointment schedules and plan our lives around all that we are going to do.  What foolishness.  You and I do not know what tomorrow will bring.  We have no idea what the Lord has in mind.  Therefore, do not live with the certainty that you will have tomorrow, but in the certainty of the promise of the One who saves.

Lord, at the least, help me to have as much faith in You as I have in my schedule.  From there grow me in the truth such that I am not shaken when my schedule is changed.  Guide me according to Your purposes to live into the life You give through the promise of salvation.  In that promise let me place my trust and energy.  Guide me to do what is right always and to live as You know I need to live.

Lord Jesus, You knew that You were heading to Jerusalem that final time to die on the cross.  But You are God.  We do not know what is in the future other than that we all have an appointment with death.  Lead me, Lord, to live looking to You so that I may grow in true trust and hope.  Help me to not shirk my earthly duties, but neither to live apart from my hope in You.  Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, July 26, 2022

“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12)

There is a coming judgement, but none of us are the judge.  Jesus did not come into the world to judge the world because it was already judged.  But, when He comes back, He will come to judge the living and the dead.  We therefore do well to remember that there is only One judge.  We also do well to remember that we have been given a new life and that we are to walk in that new life.  Love and help your neighbor and do not judge them.

Lord, You know my inclination is to look at my neighbor and compare myself to them.  Take that away from me that I may look at my neighbor and see what You see.  Help me to be guided by goodness and not evil.  Lead me according to the goodness that is You, that I may learn how to love while leaving the judging to You.  You know what I need.  Thank You for providing all that I need.

Lord Jesus, in You alone is all hope.  Apart from You I cannot do these things, but with You all things are possible.  You have come to free me by redeeming me from what the letter of the law says, which condemns me.  But this is not freedom to judge others, but the ability to learn how to love as the Father loves.  Guide me, dear Lord, in the way of everlasting life and lead me according to the Father’s will to learn how to love.  Amen.

Devotion for Monday, July 25, 2022

“Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it” (James 4:11).

Think of what people like the least in the church and other organizations.  Is it not those who, in the background, spread rumors and tell stories?  And we do not stop them.  This is the curse of wickedness.  The Lord is a God of order, not chaos.  Good order follows what is right.  You and I hold the positions we hold and we should not listen to those who act as if they were in a position that is not theirs.

Lord, help me to see this clearly so that I may grow in faith and by Your admonition.  If I have spoken sinfully, forgive me and change my heart to not speak in this way.  Teach me to be forthright and a willing disciple, lifting up the saints according to Your good and gracious Word.  I have shared gossip.  Help me be one who stops it.  Teach me to be no one’s judge, nor live with judgement in my heart.

Lord Jesus, You did not come into the world to judge the world, for the world is judged already.  You came in order that all who come unto You might have life and have it abundantly.  Lead me Lord in the way of the abundant life.  Guide me according to Your goodness and mercy.  In You Lord is there all hope and the way of eternal life.  Prepare me through grace to live the life to which I am called.  Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, July 24, 2022

“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).

This does not say to pretend to be humble, for before the Lord that is not possible.  It means getting to the place where you are not thinking of yourself at all.  Empty yourself and the Lord will fill you.  Be a blank slate and the Lord will write what needs to be written.  Stop trying to direct and watch as the Lord creates in you the image of a child of God; one who is, like Christ, doing the will of God.

This is at the heart of the Christian walk.  The fall came through pride and the new life comes through humility.  Look at Christ and what do you see?  You see that He emptied Himself unto death, even death on a cross.  Come then and live into the life which is offered to you by grace.  Know that in the Lord there is hope and an eternal future.  He will do great things through you if He is Lord of your life.

Dear Lord Jesus, these are great promises but the world tugs at me each day.  Help me, O Lord, to see through the fog of this age in order that I might be made into the person You are making me to be.  Guide me, dear Lord, in the way of everlasting life so that I may truly become humble and live as You would have me live.  Lead me this day, step by step, to humbly do what You give me to do.  Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, July 23, 2022

“Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom: (James 4:9).

What do you live for?  What drives you?  Behind this is the objective to no longer be led by the world and its constant demands or to be conformed to what it thinks right (in the ever-changing unreality of this age). (Romans 12:2)  Instead, come willingly and be conformed to the image of Jesus.  In Him is true and everlasting life.  In Him is joy and peace.  In Him is understanding and goodness.  Come unto Him and be saved.

This world encourages us to eat, drink, and make merry.  The world entices us; but it is driven by hedonism and gets us nowhere.  What do you accomplish in  trying to be happy and joyful if you are not in the Lord?  True life does not demand self-harm but recognizes that all things of this world are not good for us.  We are in a battle between good and evil.  Come then and live into the life to which You have been invited by grace.

Lord Jesus, You have given me faith.  You have given me the ability to walk into eternal life when I walk with You.  Guide me, Lord Jesus, in the way of everlasting life so that I may now and forever abide in You.  You are the way of life and in You is truth.  In You is true hope, joy, and peace.  Lead me, my Lord, so that I may take Your yoke upon me and learn from You how to live life.  Amen.

Devotion for Friday, July 22, 2022

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).

The intent of the heart is the direction of life.  The one who desires to be close to God will be and the one who draws away cannot be.  The Lord will draw near to those who desire it.  Is this not true of most things?  You must want it for it to happen?  Life does not just happen, there is design and purpose.  Draw near to God and God will run to meet you like a “prodigal son”.

For this to happen, one needs to live in the way the Lord intends for us to live.  The Ten Commandments are a good place to start.  But more than this, it goes back to the intent of the heart.  One who desires to be close to the Lord needs to move in that direction.  You cannot pretend in this matter.  You cannot just do it on the outside.  It must come from within.

Lord Jesus, You have made possible the way of life, that is, eternal life with You.  By the power of Your Spirit, kindle in me the desire to be whom You are making me to be.  Kindle in me the will to walk in Your ways.  Lead me through Your grace to live this kind of life from the inside out and no longer be double-minded.  Lead me Lord in the way You know I need to be led in order to walk humbly with You.  Amen.