James deals directly with a common problem among Christians—“playing God.” Having just exposed our tendency to be self-assertive and quarrelsome, he goes a step further and shows a couple of the more familiar ways we assert an arrogant spirit.
We’ve heard it said that we never stand taller than when we kneel before God. But what actually happens when we offer our prayers and petitions to God? Does He change His mind? Can we alter His plan or reverse His course? If not, then why pray?
There are days when it’s wise for us to stop and look and listen. Some people schedule such days once a month. Others make time once in every season of the year to consider their lives. Whatever the frequency, we place everything else on hold during these times, thinking through where we have been, where we are, and where we want to go. We scrutinize our lives, examine Scripture, and spend extended time in prayer as we gain a clearer sense of what God is doing in our lives and what He has for us in the future. As the new year rolls around, take some time for reflection and renewal.
Let’s take a wide view of our lives as we seek to clarify our thinking from the Bible about where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.
Picture someone who walks in integrity, loves God, and treats others with kindness and grace and mercy…and then, suddenly, loses everything. How could this happen? And could it happen to you? Who knows? The experience may be just around the corner.
Don’t neglect the here and now while waiting for the hereafter. Today is part of eternity. And it matters how we live.
Prejudice is nothing new. It’s a learned trait, which keeps you in darkness. When you’re prejudice you become bound to old ways of thinking. You lose your openness and creativity. In fact, prejudice can affect every aspect of your life.
Have you ever had an experience when circumstances were completely out of your control and there was nothing you could do…except trust God? When that happens it's a good reminder that God is the potter and we are the clay.
With the dawning of a new year comes a deluge of resolutions, reminders, and exhortations—how to increase your efficiency, how to make every moment count, how to lose weight, how to invest your time wisely and productively. Just for fun, I’d like to take the opposite tack. I’m going to tell you how to make zero progress this year. That’s right, if you follow this advice, 2015 will be a huge waste of time.