Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, May 31, 2015

Scripture reading:

When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. Put a mental stopwatch on your conversations, and keep track of how much yo talk and how much you listen. When people talk with you, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?

It is important to listen to what God’s Word says, but it is much more important to obey it and to do what it says. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by the effect it has on our behavior and attitudes. Do you put into action what you have studied? (NLT)

James 1:19-25 – My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save yo9ur souls.

And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law—the law that sets you free—and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

The heart is deceitful above all things. – Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

Tom Fuller (Oregon) titled his story “THE GREAT PHYSICIAN;” here is Tom’s story:

“Recently a friend of mine went to the doctor for some tests. My friend said, ‘I was on deck for a major heart attack.’ The doctor told him that 90% of one of his arteries was closed and another was completely blocked. Fortunately, the doctor was able to clear the blockage without surgery. My friend had thought his heart was okay, but it had deceived him. In reality he was desperately sick.

“In the scripture verse above, Jeremiah wasn’t talking about the physical heart, of course, but our souls, our character – the way we go about satisfying our needs, wants, and desires. The prophet says that our own souls deceive us. Something’s wrong, and we don’t know it.

In contrast, Jesus’ character was perfect. Any time we do, think, or say something that Jesus would not do, think, or say, it is like plaque building up in an arterial wall. To help restore our hearts to spiritual health, we can see how Jesus acted as recorded in the Gospels. Watching Jesus, then looking at our behavior, is like a good self-examination. As we see how our thoughts and actions differ from those of Jesus, we can ask God in prayer to help us act the way Jesus did – loving God all the time and loving others as ourselves.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God can heal my brokenness.

Prayer: Dear God, heal the parts of our hearts that we don’t realize are damaged. Amen.

Prayer Focus: CARDIAC PATIENTS

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

LISTEN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/listening-listen/

ANGRY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/anger-angry/

ADVICE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/advice/

OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/

PROBLEMS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/problems/

CHANGE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/change/

CONVERSATIONS, CONVERSATION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/conversations-conversation/

SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/

RESPOND, RESPONSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/respond-response/

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, May 30, 2015

Scripture reading:

Our oneness in Christ does not destroy our individuality. The Holy Spirit has given each Christian special gifts for building up the church. Now that we have these gifts, it is crucial to use them. Are you spiritually mature, exercising the gifts God has given you? If you know what your gifts are, look for opportunities to serve. If you don’t know, ask God to show you, perhaps with the help of your minister or Christian friends. Then, as you begin to recognize your special area of service, use your gifts to strengthen and encourage the church.

Christ is the truth, and the Holy Spirit, who guides the church, is the Spirit of truth. Satan, by contrast, is the father of lies. As followers of Christ, we must be committed to the truth. This means both that our words should be honest and that our actions should reflect Christ’s integrity. Holding to the truth in love is not always easy, convenient, or pleasant, but it is necessary if the church is going to do Christ’s work in the world. (NLT)

Ephesians 4:11-16 – He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.   Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.

Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

The boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24 (NIV)

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Suzanne Dyer (California) titled her story “DEPENDING ON EACH OTHER;” here is a portion of Suzanne’s story:

“I used to think that faith has a static quality, that a person possesses either all or none of it. But through the years I have learned that faith can waver. When our faith is strong, it is important to show our faith through our actions and in our words. Because of our faith, others can claim the courage to believe when belief seems impossible. They can be made strong again because they can, in their doubt, trust in our faith.

“When our faith is weak or when we question or doubt, we can rely on the faith of those around us. In times of struggle and transition, I always know my friends are praying for me. Despite their own affliction, they have the faith to rally for me. In their devotion and steadfastness, I see God working through them. . .”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Believers are an interdependent community.

Prayer: Dear God, remind us to share our living and active faith with others and to rely on others when our faith wavers. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHOSE FAITH IS WAVERING

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

FAITH: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/faith/

SPIRITUAL REBIRTH: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-rebirth/

CONSCIENCE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/conscience/

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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