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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, January 14, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
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 1:17-26 – Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows. In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession.
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 your 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.
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
Mark A. Carter (Texas) titled his story “BECOMING A BETTER DISCIPLE;” here is a portion of Mark’s story:
“When I began regularly attending church, I rarely missed a scheduled service, Bible study, or special event. Despite all the time I spent hearing God’s word and Jesus’ teachings, the message did not grow in me in the way it was intended. Instead of becoming more Christlike, I often used my newfound religion to judge others for missing church or for not meeting my moral code. . . .
“After realizing this, I tried to learn from my mistakes. I reread my Bible and adjusted my attitudes and actions. I still attend my church regularly, but I have learned that disciples are shaped by what they are taught not just by where they are taught. God works through others to remind us of the standards Jesus set for us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will be a doer of God’s word.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to judge others less and love them more. Amen.
Prayer Focus: TO OVERCOME THE TEMPTATION TO JUDGE
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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