Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock ~ Matthew 7:24
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Quick to Listen Slow to Speak ~ study
I've been meditating on this verse the last few days: "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." ~James 1:19-20
Okay ~ so, what does that look like in real-time?
We live on a culture that has grown to love getting revenge. Americans see it in the movies, on TV, and hear it in the music. We see it in the business world - people fighting tooth-and-nail ...to get what they want, RIGHT NOW!... so, we know that's how the world thinks and operates, but it is not how Christians are to operate, if they are indeed servants of Christ. So, what is our response supposed to be?
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45
"But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." ~ Luke 6:27-32
That is what God says. It's amazing how different that is from our culture, yes? Sadly, many Christians have either fallen back into this worldly-minded pattern of thinking, or have not left it behind yet. If you see yourself there, please today, remember that, if you are in Christ, you are a new creation - old things have passed away, and you are new in Christ. If the conviction of this breaks your heart, plead with God to forgive you and teach you to hate this wrong pattern, and then get up and grow in this and the other areas of your life - adjusting your thoughts, actions, words, motives, and lifestyle to remove this, and become dead to this self-centered pattern. (I'm sure we can all grow in this more, and need to actively watch this subject.)
So, continuing forward - are we, then, just supposed to be passive? No, for there is a kind of anger that is right - it's called righteous indignation, and Christ showed it perfectly on quite a few occasions. Meaning, what can we do? Rebuke. Exhort. Expose what you see that God clearly defines as evil. How? To get revenge on those who hurt us and others? No. But, out of love for those who are hurting us, and to warn and alert those who are being hurt what is happening and so they can adjust their lifestyle and actions to protect themselves. Remember, it is the fervent, passionate prayer of blameless men and women that makes prayers effective - passionately asking God to deal with evil we see, and righteous living and patterns of constantly growing in righteousness (and never disconnecting from reality, for then we set down what we were praying for) - that is a beautiful Biblical model for us to follow! ~ :)
And, along with that, we need to - we must pray for the godly leaders you know in every part of our government. Pray for God to protect them. The godly men and women in government positions desperately need our prayers! So, let's pray for them that God will keep teaching them to fear Him, not man. And pray that God would give godly men and women in our government wisdom on how to firmly stand up to those who are lawless, stop them, and bring the appropriate consequences on them through the Constitution and laws that God gave our country, and we need to hold to them, recognizing they are useful for bringing swift trouble on evildoers. [And a trick I do, is asking God to remind me to pray for them more - it works :)]
In conclusion, this is a verse to pray with:"Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil." ~ Ecclesiastes 8:11 ~ That is, praying that God will raise up more godly leaders to swiftly deal with evil and lawlessness, that the rest may fear, and that lawlessness may not continue to grow. This process sets up the fear of the Lord on the rebels, and that opens more conversations to tell them about Christ and repentance, and salvation and discipleship.
~ your growing and praying bro/friend, a servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH