Delight is defined as a sense of joy and pleasure, experienced especially through relationships. This means we are to have a sense of joy and pleasure in God. It’s why we worship as a community and spend time singing praises to God in our hymns or songs.
Jesus tells us that when we pray to God, seek God’s will, and ask to enter God’s kingdom; God will graciously pour out blessings on us. It is compared to a parent/child relationship. Even when the parent is not happy with the child, he or she wants to give the child every good thing.
In this passage, Jesus is referring to himself as the good shepherd, who comes so the sheep may “have life and have it to the full.” We are, of course, his sheep. Did you know that sheep wait for direction? They have to be guided on a particular path.
Here, James is again concerned about right practice. We do not know the specific context, except that he must be seeing Christians say things in contradiction to their actions or inaction. He offers a very simple and concise definition for acceptable religion. Caring for orphans and widows requires significant effort.
You might recognize the title for today from the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates or from the movie The Matrix. Socrates expounded on this maxim saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” And, the character Neo in the movie The Matrix goes on a journey of self-discovery where he must decide for himself if he is The One to
Part of what I love about James is how transparent and timeless his writing is. There are not many contextual clues as to who specifically or what issues, in particular, James is calling out. This is part of the appeal of James, that he speaks to people at all times and in every place. This Book of the Bible is not like one of Paul’s letters which has a definite audience and focused message.
God does not change like we do. He does not develop character, get moody, or grow. God simply is. His light, His character, His love, His presence is constant and the same past, present, and future. What God creates, however, experiences lots of change. Plants wither away and die. James says later on in chapter 4 that we are like mist, here today and gone tomorrow.
“God will not give you more than you can handle.” I am confident many of us have heard or said this at some point in our lives. It is meant to be encouraging. Another way of saying it is the following: what you are going through is hard but don’t worry, God is in control, and because God is good He will not let this hardship ruin your life.
An important doctrine of our faith is the doctrine of sanctification. Sanctification simply means growing in the likeness of Christ or growing deeper in our relationship with Jesus. Sanctification happens after we believe. After we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we begin a lifelong process of growing closer to Him.
This week we have been looking at how to encourage and pray for people in pain or crisis. One simple way to help is to direct them toward a resource, person, counselor, or group that might be able to assist them in their struggle. Did you know we have a ton of resources right here at First Methodist Mansfield?
Pray for peace. Not world peace, though that prayer never hurts, rather pray for internal peace, peace for the soul. This is what most people are seeking, it is what their soul seeks, though they will tell you they are pursuing happiness. As the Apostle Paul explains, this sort of peace, the kind found deep
This week we have been looking at ways to encourage and pray for friends who are going through hard times. Today, we remember that it is often our very faith in God that is shaken when we experience difficulty. We wonder why or how God can allow evil, suffering or atrocities.
For the person who does not know Christ, trouble may produce nothing but misery. Where does a person turn when they have no faith in a God bigger than themselves and their problems? Hopefully, friends will provide comfort and help, but if there is real crisis or deep pain, human words may carry very little power.
When we go through difficult times, the hardship drains us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Struggle, pain, loss, confusion, and uncertainty have an impact on us, even if we think we are strong enough to endure. We may initially find energy to power through hard times, but eventually,
There is a lot of suffering in the world. Sometimes it seems there is more pain than we can bear. And, as a person who has the hope of Christ, I wonder how people without that same hope get through difficult times. Where do people turn when they don’t have a God bigger than their pain?