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No Temptation Has Overtaken You

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man, God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but the the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13

     Ever feel alone when you suffer? No trial, no test of your faith, no affliction, no calamity that you are facing right now is any different from what other's are experiencing. Nothing any of us face is uncommon to man. This is somewhat comforting in the fact that we know someone is experiencing what we experience in times of pain. It if were not so Paul would not have said - "no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man." 
If you are reading this and are experiencing hurt of any kind, know this, "God is faithful". Faithful is who God is. He is trustworthy. He is loyal. He is true to His promises and true to His word. This being true, God is not careless. God is not faithless, He is not…

Standing The Test

In the most two recent blogs we have discovered that the only way to "count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds" (James 1:2) is to be anchored in Christ (Neh. 8:10). Then, we discovered that we can be joyful because the testing of our faith is producing patience in us, which is important for us to have in order that we might be made perfect and complete (James 1:3,4).  Now we turn our attention to James 1:12:

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."

    When you think of someone that is to be envied or someone who is happy, who or what do you think of? You think of someone who has their life together. Someone who has plenty of money to live off. Someone who has a nice home, nice vehicles, and a picture perfect family. James says otherwise. The word "blessed" literally means to be happy and someone to be envied. Lo…

Why Patience is Important

In recent post we have discussed the fact that James 1:2 encourages us to "count it all joy...when you meet trials of various kinds", and the way to do that is only through Jesus. Joy can be had in trials of various kinds only through Christ. The reason we can be joyful in trials of various kinds is because the testing of our faith makes for genuine faith (1 Peter 1:6,7) and as James tells us in 1:3 "the testing of your faith produces steadfastness", which is patience.
    The question now needs to be asked of James, why patience needs to be produced? Why is it necessary that patience is manufactured? James writes in 1:4, "And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 
     Before we jump to that answer, James writes, "let steadfastness have its full effect." In other words, let patience have its full effect. Often we are in a hurry to get out of trials, when what we need to learn is h…

Why Faith Needs To Be Tested

James 1:2 instructs us to "count it all joy...when you meet trials of various kinds." In yesterday's devotion we determined that to do that we must be anchored to Jesus. The joy of Christ is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), which enables us to "count it all joy" when we "meet trials of various kinds." So why can I be joyful in trials?

    James tells us in 1:3 "for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." The word "for" means because, which implies that verse 3 is the 'why' to verse 2. Look at what James says, in it he implies that as we go through trials what is happening is our faith is undergoing a test. What is undergoing a test - faith. What about our faith is being tested? Our belief and confidence in Jesus. 
   Why does my confidence in Christ need to be tested? Answer: to determine faith's genuineness. 1 Peter 1:6,7 writes, "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if ne…

Joy in Trials of Various Kinds

I am a Pastor of a church that has been flooded by hurricane Florence. The building itself was badly flooded and damaged. Right now, as it sits, it is bare bones. The people who attend are all homeless except four or five families.

    When this occurred I recall praying, praying that God would give me wisdom. This is my first lead pastorate and was unsure of how to shepherd a church in this condition. What do I say? What do I do? How do I, how can I minister to them? All these questions and more plagued my mind.

    One particular word came to mind - joy. The church God placed me over was in a trial and still is. The question became for me is how do I help them have joy in trials? Joy in trials seems odd, does it not? It does. However, joy in suffering is themed from Genesis to Revelations. And I want you to know how to have it.

    Let's go to the Proverbs of the New Testament, the book of James. His writing is practically and faithfully reminding Christians how to live. A…

Devotional: Joy is greater in God than possessions

"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound." - Psalm 4:7
    "Worldly people inquire for good, not for the chief good; all they want is outward good, present good, partial good, good meat, good drink, good trade, and a good estate; but what are all these worth?" This was asked by Matthew Henry. What good, in the end, is any of these things? The godless have more joy in their "grain" and "wine" than they do God. The wicked see the abundance of their possessions as exceptionally good and satisfying now, but in the end, when Jesus returns, what good will possessions be?
     As David states there is "more joy" that can be placed in our hearts by God than the abundance of man's possession. That is to say there is "more joy" in God than what we own. Though some joy may come from what we own, "more joy" come from God. God, who is exceptionally good and satisfying, is the real so…

A Forgotten Sin.

There is a sin out there not often preached about. Not often thought about. Not often focused on. A sin that we all forget. A secret sin. A sin that is overlooked by the church.

   Imagine for a moment a man who is obviously wealthy and wears nice clothes, then there is a man who is poor to observation and wears clothes not as nice. Get that picture in your head. We all know someone who fits the description of each. Which one do you pay more attention to? Which does society pay attention to? 
   To show more attention to one over the other is partiality. Partiality is showing favoritism towards another. This is the sin that is often overlooked, not thought of and not preached on. My question however is this, is it really wrong to show favor towards one over another? Is partiality a sin? Why is it a sin? These are my questions.
   First question, is partiality a sin? The Scripture states "if you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your n…

Claiming Jesus

I read an article by the Gallup Poll published in 2017 the other day, it claimed that 75% of American's now identify as Christian. That is three fourth's of our nation. In 2001, according to ABC news, it was 83%. The number of self-identifying Christians has declined in America.

   That means out of those who were polled 75% of them believe in 1 John 1:7, that "the blood of Jesus...cleanses us from all sin." Not some sin, all sin. That means that only 75% of America believe 1 John 2:2, that Jesus Christ "is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world."  Meaning it is declining in America that Jesus is the atoning sacrifice. Not 'a' atoning sacrifice but 'the' atoning sacrifice.

     That also means, now 25% of America believe that Jesus' atoning sacrifice did not appease or satisfy the anger of God, the wrath of God, because of sin. In addition, it means that 25% of America believe that Je…

Three Things To Consider As Follower's of Christ As Florence Approaches.

As this storm continues to approach many are worried. Rightfully so. But as followers of Christ, we must take comfort in the Word of God. As followers of Jesus, I want to give you three things to consider as this storm approaches:

1. Be concerned. Not worried.
      Believe it or not, there is a difference. Worry is to torment yourself with cares, anxieties and disturbing thoughts (dictionary.com), while concern is is to take interest into the things that effect you, but does not interfere with one's peace of mind. With this hurricane approaching I would like to encourage you to be concerned but not worried.

   Jesus instructs His followers to not worry. He states in Matthew 6:25 "do not be anxious about your life." Why would Jesus give us such a statement?

1. Jesus instructs us that if the Father takes care of the birds of the air and lilies of the field, how much more so will the Father take care of us. (Matt. 6:26-28)

2. Jesus instructs us not to worry because it …

What To Do As The Storm Clouds Rise

Luke records a time when the disciples and Jesus were making their way across a lake in 8:22-25. At some point a "windstorm" come up and the boat was "filling with water" and they recognized that they "were in danger." (8:23) What did the disciples do? They woke up Jesus. When Jesus woke up He "rebuked the wind and the raging waves"; "there was a calm." (8:24)

    What Jesus said next is heart gripping. Jesus asked them, "Where is your faith?" These are men who had witnessed Christ heal a centurion's servant, raise a widow's son, restore a withered man's hand, heal a paralytic, cleanse a leper and do many other things before this "windstorm" come up. There is a "windstorm" approaching our home on the east coast, what do we do?

1. Call on Jesus.
    Prayer should be every Christians first reaction to such an event that we face in the coming days. Why? Jesus has all authority. Even has auth…