“What is the source of quarrels and conflict?” (James 4:1)
We have plenty of conflict in our world today. Conflict over ideals. Conflict over the handling of those ideas. Conflict of who said what and who should have said something else.
When it all boils down, we just want our own way, huh?
Then how do we live?
This is the very time that we can be a great contrast to the world. Through Him, we can love one another. It’s obviously, not happening on the media or in our politics, but we’ve been given a greater grace. In other words, no matter what, we’ve been given the aid of divine favor.
In such a climate, encouragers will serve as magnets to the discouraged. While others are skeptical and distrusting, the Spirit-thriving individual will stand out like an anomaly. Pure Christianity is perfect suited for such a time as this.
We’ve talked about peace, joy and love. Now, let’s live it out. Let’s be more intent upon prayer than protest.
Find your strength deep within His Presence.
Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian evangelist who’s served several prison terms for the cause of Christ states this well:
“Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying for years that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in freedom.” This is not what we pray! We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, “The government will be on his shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6.)
God has used China’s government for his own purposes, moulding and shaping his children as he sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.
Don’t pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.
This is true freedom!”
No matter how we voted, we must live united as Kingdom citizens. Jesus lived in the midst of a volatile political climate and yet there are very few places in which He even mentions a current event (see Luke 13:1-5; 31-32).
So here is my blessing upon you today:
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
“Would you bring the devotional?”
As I prepared, I was somewhat nervous, knowing that I would be in the midst of some “missionary greats” of the world. As that day in Prague approached, I had spent as much time in prayer as I had dealing with the passage.
I decided to use the Truths that the Father had spoken about our tongues and their tendency to ignite with Gehenna’s flame.
After the devotional, many references were made about our tongue as fire. As a group, we were cautious of our words. Sometimes in jest and sometimes seriously, the theme sparked many of our discussions.
And I watched my tongue most carefully. After all, I wanted to be able to have spoken with authority.
My family was coming, the house was a wreck, my throat was scratchy and I had jet lag.
And to top it off,
Mark was beginning to really irritate me.
Now remember, just weeks earlier, I had delivered a stirring devotional about a tongue with the fire of hell.
As I shifted my own tongue within my mouth, it sizzled just a bit and I could almost smell the smoke.
“I’d better keep my mouth shut.”
Yeah, that was the plan….
Instead – I incinerated him with a sudden outburst.
“Elijah was a man with a nature (Greek: “feelings or affections”) like ours…” James 5:17
Really? Did he have a problem with his tongue?
He was a spiritual giant, right?
Ummmm….maybe not –
Remember when the prophets of Baal couldn’t get any fire from heaven? Elijah was on hand with a flaming wit and a smoking sarcasm:
“Call a little louder – he is a god, after all. Maybe he’s off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he’s gotten involved in a project, or maybe he’s on vacation. You don’t suppose he’s overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?” (1 Kings 18:27 The Message)
I don’t know about you, but that pretty much describes me:
Yet, this is the very kind of man that is considered righteous enough for prayers that work.
Kinda gives me hope. What about you?