If you praise and worship God, and you love Him with all of your heart, and you say wonderful things about Him, and you bow down to Him, and you pray to Him, but then you don’t love all of His children out there – believers and non-believers – then your walk doesn’t line-up with your talk.
There’s a lot of great wisdom in the Book of James. Wisdom we need, so that we can use it out there. I preached a year-long sermon (once a month) during much of 2018. It was my first message series as a preacher. I learned a lot from that series. With each new sermon I got closer to God’s wisdom.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you ? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you ? (James 4:1)
So the former non-believer James – the author of the Book of James – was a Teacher, a Preacher, a Pastor, and an Apostle. He was the head of the New Testament Church at the time. He’s writing to the Jewish Christians – scattered among all the nations. These Christians are fighting amongst themselves. They’re fighting with each other. They’re fighting with others – including non-believers. There’s not a lot of peace going on there.
That’s one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – peace. Remember – Christ said on the mountainside, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
So as the church’s leader at the time – James “The Just” – (one of his nicknames) – justly reprimands the children of God – the church body. He calls them out on their squabbles, and he tells them why they are at war and not at peace.
You see they are still following the wisdom of the world rather than the wisdom of God. They don’t trust God fully. And if they don’t trust God fully – then they just don’t trust Him. They were just like the non-believers of the time. James couldn’t tell them apart.
Fast forward not quite 2,000 years into the future, and what do we have in the world today ? We have Christians inside God’s Kingdom who look and act no different than non-Christians of the world. We have churches squabbling internally about silly things – mostly non-Biblical things. We have megachurches looking down on small churches as irrelevant or insignificant. We have small churches chastising megachurches as secular or worldly. We have churches competing against each other rather than uniting with one another. We have religions and denominations – and their respective manmade rules – working against each other – and writing each other off as heretics. We have church leaders preaching on how much we sin – and how much the world sins – as they get caught in years of sin. We have Pastors and Preachers who write-off other Pastors and Preachers because of what they say, what they don’t say, or what they believe.
No wonder non-believers and non-followers of Christ walk away from us rather than towards us. The hard truth is that many of our neighbors out there love God, but they don’t care too much for His followers – because of what they hear and see from us.
I speak from personal experience here. I felt that way up until 14 years ago. I’ve always believed in God’s existence. Even when I didn’t follow Him – I’ve always believed that He was real in some form. I didn’t know much about Him, but I always knew that He was there – somewhere. But I didn’t care so much for God’s people and for God’s churches. That is – until I became His follower – and then – 5 months later – became part of His church body.
In my first year on this fantastic journey – 2006 into 2007 – I began learning about the God that I always believed in. I soon fell in love with God – first – before family – before friends – before coworkers – before my job – before everything else in my life – before everything else in the world.
I joined a church family (during the 3RD weekend of January of 2007), and I found other people – right here in my town – who were just like the new me. I immediately started learning more about God alongside my new brothers and sisters of my new church family at the time.
I learned that God commanded me to love everyone – genuinely – believers and non-believers alike. I don’t think that a lot of our neighbors out there know that we love them – and that God loves them – unconditionally – eternally. We need to do a much better job – as God’s church body – in getting that message out there to the world.
In these last days we have disorder and evil of every kind. But all is not lost. I truly believe that God’s Kingdom continues to expand. God’s Kingdom is not shrinking. Don’t believe those who say it is. God’s Kingdom is expanding. It’s expanding because of the arms, the hands, the legs, the feet, and – oh yeah – the mouths of His disciples (that’s all of us) – here on His creation.
God’s Kingdom is expanding here in the U.S. and all around the world. If you watch a lot of TV it may look like evil is winning. Don’t fall for it. I believe that the devil is retreating and losing the war. The devil is a loser. He’s a liar, a thief, a murderer, and a destroyer.
We do so much better – when we follow God’s Wisdom rather than the world’s wisdom.
All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries