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Showing posts from October, 2012

Wisdom and Friendship with God

Today my Bible reading took me to James 3:13-4:12.  Reading the NLT, I was struck with a number of thoughts about wisdom, relationship to God and relationship to others.

Wisdom does not include bitter jealousy or selfish ambition.  In fact, these things come from the devil and lead to disorder and evil.    Instead, wisdom is pure, peace-loving, gentle, willing to yield to others, full of mercy, full of good deeds, not partial and always sincere.  Wow!  With a definition like that, how many of us can even pretend to be wise?  Willing to yield to others?  Some would say that's a sign of foolishness and weakness, not wisdom.

As Christians, we often hear the advice to not be friends with this world.  What do you think of when you hear that admonition?  What does "friends with this world," mean to you?  James says that friendship with the world is revealed by quarrelling, fighting, jealousy, scheming and killing to meet desires, looking only for pleasure and not going to Go…

Trouble--A Reason for Joy

My Bible reading/study this morning led me to two passages that at first glance seemed unrelated--Jeremiah and James.

It was only a few years before Babylon would empty Jerusalem and all Judah of all but the poorest of the poor--only the street people and the homeless (in today's terms) would be allowed to stay when Jeremiah called all the Recabites to a room in the temple to test them.  He placed before them flagons of wine and invited them to drink.  Wine was a common beverage at that time and in that place, even in the temple, but these men refused.  Why?  Because long ago, an ancestor of theirs had charged all his descendants and their families to never drink wine. (Recab lived during the time of King Saul, though the "son" of Recab who gave this command, Jonadab, may be the Jehonadab who helped Jehu destroy the house of wicked King Ahab of Israel and all the ministers and priests of Baal.)  Now, a few hundred years later, they were still obeying this seemingly trivi…