Devotion for Thursday, September 15th, 2011

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
James 1:26

My Commentary:

Today James gives a litmus test for authentic faith in God.  The word “religion” here is speaking of the trappings of religious ceremony, piety, and outward expressions of faith.  James is saying that if someone does certain things to make people think he is “in” with God, and yet the words that he says don’t line up with what the Word of God proclaims, then it shows that this persons ceremony, so-called piety, and outward expressions of faith do not and will not do him any good.

In fact, James says that this person “deceiveth his own heart.”  How is this person deceived?  Because this person thinks that the outward expressions of faith are going to save, even though real spiritual transformation of the heart hasn’t happened.

James is not saying that having a “bridled tongue” or a tongue that is under control makes you saved.  He is saying that it is a mark of someone who is saved.  Jesus said it this way, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  Whatever words come out of your mouth come out because that is what was in your heart in the first place.

Application:

Today, pay attention to the things you say.  What does it reveal about what’s going on inside you?  Do your words match up with what you say you believe?  Are they bringing life to people, or tearing people down?

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21 thoughts on “James- Day 14

  1. The thIngs you say can help people figure out or even yourself what’s going on inside of you….what’s going on inside of me is happiness, alittle hurting but besides that I have nothing to be sad or mad about :). sometimes I’m trying to be safictacated and my words don’t make since with what I believe but then I relize that I don’t need to be someone I’m not so I should say what I believe and not what other people want me to say, but sometimes words just slip out of me and thats a habbit I need to change but that’s another story. Ummm…. I think my words are making peoPle happy when they hear em, but its hard to make someone happy or make them feel good if you don’t like them very much or they don’t like you.

  2. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way a few times before.. Unfortunately when I was in middle school I didn’t care what came out of my mouth. I just cared about fitting in. Until I started going to church, here at Sonshine, my heart started to change and I honestly cared about God. When I was in a very unhealthy relationship, I kinda let the guard of my heart down, and God was no longer my top priority, my boyfriend was. The words that came out of my mouth then definitely didn’t match up with what I believe in. I was always rebelling against my parents, hurting my sister and calling myself a Christian all at the same time. How many people did I turn away from God by them seeing and hearing me? I’m not sure, but it kills me thinking about it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not just “act” like a little Christian, but if you are one, to start doing the things God has asked us to do and the things He’s asked us to obey. He wouldn’t ask us to obey these things or watch what we say if it wasn’t for a reason. An a important one at that! I’ve learned the hard way so trust me.. It’s so hard to keep in what you believe when you’re around bad influences. I’m around one everyday because I believe God put her in my life for a reason, but don’t let them change who YOU are. Use your words with what you believe so you can be a good influence to THEM! If they don’t respect that, then they aren’t much of a friend to you. I’ve learned that too! 😉

    Anyways, I’ve learned all of this the hard way, and at times was even ashamed to say I was a christian even though I had the name out there, because of the things I said and did. Please learn from this verse that James wrote and from the mistakes I made! Do the opposite of what I did, and start being a good influence and a ninja Christian now, not when you’re a senior in high school.. I love you all and I’m praying for you! Have a great day at school! 🙂

  3. What I say is tht not bringing people down it’s bringing people forward! People say I’m a good role model at my school and tht people wanna be like me because of the way I act. Sometimes i have to watch what I say… Like if I tell my brothers to be quiet and they don’t listen and sometimes I’m like whatever they won’t listen to me! And I believe I bring happiness into people’s lives, I have had some kids at my school come up and ask me.. Y r u so happy all of the time? And I’ll say because I have something to believe in.. Someone believes in me, and thts always been God!! And thts what I got today! 🙂

  4. i sooo agree w/ melanie! thats something i really need 2 work on! In fourth and Fifth grade,i was always saying what other people were saying,just so i could fit in.But now since i have been coming 2 this church my heart has changed.Now,in middle school,im doing that stuff.im soo glad God has given me a church that has helped me changed!! 🙂

  5. Those does happen a lot when we say one thing and do another its sad thou that we say where God followers then we curse we talk about bad stuff but I thanks God because he can change us I love God so much!:)

  6. I’m kinda a quiet person in school, and im left alone with my thoughts and God most of the day which is kinda comforting. It helps me think before i speak. My friends at school know i am a Christian and that i love God, but sometimes my actions contradict that. Last year i was really stupid and got mad one day, said a word i shouldn’t have, and for about the rest of the week i got “Wow, for a girl who goes to church you just snapped.” I was so ashamed.. because they basically were saying i was a fake christian. My mistake made a huge impact and i felt terrible. God convicted me that day, and its like I heard Him say to me, “You are better than that.” Since then i have watched my words carefully, and i always think about the kind of girl God wants me to be. I want to leave a good testimony to my friends, and i don’t want to give off an ungoldy image, because i love God with everything!! It’s crazy how much our words can impact someone, and i want my words to leave a good impact, not a bad one. Another thing is that it upsets me when i see people who go to church, act holy and say that they love God so much but are the total opposite in school. I know so many people like that and it kills me.. they’re putting the image that christians are fake into non-believers heads and i just get so frustrated :/ If we say we love God, we should act Christ-like, and do things for God! I know i’m guilty of this as i said before, but i try everyday to be aware of my behavior and i know how God wants me to be. Some people don’t and that scares me. I hope my words bring people up and not tear them down. 🙂

  7. What I got out of today is that what I say deffinitley shows what’s going on inside of me. What I put in will come out. Like the media I let influence me will either be positive or negative.

    1. Good stuff- yeah- that’s why it is important to be careful about what you put in because what goes in may be what comes out, and what comes out is what is in there in the first place!

  8. People are watching “us” and by “us” I i mean Christians all the time. They are looking to see if we are the real deal or just like everyone else. It is a real responsibility being a Christian. It is really an honor. Our testimony can make or break how someone feels about Christians. It almost feels like we are being tested, like what happened to Lindsey last year. People seem to be under the misconception that Christians are perfect. When they see that we are not they may feel disillusioned. I have told people before that Christians aren’t perfect just forgiven. I think this is important to remember. We should definitely strive to have a good testimony but don’t be too hard on your self if you make a mistake. It happens to all of us, including me. I need to be a better testimony too.
    We also need to remember to be “real.” I think that people will respond to us better if we are just ourselves. Remember, you may be the only “light” that someones sees.

  9. Today’s passage I think happens a lot in our society. There’s people everywhere who claim to be “Christians” but really aren’t. Or people who go to church, but act completely different everywhere else. Sometimes we think we need to wear a mask (like we her learned in H2O) in order to fit in at church, school, and everywhere else we go. But that’s not it at all! There’s nothing that annoys me more than a fake Christian! But of course, I have done this many times, and I’m very ashamed of it. But we all make mistakes, and I’ve definitely learned plenty of lessons from it, and I hope (with Gods help) I will never do that again! 🙂

  10. What I learned today was…….
    What you say really means alot! Like if you give somebody really good advice and you don’t apply it to your life then it doesn’t really mean anything its may really help that person but it wont help you when you need it!!!!!!! 🙂 and if you say something to somebody that is not necessarily ‘nice’ it may not seem like alot but it definitely hurts them! so in other words be a good example and be Godly people really do notice it!!!!! so yeah basically watch what you say!!! it matters! don’t just say things to fit in… be the original you! so yeah!! 😀

  11. I so agree with Melanie and Blake! 😀 But I am really happy that when I gor into the teens group I was stsrting to understand things alot better. It aloso heped me by understanding to to not just go and say whay other people are doin to fit in, You may never know there could be alot of people just like you who do really care wether they fit in or not. Life is not a contest to see who is the coolist. You need to live life the way God wonts you to and not a life where you are just goin stuff and sayin thing to fit in. Cause that just leads to a very bad ending. 🙂

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