Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. - James 2:12-13
You have freed me from the Ten Commandments as a my source of strength. You have replaced it with love that drives me to keep all commandments with deep meaning and significant purpose. I strongly desire to love others and you so much that I feel free from the law with its demands and threats. I just want to do the right thing. This came from you who saved me and gave me peace from fear of judgement or punishment. It is the "law" that gives freedom to me. You are in my life and my mind driving me to be a loving person. Keep me merciful and humble by your Holy Spirit who lives here with me while you are in heaven watching over all things for my good.
Pastor Don Patterson
Goodness is a force from God living in the heart of everyone who has his grace giving Spirit.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. - James 2:10-11
I know it's healthy to have a full grasp of my own sinfulness. I do sometimes think that because I avoid certain sins that I am one of the good guys in your world. But there are no good guys and bad guys from your perspective. We are all just sinners loved by you. You elevate what I call little sins when I am being self-righteous and you erase what I call big sins when I feel shame. I am a redeemed law-breaker. Thank you for giving me the gospel that gives me God-born thoughts to straighten out mine. I will strive to live honestly and hopefully today because of your law and gospel.
Pastor Don Patterson
A Christian is someone who is honest with themselves about their need for forgiveness and gracious to themselves because of the gift of Christ.
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. - James 2:1-9
You are never impressed by wealth nor do you look down on poverty. You make all people. Every life is your signature on your planet. We each have meaning, value, and purpose. Give me your godly eyes that look on all people as your own special creations. Use my love and attention to give dignity to the poor and direction to the rich. Open my lips to tell both poor and rich alike about your love and forgiveness. Make me a true lover of people in the highest sense of the word. And flow though me to them in living color.
Pastor Don Patterson
Every soul created by God is worthy or our respect and tender care.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. - James 1:26-27
Dear heavenly Father,
Your desires are perfectly clear. You want me to learn to speak loving, truthful words that do not have any rancor or negativity. You want me to help the less fortunate, especially the fatherless and the widows. Open my eyes to see the needs around me and give me a heart that longs to help people. Make me an instrument in your hands to pick up the fallen and comfort the distressed. Give me the ability to strengthen people who love to serve others by helping them achieve their vision for mercy. Help me to weed out the worldly influences all around me. I want to be a healer and comforter like you.
Pastor Don Patterson
Commit yourself to helping others and you will never be bored or feel insignificant.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. - James 1:22-25
I have listened to and read your word for many years. It's easy to listen but much harder to do. Give me the faith to believe that studying your word is worth my full commitment. I don't want to be a wise fool who knows what he should have done but never did it. I've seen your word work. It's amazing. When I act on what you tell me to do, great things happen in my life and for others. I cannot do anything on my own. I need your help and guidance. Give your Holy Spirit more time with me to help me do and say what you want. Make me an instrument to your love, truth, and peace.
Pastor Don Patterson
In Christ, there are no spectators. All of us are his Olympian competitors.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. - James 1:19-21
Dear Heavenly Father,
You gave me two ears and one mouth for a reason. You want me to listen and understand before I make a judgment on any situation. Give me the wisdom to understand the whole story with my close ones before I try to speak to them about it. Preserve me from anger that makes me rash and judgmental. Give me the peace and patience to allow them to find a comfortable way to discuss matters with me in a positive environment instead of under the stress of my irritated scrutiny. And help me to listen to your word every day so I let it bear fruit in me for others to enjoy.
Pastor Don Patterson
Listening quietly with an open heart is one of the most active and productive things we can do.
Isaiah recorded many prophesies about the Messiah. In chapter 53, he described how we would scorn the coming King, rejecting Him in the face of His promises and turning away from Him even as He took on the punishment for our own transgressions. And when Jesus came, we did just that. The Jewish people were expecting a political king who would overthrow Rome and elevate the Israelites to a place of authority. But Jesus didn't do that. Instead, He disrupted their way of life and highlighted their legalism and told them that in spite of all their extra rules they were still falling short of God's commands. Because of their disappointment and disillusionment, they despised and rejected Him. They criminalized Him for loving them and trying to teach them. They crucified Him for not fitting into what they thought a Messiah should be. We are no different today. We try to fit Jesus into our own boxes and definitions, restricting Him to our own understanding or desires of who He is. And when He turns out to be greater than our comprehension, we turn our backs. We become frustrated and sever ties with Him. And still He loves us. Still He offers forgiveness, atonement and restoration. Still He pursues us and embraces us when we return to Him. Don't try to limit Jesus to who you wish He would be. He is our Lord and savior, the King of kings, the Son of God. He will not be boxed in or controlled. But if you will accept Him as He is, acknowledging His sovereignty and authority over your life and all creation, He will cover your sins and offer you eternal salvation. Jesus is the Messiah. He is our risen King. He didn't look or act like we expected, but He's actually greater than we can even imagine.
Rainy day lettering 🌧😴 Job 23:10 - I am always amazed by Job’s hope and faith. Despite everything he went through, he kept his eyes on God’s promise and remembered God’s character. I get chills every time I read these words. “When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” No matter where you are, remember that God goes with you and that He has already claimed the victory!! Our hope and faith are never in vain✨
"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)
« I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. . . . I will rejoice in doing them good.' (Jeremiah 32:40–41)⠀
This is one of those promises of God that I come back to again and again when I get discouraged. Can you think of any fact more encouraging than that God rejoices to do you good? Not just does you good. Not just is committed to doing you good — glorious as that is. But that he rejoices to do you good. 'I will rejoice in doing them good.'⠀
He doesn’t begrudgingly fulfill the promise in Romans 8:28 to work everything together for our good. It is his joy to do you good. And not just sometimes. Always! 'I will not turn away from doing good to them.' There are no lapses in his commitment or in his joy in doing good to his children — to those who trust him.⠀
That should make us so glad!⠀
But sometimes it is hard to be glad. Our situation is so hard to bear that we just can’t muster any joy. When that happens to me, I try to imitate Abraham: 'In hope he believed against hope' (Romans 4:18). In other words, you look your hopeless situation in the face and say, 'You are not as strong as God! He can do the impossible. And I know he loves to do it for those who trust him. So, hopelessness, you will not have the last say. I trust God!'⠀
God has always been faithful to guard that little spark of faith for me and eventually (not always right away) fan it into a flame of happiness and full confidence. And Jeremiah 32:41 is a great part of that joy.⠀
Oh, how glad I am that what makes the heart of almighty God happy includes doing good for you and me! 'I will rejoice in doing them good.'"⠀
Read more at desiringGod.org ⠀
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-rejoices-to-do-you-good. This post was reposted from @desiringgod using @the.instasave.app #theinstasaveapp
“It starts with Isaiah the prophet, who wrote: Listen! I am sending my messenger ahead of you and he will prepare your way! He is a thunderous voice of one who shouts in the wilderness: “Prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord Yahweh, and clear a straight path inside your hearts for him!”
Mark 1:2-3 (TPT)
Like John the Baptist we are God’s messengers who have been sent out, and must continue to prepare the way of the Lord and tell others to prepare their hearts for His coming.
Prepare the way! Jesus is coming!