Daily Proverbial, from James, 14 November 2013

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  James 3, verse 13

So you’ve prayed the prayer, told Jesus that you love Him and want His forgiveness, and want to be a changed person.   What’s next? 

Follow through.

I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 28 days, and in the last 49 days I’ve had exactly one.  The last 49 days have been extremely difficult at work and at home.   I’ve been sick twice, been on the road 5 of 7 weeks, have done some major home improvement, worked with some difficult situations with my kids, adjusted to my wife working from home instead of at her old job, and the seasons have changed, going from pleasant summer to cold autumn.  At this time, staying off the smokes hasn’t been easy.

What’s the difference?   He put it on my heart to quit and stay quit.  It isn’t worth it to me to smoke but it is worth it to me to do better for Jesus.   No, we aren’t going down the self-righteous path of my trumpeting my own horn or telling you how wonderful it is to be smoke-free and how healthy I’ll be.   Personally, I think that’s bunk because there are times when I’ve stopped myself from buying them.

But it’s not about me.   It’s about the difference.   The difference is Jesus, and the proof is in the follow through.   Mind you, Jesus doesn’t need proof of Himself, and He doesn’t need us to prove to Him how wonderful we are.   It’s you and I who need to see the good deeds to reinforce our belief.   Jesus has wanted from eternity to share His wisdom, His perfect love, with us, and He wants to share it with ALL of us.

Everyone.  One way He shows it is by each of us living out changed lives.  He changes us; He makes all things and all people new.   He wants us to then go forth and sin no more, changing our behaviors and being more than we were.   That isn’t easy.   Look no further than me for proof of that.  I’m not perfect.  I fell off the wagon.   One day I smoked.   I messed up.   I fell short.

But I bounced back because He makes it possible.  Jesus makes us wise and He wants us to share His wisdom.  It can be done.   Not necessarily quitting smoking; that may not be your vice or pet sin.  But whatever your sin is, He can change your heart, plant His perfect love in You, and bless you through it in ways you never considered.   He can do it now.   Be wise:  follow through.  What are you prepared to do about that?

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your perfect love.  Change me with it so that I can live for You and live You to others, so You can change them too.

 

Do you want to live forever?

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