Daily Proverbial, from James, 18 November 2013

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  James 3, verse 14

This sucks to hear.  It’s convicting, don’t you think?  I mean, I could forgive anything except that one time my ex did me wrong.   That really hurt.  Then there is the fact that I’m really good at what I do and, if I play my cards right, there’s no telling where this whole thing could take me.  And I am all for Christian living, following Jesus, and all that stuff but you just don’t understand all the pressure I’m under, right? 

Do I need to go on?   The Beatles said ‘let it be.’   The better advice is ‘let it go.’

You see, even though yesterday was such a busy day, it was only one short day ago that we were talking about how follow through matters; about how it matters what we do when we do it for Christ.  If, in all I do for Christ, I do these things while holding on to envy, malice, grudges, unchecked ambition, greed and the like, I’m missing the point of Christ.  There is no room for envy or ambition in Jesus.  There’s no room for these things because He never demonstrated them.  He didn’t do all He did out of pride:   He lived in service to the Father.

Go ye therefore and do the same.   Go now, Dave, and do the same. 

That’s really convicting because it calls me up short, making me realize that, even while I’m doing good things, I sometimes don’t keep my eye on the ball.   Being smoke-free, alcohol –free, drug-free, or any other kind of ism-free is nothing if I’m holding on to those ism’s that dragged me down in the first place.  It does no good to lie to myself about it, thinking my sins aren’t as bad as, say, yours, or that person’s over there.  Their sins are bad enough to condemn them to hell.   So are mine, and I’m stuck with them, and I live with the guilt of them, and the damnation from them.  No way out.

Jesus sets us free by giving us the ability to change.   He changes us by giving us the freedom to let go of the ism’s, the burdens, the grudges, or anything that tripped us up in our past.   Sure, He doesn’t always remove us from the consequences of our choices.   Yet we don’t need to live with ‘it’ hanging around our necks anymore.  ‘It’ doesn’t need to define us, even as the world defines us.   When Jesus changes us, HE is who defines us.   Everything else takes on a new look.  The guilt goes to glory.

The convicted is set free.

Tell me, my friend, do you want to live forever?   You know how.   Let it go

Lord, I’m convicted by your hard but loving words.   Change my heart, then help me change my life.

 

Do you want to live forever?

What things are you holding on to?

What is keeping you from embracing Jesus?

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