Friday, March 9: Let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith. On this second trip through the book in this series, we'll read from The Message.
Read James 1:19-21
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
Anger multiplies rapidly—like cancer. Once we're angry, it's hard to go back to peacefulness. Once we commit one sin, it’s easy to move ahead to another. James urges us to toss our anger, our sin, and our self-righteousness out the window, for which we need God's Word. When we read the Bible, we give God a chance to transform us.
Spending time in Scripture allows God to grow and change our hearts. Take 15 minutes today for some Bible-reading that's more intensive. Read this passage again, but this time, ask God to show you the "spoiled virtue and cancerous evil" you need to treat as rubbish.