My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life 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 (NIV)
Are you taking notes? Are you listening attentively to what I have to say to you? Are you allowing my word to be planted deeply in you? Are you allowing my word to change your heart, transform your mind and guide your life? Is my word helping you to think and speak and act in ways that are pleasing to me? I’m not sure, you tell me. Nice try. You tell me. I think that your word is doing its work in me. I think that I am allowing your word to be planted in me. How are you allowing my word to be planted in you? I meet with you in your word. I read and study your word. I meditate deeply on your word. I memorize your word. I pray your word. I proclaim your word. Most of all, I believe that I am putting your word into practice every day as I love, follow and serve you. It is certainly the desire and passion of my heart to have your word dwelling in me richly. I know, without a doubt, that your word is and will be molding and shaping my life. I know, for certain, that your word will make me able to resist temptation and stand against evil. I know, with great confidence, that your Holy Spirit is taking your word and using it to fight in me, with me, for me, and through me, as I walk through life with you. That’s true. That sure. That’s certain. Now, I am living a perfect life? Not a chance. Do I still need your word to continue to do its work in me? For sure. So, if you can plant your word even more deeply in my life, I welcome you to do it today, tomorrow, and every day of my life until I come to meet you face to face. That I am doing. That I will continue to do. Have no doubts about that. Thank you, Lord.
Let’s talk about anger. What do you know about anger? Anger can and does destroy relationships. Anger can and will make me an ineffective witness for you in the world. Anger will make me unable to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. You have answered well. Anger will do all this damage. So, what will you do with your anger? How will you respond in a situation that might make you angry? I will be quick to listen. I will be slow to speak. I will be slow to become angry. That will be very good. Let these words of mine be planted deep within your heart and mind and life. Then you will be able to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to me. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I will take note of what you say to me. I will listen attentively. I will allow you to plant your word deep within my heart, mind and life. Help me to live a righteous life that is pleasing to you. Make me quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Amen
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