The Heart & Faith
Seele Editor points out the powerful message of the book of James because it reminds us what real Christianity is supposed to look like. James 2: 1-9 is calling out favoritism for what it is: evil and a sin.
What is the foundation of Christianity? What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? If I may, I’d like to answer. It is love, and it means to love as Christ loved.
Disappointment can often drive how we make decisions. We don't want to experience this emotion, so we shape our actions to secure reward or our desired outcome.
Truly He taught us to love one another.His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother. And in His name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy name.
The “heart” is used over 1,000 times in the Old and New Testaments combined. The Old Testament uses the word “heart”, and the New Testament often uses its synonym of “strong desires.”
In life and at different seasons we find ourselves asking God “what is it that you want from me?” Perhaps we find ourselves asking that when we’re in great need of something, and it’s not happening, so in exasperation we cry out to God “if it’s anything I’ve done/I am doing wrong please tell me- I’ll correct it. What is it that you want from me? I don’t know what to do anymore?”
We are all incomplete. We are sometimes victims and we are sometimes oppressors. We are sometimes the Israelites in slavery in Egypt. And we are sometimes Pharaoh oppressing others with a bad attitude, mistreatment, selfishness, or hatred.
When you’re waiting on God for something, how is your thinking being directed? Is it full of confident expectation that He will deliver at the right time? Or, do you curse God after the blessing hasn’t come in your desired time?
Most of us don’t like to hear about ourselves from someone else, especially when it’s true- the uncomfortable criticism, the negative character flaws that people can see in us that we often choose to ignore.
It’s probably one of the easiest commandments to break and I don’t think that we sit and think about the ramifications of lip flappin’ and that it reveals what’s really in our hearts. It shows how we feel the need to puff up or own egos. So what does it mean to bear false witness against another?
"The human body reacts to the sight, entertained by the imagination and gives you all kinds of false hints that stolen waters are going to be sweeter. They’re not. They leave you emptier.” Ravi Zacharias
We’re human and we have up days and down days where we feel inadequate or that the weight of the world is on our shoulders. People will let us down (we will let people down), our work environment might not be ideal, we might not be in the happiest of relationships, school might be difficult, or we feel we’re in a season where we’re not moving forward in life.
"You have the right to feel anything. You have the right to feel offended. But, if we want to walk in fellowship with God, you don’t have the right to be offended." –John Bevere
“What to do? Should I make a decision? Where should I go? Should I take this offer? .... Oh God, please speak!” We’ve all been there, standing at a crossroads asking God to make clear to us what we should do.
God works through people who have chosen to let their hearts turn hard and turn away from Him. God didn't magically make Pharaoh’s heart hard. Pharaoh had already decided to have a mean heart about not wanting to free the Israelites.