healthy boundaries, scripture, testimony and blessing

James 1:12-16 (pt 4)

James 1:12 God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

When I read this what comes to my mind is someone running a race. We have to push through the pain and tiredness that comes from a marathon race. At the end you are given a trophy. Just like that we will be given a crown. This crown won’t be for here, but in heaven, reward of eternal life. Instead of running we must keep loving Him and stay faithful, even in the pressure.

Who’s blessed? The one that endures the trials and temptations. What will the receive and when? A crown of life in eternity (heaven). What helps you endure? Keeping your focus on the end, that crown with God. (Further scriptures on blessed: Matthew 5:10-12, Luke 6: 20-25)

Now the crowns, to better understand them. (I don’t know about you but I want a crown!) A crown in this term was like a garland around your head. It is made for glory or honor. The person not receiving it will be the rejected ones, unapproved.

In 2 Timothy 4:6-8 you will find the “race” and the “award” just like here in James. Also 2 John 1:8 it says “watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.” Don’t give up the good fight! I am cheering you on right now.

We need to be eager to serve others. Hope and joy, boasting about God. Steadfast in the trials with God. Do not let anyone else take this. Your hard work will be paid off! In the end you will have the crown of Gods glory.

James 1:13 and remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either.

God is only of good, he will never tempt you. That temptation comes from somewhere else!

James 1:14-16 Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.

Picture a snowball, started out small. It began to roll down a hill thick with snow. By the time it reached the bottom it would be much bigger. The snow packs into it and it adds to it. This is how sin works. It begins as a thought. Now this thought is not evil of itself, it becomes one when we dwell on it and put it into action. The more we let this sin have control the more packed we become and the more destructive it becomes.

When we turn to God it’s easy to be misled into thinking that we will no longer have this problem and sin. This is not the case at all. He does allows satan to tempt us so we dan grow in our faith. God can only test. The father of lies starts the snowball effect of a sinful thought.

We often come up with a million excuses trying not to take blame. “It’s the other persons fault”, “I couldn’t help it”, “everybody’s doing it”, “it was just a mistake”, “nobody’s perfect”, “the devil made me do it”, “I was pressured into it”, “I didn’t know it was wrong”, or “God is tempting me”. As a Christian we are expected to admit when we fall short. Name it. Give it to God and ask for forgiveness.

Sin comes from our own flesh. Our own desires. This goes with being a human in this fallen world. Sin leads to death, no matter the sin that has been done. Nothing good can ever come from acting on an evil thought.

Fully grown, complete, I struggled to see what this meant at first. Right now I feel like I never will and if that is true I will never be able to go to heaven. This is not at all what God was talking about. During this life, the days He allows us to be here, we will continue to strive to be like Christ. The day He calls us home, is the day He decides we are complete. Which is why we must endure til our last breath.

Romans 6:11-12 we are to die to sin. One thing I have seen for myself the more I spend time with Jesus and endure life, the easier it is to no act on evil thoughts. This is because our flesh starts to die. In Romans 8:9 He says that the flesh dies and the Spirit of God is placed in you. The few verses found before this breaks it down more. When we ask God unto our hearts he takes the flesh, the old dies, and He put in us a new Spirit, one that is of God.

Some more scriptures that I suggest looking up in your bible, bible app or even google! In Psalm 44:20-21 we see that you can’t hide anything from God. Acts 1:24 says God knows your secret thoughts. And Matthew 15:18-19 talks about out of the mouth from the heart.

If you think about it, what we do is what is in our hearts. Our hearts is where it all begins. We are to take root in Him. Read the Bible, meditate on His word. This is the root. This is where our actions come from.

I am a mom of 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl, and I love them more than I thought possible. Yes I would do anything for them. If you were around me for 5 minutes you would quickly learn this because my actions tell you. No words need to be uttered just watch. I only do this because they take up a huge piece of my heart and I want everyone to know. Your heart is a pretty big deal.

Today I challenge you to really examine what your actions are. That is where your heart is. If it’s anything not from good and giving glory to God then you may want to find the root and name it and ask God for forgiveness. As I said, this is a gradual growth. Not going to change over night. I’m far from perfect with this. Anger can take hold sometimes. But I know when this starts taking over that I need to re-evaluate my heart.