How are you going to choose to live your life? Will you choose to live it with honesty and integrity? Will you choose to live it with anxiety and anger? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives when it comes to making a decision or taking action? Will you live your life in a way that is honorable? Will you live your life in a way that is reputable? Will you live your life in a way that is law abiding? Will you live your life in a way that is worthy of a higher calling? Will you live your life in a way that is moral and ethical? Will you live your life in a way that is virtuous and high principled? Will you live your life in a way that is noble? Will you live your life in a way that is incorruptible and conscientious? Will you live in a way that will cause you to be an honest and integral person?
Do you realize that allowing your life to driven or lived with anxiety and anger will tear you up from the inside out? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives and decisions? Do you really want to live your life in a way that anxious? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is disturbed or perturbed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is troubled or bothered? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is upset or uneasy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is agitated or on edge? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is tense and jumpy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is stressed and distracted? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is nervous or stressed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is spooked or unsettled?
We all have a choice to make. We all have a decision to make. And it will impact our motives and responses for the rest of our lives. As I think and reflect on this the words that came to mind were be quick to listen, slow to speak… and so I went and grabbed the verse it came from and the message that follows it. I also decided to use the AMP translation as it brings in additional context and flavor to the message being communicated.
‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren). Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world.’— James 1:19-27
So today as we are about to jump into today’s devotional we face a decision about what we will believe and how it will impact our motives and responses. Choose wisely! Are you ready to serve the orphans, the fatherless, and the widows? Are you ready to live your life unpolluted by the ways of the world and pursue God’s will through a relationship with Jesus?
Upright or Uptight?
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 32:10-11
‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord , mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!’
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- Do you make bad decisions based on selfishness?
- Do you make selfish decisions that cause other’s pain?
- Do you make selfish decisions that cause tremendous stress?
- Do you realize that you are doing it?
- When you realize that you are doing it, how do you respond?
- Do you turn to God?
- Do you wait too long and multiply the pain and the stress?
- Do you wait too long and allow it to build up and cause sorrow and outbursts of anger?
- The statement “Methinks thou dost protest too much” comes to mind as I consider when people point out the faults.
- Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you don’t have time to make things right?
- Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you are ruining relationships by breaking trust rather than living with integrity and honesty in order to rebuild relationship?
- You don’t need to be perfect! Are you willing to be honest though?
- Will you be willing to confess like David did in Psalms 32?
- Will you allow honesty to be the best policy?
- Will you confess in order to stop having to carry around the pain and aguish of hiding or masking the sins of your life?
- Are you ready to find true freedom by confessing to God your mistakes and allow His forgiveness to cleanse you and refill your heart with hope?
- Will you allow God to intersect and intervene in your life so that you can receive His mercy and grace?
- Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you can find forgiveness and eternity with God?
- Will you make the decision to walk out your life with God in order to live a life filled with thanksgiving and praise?
- Will you make the decision to receive Jesus in order to be able to be thankful in all situations?
- Will you make the decision so as to be able to consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds?
- Will you make the decision so that you can take heart when you face troubles of this world?
- Don’t you want to have thankfulness at home? at work? in our health? with our families? with our friends? with our country? with every good and perfect gift that comes from God?
- Are you ready to spend eternity with God?
- Are you ready to receive God’s infinite mercies?
- Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to clean up your heart health?
- Are you ready to allow the Holy Spirit to help purify your thoughts and direct your actions?
- It’s not possible to do enough in our own power to make it right. It just takes accepting the gift of grace through Jesus Christ into our lives!
- God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life with God.
- For us to have the clean and pure heart that God desires requires that we receive it from God!
- It comes from God’s kindness to see the worst in us and love us and forgive us!
- So let’s choose to invite Jesus into our hearts and then shout for joy and celebrate our forgiveness and freedom that we have received through our decision to follow Jesus!
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some selfish choices in your life that have made you uptight?
Take those to God and thank Him for His wonderful mercy and forgiveness.
QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
So how will you choose to live the rest of your life? As I was writing today the aha that this weekend is Palm Sunday came to mind and that the week ahead is the Passion Week leading up to Good Friday and Easter. What an incredible time to reflect and consider how we want our destiny to be.
Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.
Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?