Daily Devotionals

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person. (James 3:6) WE KNEW THERE WAS TROUBLE when hundreds of bricks emerged from the kiln with copper spots. These discolorations occur when tiny pieces of metal smelt...
Staying in Sync

Staying in Sync

Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. (James 3:4) WHENEVER I DIRECT a large musical ensemble, I use a conductor’s baton. Its wooden tip provides a focal point for the...
Breaking Responsibility

Breaking Responsibility

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1) I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I punched through a board in Tae Kwon Do class. I was sure I’d bruise my knuckles and embarrass myself,...
A Promise Keeper

A Promise Keeper

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (Ps. 57:5) AS A YOUNG CHILD, I feared that I couldn’t be good enough for God to love me. I was right. I can’t be. How refreshing it was the day I realized God loves me, just because He loves...
Look-Alikes

Look-Alikes

  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22) HAVE YOU EVER had someone say you look like your mom or dad? Physical appearances, and even morals and lifestyles, can be passed on from...
Letting Our Light Shine

Letting Our Light Shine

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26) A FEW YEARS BACK, a well-known minister simplified my thoughts on the nature of human beings by saying, “We are a spirit, our spirit possesses a soul and we live in a body.” In other...
It’s All About Him

It’s All About Him

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. (James 2:24) SWEET MEMORIES OFTEN COME to mind of sitting in church as a child with my family, singing the old songs such as “Send the Light,” “Trust and Obey,” and “What a Friend We Have in...
The Love of God

The Love of God

“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (James 2:23) LOOKING BACK ON PAST YEARS, I think of times I’ve sensed God’s presence strongly and other times when I ran with my own solutions to problems without...
Love in Action

Love in Action

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17) THOUGHTS ON FAITH AND WORKS led me back to a time when I became reacquainted with a friend from the past. Our spouses had passed away and we started corresponding. An...
Telltale Life Signs

Telltale Life Signs

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? (James 2:14) MY HUSBAND AND I LOVE country roads. Recently, while driving through the countryside, we came to a sharp right curve where the highway department had placed a warning sign. Wear...
The Measuring Stick

The Measuring Stick

My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. (Ps. 55:20) ON THE ONE HAND, Lola had a dedicated circle of friends at the office. On the other hand, none of her friends were sure how Lola felt about them. She’d beg for help when she took the lead on a...
Boiled Down

Boiled Down

As believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. (James 2:1) IT DIDN’T TAKE MANY cooking shows for Don to figure out that making reductions would become one of his favorite culinary activities. He could combine any number of ingredients and a...
Inner Motivation vs. Outer Details

Inner Motivation vs. Outer Details

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. (James 2:12) KAY HAD NO IDEA how much she would enjoy watching her grandson, Ted, lead his high school tennis team to the state finals. Ted had only picked up the game a little over a...
A Minor Symptom?

A Minor Symptom?

But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. (James 2:9) For years, Jeff had thought that elevated blood pressure was a minor symptom he’d have to deal with in exchange for a few extra pounds. This condition ran in his family, so it...
Everybody Knows that

Everybody Knows that

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8) LITTLE JIMMY RAISED HIS HAND and waved it in front of Carolyn’s nose, just to be sure she wouldn’t miss it. This pre-kindergarten class was nothing if not enthusiastic, and Carolyn smiled as she repeated the question,...
Riches that Matter

Riches that Matter

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith? (James 2:5) JESSIE NEVER WORRIED about making a fashion statement or driving the newest car. That was a good thing, because her family could have never afforded it. She had worked her...
The Suit Edict

The Suit Edict

Have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:4) ERIC LOVED BEING PASTOR at New Hope, but he’d never learn how to love what the recession was doing to so many of his parishioners. In the suburban community he had served...
Do the Word, Save the City

Do the Word, Save the City

Destructive forces are at work in the city. (Ps. 55:11) THIS PSALM CAPTURES our very real distress when we witness the way of the world. Violence, strife, threats, and lies seem to have free reign all around us. What could we possibly do to alleviate any of this...
Love the Loveless

Love the Loveless

To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27) THIS PASSAGE FROM JAMES builds up to this unique declaration. This highly significant note we are to take, leading with our ears, growing in...
Don’t Forget What you Look Like

Don’t Forget What you Look Like

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and . . . immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1:23–24) THE WORD CHRISTIAN has a simply, literal meaning: “little Christ.” When we call ourselves...
Don’t Fool Yourself

Don’t Fool Yourself

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22) ANY PARENT WHO HAS RAISED young children knows that we must repeat ourselves, over and over. Kids will look you straight in the eye, hear your instruction, then within two...
Grow Righteousness, Not Anger

Grow Righteousness, Not Anger

Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:20) JAMES USES GARDENING language to make his point here. He says the Word is “planted” in us. This makes God the Divine Gardener, who is at work landscaping our lives. God has planted the...
Lead with your Ears

Lead with your Ears

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19) IN FOOTBALL, THERE IS ONLY one right way to tackle: with your head up, leading with the face mask. In such a brutal sport as football, injuries are all too common. By tackling the...
A Permanent Note

A Permanent Note

My dear brothers, take note of this. (James 1:19) POST-IT NOTES once kept our lives in order. Whether we were Type A, ordered personalities or more scattered in our organization, a Post- It note was a life-saver. At the beginning of this passage concerning hearing and...