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04/02/2022 03:00 - 05/02/2022 02:00

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" - James 1:19 (NIV). 

There has long been an apt observation that while we have two ears to listen; we have one mouth to speak. Look at it this way. Suppose we had the opposite of two mouths and one ear. Don't you think life would have been a long drive of being harassed with all the noise you can imagine from competiting mouths! In creating us as we are, God did not take chances.

When we spend more time listening and not rushing to declare our thinking two things can happen. First of all listening gives us an opportunity to absorb in the views of the other party. And having heard we are then better informed to give an apt answer. Any of us may recall a time when in a rush to speak we said something so hurtful and just because of misinformation!

The Apostle James urged believers to be "slow to anger"! Anger is an emotion caused when we particularly feel strongly over a certain matter. When someone is so even that they never get angry over anything this might mean they do not have any feeling for any situation or subject.

Indeed our Lord Jesus got angry when he came over vendors who had turned his house into a market place (Mathew 21: 12- 13). But then his life was not one of someone easily provoked, quick to flex muscles at every single opportunity. While being arrested he asked of Peter to hold back against the soldiers, showing a certain remostrance though being God He had the power to hit back (John 18:11).

The Apostle James is much in agreement with the Apostle Paul who exhorts us to practice self control. Self-control is listed as one of the Fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) – a sign that Christ is in us. If we let our emotions of anger run us then we are clearly hindering the work of the Holy Spirit to perfect us in Christ.

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, through the power of the Holy spirit teach me to be slow to speak and eager to listen and practice self control in all my affairs, that I may glorify you in my life, this I pray in Jesus's name.

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    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful”( 2 Timothy 4:7).

    Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors  ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.

    Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).

    Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).

    Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!

    Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!

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