Tuesday, September 6, 2016

all great Moms sound alike

The Word for today:
James 5

mark this: James 5:12

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

If, when reading the book of James, you get the vague feeling that he sounds awfully familiar--you're right!

He sounds like somebody that we know from the Bible, and he sounds like somebody that we know from somewhere else...

The Bible person he sounds most like is (are you ready?) Jesus! --

James:  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.  (1:2)

Jesus:  Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

James:  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (1:4)

Jesus:  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

James:  For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. (2:13)

Jesus:  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

James:  Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. (5:2)

Jesus:  Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  (Matthew 6:19)

James:  But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (5:12)

Jesus:  But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool.  Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.  (see Matthew 5:34-37)

James sure does sound like Jesus.  But there's somebody else that he sounds a lot like.  Who might it be? 

That other person James sounds like is (are you ready?) your Mom! --

 Both Mom and James told you to trust God enough to do what He says--

Mom:  Read your Bible and do what it says--
James:  Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (1:22)

Mom: Say your prayers--

James: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him…You do not have because you do not ask. (1:5, 4:2)

Mom: Do for others--

James: Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  (2:15-16)

Mom: Don’t go around acting like a big deal--

James: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  (4:10)

Mom:  Don’t keep bad company--

James:  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (4:7-8)

Mom:  If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all—

James:  And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  (3:6)
My guess is that James sounds like Jesus because both of them sounded a lot like their Mom, Mary.  (If you want to hear where the rhythm and phrasing of Jesus' speech is coming from, carefully read  "The Magnificat," Mary's speech before Jesus was born, found in Luke 1:46-55.)

And James sounds like your Mom because your Mom sounds a little bit like Mary.

And your Mom sounds a little bit like Mary because all great Moms sound a little bit alike!

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