James 3:13-18 – True Wisdom

Read James 3:13-18

We can tell a lot about James’ audience by what he teaches them. It seems they may have had a lot of similar faults to people we may recognize. Jealousy, selfishness, boasting, and lying are not uncommon in our culture today and might even be running rampant. What does James say about that? “Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.”

Take a moment to let that sink in. Demonic. It makes sense. Those attributes are certainly distasteful when you have experienced the Holy Spirit living inside you. James warns us to stay away from such things, for in them evil resides. Clearly his readers are having a hard time trading in their worldly habits and ideas in exchange for God’s viewpoint.  Thankfully, James gives us a solution.

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2 Kings 23:31-37 – Two Bad Apples

Read 2 Kings 23:31-37

3 apples with the words "Just because you find one bad apple doesn't mean you should give up on the whole tree

How could a father like Josiah produce two sons who both do what’s “evil in the Lord’s sight”? We know that what God has promised is coming. Josiah was able to “save” himself, but clearly his goodness didn’t trickle down to his children.

But I’m projecting my own understanding of how an earthly father nurtures his children. I am very fortunate that my dad modeled devotion to the church and frequently volunteered to serve the kingdom. I saw that behavior as a child and understood being faithful was important. I also witnessed many others going in the opposite direction.

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