November 21

James 3

James was passionate about the action of faith and the godly living of reliant relationship. In chapter 3, James addresses two main topics. The first is about our speaking the right words and the second is about conduct that comes from the wisdom of knowing God.

In speaking, if we are teaching, we are accountable to live by the words we speak. James was not telling people not to aspire to teach because we need teachers. He was, however, telling people to take it seriously. He then talks about how the tongue, being such a tiny body part, can have such a large effect on a person’s life. The way to deal with the tongue is by dealing with the heart. Whatever is in the heart will eventually come out of the mouth.

With holy conduct, there is meekness, a controlled strength, in wisdom. It comes from knowing God. Unholy conduct comes from the limited and sinful world we know. What we know and what we value is what will be seen in our conduct. In addition, where we choose to put our focus and where we refuse to put our focus is going to greatly affect our actions, attitudes, and speech. Let’s value knowing God and despise the knowledge of sin, and we will see good fruit in our lives!

Ezekiel 24-26

In Ezekiel 24, Ezekiel’s wife dies, and God instructs Ezekiel not to go through mourning rituals. Instead, God uses her death to express Himself. He uses Ezekiel as a sign to the people, as a guide not to go through the rituals as they go through their own loss. Throughout these sections, God says to the Jews, “they shall know that I am the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 24 ends the section on Judah, and Ezekiel 25 starts the section on judgments for the nations and goes through chapter 32. These judgments were most likely not delivered to the nations, but they were given to Israel to know God’s position on the nations with which they came in contact.

There are seven nations that are divided into two groups. One group includes Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia. These nations were in rebellion against Nebuchadnezzer. We read about them in chapter 25. The other group includes Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt. We read about them in chapters 26-32. All in all, we see that God is for Israel, the nation that will usher in the Messiah and salvation to the world.

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