Saturday, November 19, 2016

NOVEMBER 19 "PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!"

Sometimes I blame it on the State I live in....Texas!.  It is the Bible Belt of the southwest.  I came here with a preconceived notion that people would be terribly religious, everyone would claim to "know the Lord", but would they live it? I blamed it on the South West Bible belt, but as I read what James has to write in his Epistle, it makes me realize, this is a very long standing issue and has nothing to do with a particular state and/or country. According to James, over 2000 years ago, this was an issue and James was not living in Texas; America did not even exist, but yet James is having to address people who claim to be pious and religious folks, but don't have the actions and character to back it up. James mentions folks praising God and then turning around and cursing somebody. He mentions lots of talk of faith, with little action. He mentions people who can't or don't control what they say. He mentions people who hear sermons, but don't do what the sermon say. This describes the church in Texas. But then again, that's not fair. It describes the church in South Africa, it describes the church in California, it describes the church in Nebraska, Tennessee, it describes the church everywhere, not just one particular state or region (ie: the midwest).  We blame it on Catholics or Methodists or Anglicans or whomever, but it's everyone! It's Born Again, Evangelical Christians too, it's Pentecostals, it's Baptists, it's all across the board. All denominations are guilty of having members that are not living how they should as Christians. I have heard Born Again Christians cuss, I have known Pentecostal Christians to look at porn, I have known Baptists to drink and cuss and smoke. It's unfortunate, but it is true. I would like to assume, that because James is writing the Epistle, he does not live his Christian life this way. I would like to assume, that because Paul wrote the letters to the church at Corinth, that he does not live his Christian life like they did. We can spend our days scratching our heads wondering why people who are Born Again, live and act like this? They hear the same sermons, read the same bible and some of them go to the same church, we just don't know. All we can do is not be one of them! All we can do is not be the type of Christian that prompts these kind of letters or the ones the Paul had to write. We can be an example, as Paul said he was, of what it is to be a Christian, Paul wrote, "follow my example as I follow Christ". If we have any opportunity to speak, speak, if we have an opportunity to preach, preach, if we have an opportunity to write, write, but above all, live it! You may never have an open forum in the sense of crowds, but you everyday have an opportunity to live it. As one man wrote, "the best sermon I ever saw my dad preach, was the one he lived!"