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Remaining Pure – James 1:26-27

January 3, 2010

James 1:26-27: If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (New King James)

The more time I spent in this reading the more I found myself amazed.  The timing of me reading this is absolutely perfect.  Its timing is wondrous!

The word ‘religious’ (this particular word only used a handful of times in the Bible) is about something that is done regularly with the aim of strengthening faith in God.  And here I am beginning my 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge   – a regular activity aimed at massively growing my faith!

Not only that but as always happens when my faith is growing, the attacks of the enemy increase and the temptation to sin increases.  In making the decision to seriously grow my faith I know I need to be on guard against the enemies attacks. As James says I need to bridle, to control my tongue: my actions and thoughts; otherwise I am deceiving my own heart, which in the greek means to be seduced into error.

The James reading challenges me to make my daily walk with God pure and undefiled.  And I seek this purity, katharos in the greek, which is to be clear from guilt, to be upright and virtuous.  And thanks to the death of Christ on the cross my sins are taken away – I am made pure and clean from guilt!  YES!

I so want to be pure, and through Jesus I can be.  I can be totally free of guilt  Start a new year with a new heart ready to serve, ready to care for those who have little power and are struggling (represented by orphans and widows), and determined not to live my life as the world would have it, but to live my life under the authority of Christ.  And this is a constant journey.  Not once a week on Sunday mornings, or when I remember, but I seek to keep myself pure every moment of the day.  God you are with me now, and every moment of the day!

I praise you Lord for this awesome reading.

Now I am off to invite around for dinner that guy I know who is really struggling with life.

God bless,

Rev Mark

To become part of the 2010 Constantly Seeking God Challenge or to subscribe to this blog by clicking here.

PS If you want to leave a comment click on ‘Comments’ below and scroll down.

Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for today: Psalms 1 and 2

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110 Comments
  1. Sister Pam OP permalink

    For how many thousands of years have people sought the secret to happiness? Yet, it is no secret at all. Psalm 1 and 2 give all the guidance needed to live a happy life. Yes, sorrow will still appear, but God’s children are protected even in their sorrow.

  2. Sheridan permalink

    this is exactly what i needed, thank you.

  3. brad permalink

    WOW! The timing of reading this is amazing! A couple months ago I renewed my faith in Christ and am now on this journey to seek him. I have hit some rough areas with the enemy but he has already been defeated! Amen! So Christ has helped to overcome these trials. But some events that take place were a little hurtful on my heart but certain actions had to be made because I feel that God wants me to dig deeper and seek him MORE! And in doing this I want to be as pure as I can and not let anything hinder me or poison my purity that I want to achieve. I am feeling God call for my attention and wanting me to dig deeper so I am doing so, and just reading about purity, that’s something I too want to achieve! So in conclusion, reading this is very encouraging and I pray that you stay pure in Christ!
    -God bless

    Brad

    • Amen Brad!! I have found a very effective way to stay pure in this day and age when we are so bombarded with unpure attacks of the god of this world. I stay in constant prayer and prayer readiness and every morning I am in the word and begin my day by praising God in songs. Even if it means getting up a bit early. What you sow is what you reap, that is not just about money.

  4. Colette permalink

    I love the word. Very helpful in my time of need

  5. epnut permalink

    The closer I get to God, the more the enemy steps up the attacks and opportunities for me to sin. SO true!! Thank you for the reminder!

  6. Dana Benton permalink

    Dear Rev.Mark Brown,This is so awesome,I work everyday and every sec,hour and min. of the day to stay in the walk with Our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ,I say prayer everyday for a sick little baby 10 months old that had a Brain Tumor and it was and still is Cancerous,they are now doing Chemo on her and she needs all the prayers she can get.I Pray That Our Lord Jesus hold her in his Arms and never let her go as she don’t even know whats going on in her life,other than shes sick.Not to know why,Rev.Mark I need to be around more people that has positive thoughts and not negative,It’s hard but I’m sure trying my best to keep my faith as I want to be that perfect child of GOD,and who he wants me to be.I Love reading all the Bible Verses and any connection with God,I will help anyone that needs help or prayer,I try my hardest to stay in the word of God,which in my eyes I’m doing a great job,and who ever son’t like it so be it.The only one I have to Look Up to Is GOD.Amen!!!!! Thank You So Much For Bringing God to Facebook and Me.

    • Elizabeth permalink

      This is PHENOMENAL..an answer to a juncture in the road at which I am repeatedly stuck and marinating – because of my own hinderance. I thank God for this illumination today. A regular activity, seemingly aimed at growing our faith, but somehow along the road changed into a meaningless outward display, inhibiting our growth! WOW. But this is what is meant for me: to make my daily walk with God pure and undefiled. And I seek this purity, katharos in the greek, which is to be clear from guilt, to be upright and virtuous.

      My God, I thank you for making clear my path, and being a light unto my feet. In Jesus Name. Thank you. Amen.

    • Marty permalink

      Dana, This baby girl has been added to my prayer list.

    • i pray i wont hurt you by saying..to die is gain…only in death that we can be with HIM…our savior,our creator,,,the most holy GOD.[we must fully comprehend this verse in r heart ,in r mind.chew on it.. taste it…understand this verse..and dont depart from it]..the fruit of ur salvation..y prolong life???y do u still want to stay here on this messy world?…with HIM..no more pain ..struggles in this life..chemo for a 10 months old..so ugly.the pain…it grips my heart..i have a friend who just died from cancer..the separation is painful but im glad knowing she already there with HIM.is a great relief frm pain…we must fully understand HIS WORD,so we can understand our life here on earth…i kno u will say easy for me to say this if only u r in their shoes..i will pray hard…but what im trying to say is…in this situation..the right prayer is ..LET HIS WILL B DONE..no matter what happen..rejoice.

    • shanna permalink

      i need prayer

  7. WE ALL NEED THE WORD OF GOD

  8. Freddie Lee III permalink

    THANK YOU GOD

  9. John Kalb permalink

    I SO needed this. COuldn’t have come at a better time. God bless you Mark. Thank you Father for you guidence and direction.

  10. Praise God! Am so thankful for this message. I’ve heard n read that thousands of times but it makes clearer sense every new time it gets to me. Caring for opharns, widows….the hurting community. Thats what watoto church is all about as the vision goes”….touching those around us with the love of Christ. Bringing healing to the cities &to the nation” Am so glad to be part of that. Thanks for the daily inspirational verses. GBU

  11. deeka permalink

    Amen

  12. Dani Phinisee permalink

    This was definately something that I needed to hear this morning. I am and have been thirsting for a closer more personal relationship with the Lord. i want to know him the same way he knows me. Thank you for this lesson today.

    Be Blessed
    Dani

  13. Penny permalink

    Just read this scripture a couple of nights ago… Yet I still needed it today…. God will keep it before you til you get it….

  14. Carolyn permalink

    I am thankful to God for you…My journey has been tough…but I know I can do ALL things trough Christ which strengthens me. God bless you.

    • Marty permalink

      Carolyn, Always remember that!! It’s soo true!!

  15. Lisa permalink

    That is a passage that I need to dwell on every day. My words and thoughts are so difficult to tame and I constantly struggle with that. Thanks for sharing and the Lord’s blessings be on you!!

  16. Gladys Wright permalink

    God knows our heart’s Diane.
    Mark, keep up this good work of yours~

  17. Dear Rev Mark..I just don’t know where to start but I will start here. Please pray for me.I have a job taking care of mentally challenged people. Six of the sweetest and they function well. My delema Rev Brown is that I want and need to downsize to 1, reason being I live-in on this job and not able to fellowship on Sunday”s(2yrs) now. I have no freedom for myself and my marraige because of all the care I give these residents.Rev Mark this work is so rewarding , but I need to move on for my sanity and well being and selfish reasons. I can no longer commit to being dedicated to 6 residents any longer, actually for a totally of 3yrs. Please pray for me..Thanks Cynthia Allen

  18. MaryMarthaKay permalink

    God’s Word says in Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” BUT we can bridle the tongue or this scripture in James 1:26 would have read differently. The best way to bridle the tongue is to speak God’s Word in love, the next best is to not say a word, and the last resort is to use Duck Tape. If we are walking in God’s love (visiting orphans and widows, puting our faith to work by love) our tongue should be flapping to that tune, not to a fleshly song. If our delight is in the law of the LORD we shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water …. and whatsoever we do shall prosper as Psalm 1 states.
    Psalm 2:12 “Kiss the SON…” is very intimate indeed …. “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (blessed meaning happy, happiness).
    Thank you and God Bless you Mark! … In His love, Sharron Gray Atkinson

    • Michael Cook permalink

      MaryMartha,

      I must say, I love your sense of humor…with the duck tape remark. But how true it is! Sometimes we need to have our mouths taped shut. And also your observation about how the “kiss” is such an intimate thing! We are called into intimacy with our Saviour. We are directed to kiss him. That is so very special! Wow! Praise be to the God Most High for this marvelous gift!

      Got to go to church now but looking forward to reading more of your thoughts in the future!

      Michael

    • christy permalink

      Yes and we have a saying here on the ranch. If it can’t be fixed with duct tape, then it’s not really broken! Seriously, Jesus said love is the fulfillment of all law. If we truly loved everyone as ourselves – there would be no sin.

    • The word of God say’s in Philipians 1:6 I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ-right up to the time of His return-developing ( that good work) and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

      So keep on keeping on in Jesus; He is the potter, we are the clay, sometimes we go through things that don’t make sense at the time, but wait on the Lord, you will see that good work taking place in you. Just trust Him, He Loves you.

  19. I agree with Diane King James 1611 is the only bible to quote the other versions have been added and taken away from and is not the true word of good

  20. Ronnie permalink

    “to keep oneself unspotted from the world” is a key to godliness in my opinion. The world can easily influence us in so many ways. But to focus on being righteous and pure is the key to not being polluted by the world. The responsibility is mine and mine alone. I must be disciplined and stand firm in the face of worldliness through the power of the Holy Spirit.

  21. Richard K permalink

    Id really like to pick ur brain on some things in the Bible sir. My emailed is posted. God bless

  22. Carl permalink

    Rev. Mark,

    Thank you. I am moving from religion to a relationship right now. I find this topic very timely.

    Blessings!

  23. Susie Feldman permalink

    I’m reminded of 2Cor10:5 while thinking on today’s devotion. The devil is indeed on the prowl, seeking whom he may devour- coming to steal, kill and destroy, and thus we must indeed be on guard, as you said.
    Unfortunately, I learned this personally about 20 mos ago; but praise be to God that He does in fact wash us pure and make us useful parts of His body again! I’ve learned this, too, and I am excited as I head to worship corporately this morning to have been reminded.
    Thank you for building up the Body, and don’t give up in doing what He calls, for in due time you’ll reap a reward.

  24. Michael Cook permalink

    Good Morning to all my fellow journeyers on their way to a deeper walk in Christ! I love the challenge this verse gives us to bridle our tongue. It’s really interesting that James talks about the tongue being needing a bridle. When you think of bridles you have to think of horses. Horses are the most common animal that used bridles. The bridle consist of 3 pieces. A tack, a headstall, and reins. The bridle is used to constrain the horse and to direct it. Think of the size and strength of the horse and yet the rider is only able to direct and control that great beast if he uses this little piece. So it is with our tongue. We need to constrain our words and use our words wisely. We need to direct and discipline our words. When we speak it should be to edify others.

    I remember how my grandmother who was a very godly and prayerful woman would sometimes say things that were hurtful to other people. She had a very “sharp” tongue! She would use her tongue to strike out at people to hurt them. One day, I asked her why she did this. She then realized that she was doing it and she began to stop. She began the process of training her tongue not to speak like that to others. Notice how we even use the words in our venaculer, “sharp tongue”! Because we use our tongues to hurt and maim others people. I love how James in verse 21 says, “Therefore laying aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our souls.”

    Lord today I confess my sins that I have committed because of not submitting my tongue, my words to you. I have spoken evil of others and condemned them because they may have thought differnetly or said something to hurt my feelings. I have used my tongue in evil and wicked ways. Lord I submit my tongue to the bridle of the Holy Spirit today. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be that which will be acceptable to you! Help me to speak life and not death. Pull on the bridle Lord whenever I am about to take off in the wrong direction. Let me be what you have called me to be, a vessel in your house. Make me an instrument of your Glory, I pray!

    And bless all those who are desperate to seek you and to go deeper in your word! Thank you for Rev. Mark and for this ministry to the body of Christ! May you continue to pour out your spirit on this work.

    God you are wonderful for creating this vehicle for bringing more Christians together to seek your truth. No one but you could have given the wisdom for making this possible! You move in great and mysterious ways O mighty and powerful Saviour! I am so grateful to you today! Draw us close to you today! Lead us and guide us into your truth.

    Amen!

  25. licxica duncan permalink

    I THANK God for you , for sharing the word it mean so much to me and others. keep up the good work God bless you.

  26. Thank you Mark! I really needed this today! I want to walk 100% today and each and every day with God, My Lord and Savior!. Praise be to God.

  27. Patsy Bond permalink

    You will be in my prayers. I don’t understand why you are so mad about the translation being used as long as the word of God is spread who cares how one is saved, as long as they are saved. When you are out in the world saving someone use whatever translation you like best, but spread the word.

  28. The decisive POINT OF CHANGE from one “born in the flesh” to another “born in the Spirit”, i.e., taking away all our sins and guilt by “washing us clean as snow”, is, not in the death of suffering and shame, but in the little-known, perfect and transfigurative death of Jesus Christ on the cross –the “rock” foundation of sustainable faith in the “new covenant”! (Jer. 31: 31-34; Matt. 16: 13-28; 26: 26-29 ff)

    The choice is clearly between the “point of change” and the “offense of the cross” (1 Cor. 1: 18-31).

  29. Patsy Bond permalink

    AMEN………………..

  30. Thank you for this post. I so need this Word! I am a Christian with a nicotine addiction. I love Jesus and know in my heart the pain he endured to save me from myself but I can’t seem to get free from this addiction and it is such a burden in my soul. Please pray that this demon will be something that I can overcome in 2010.
    Thank you Rev Mark for your burden to reach people here on fb. I am looking forward to this year and growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus.
    MaryMarthaKay and Michael Cook – thank you for your comments. They, too, spoke to my heart.
    God bless you!

    • Paula permalink

      Marcie,

      God can and God will take every craving from your body in the name of Jesus. He has delivered me many times in this area and like a fool I went back but I can tell you this: He is doing it again for me and I have finally come to the realization that if I am going to go higher in Christ, I have to present my body as a living sacrifice to Him. I’m tired of being defeated in this area and my mind is totally made up. I seek His guidance and strength to get me through this. Its only been a couple of days but I am so thankful that the craving is just in my mind and can be defeated with just a couple of deep breaths and remembering my commitment to just do better and be better and honor God with my body. Be encouraged and don’t give up.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience with me Paula. It is very encouraging. I will pray for you… Will you pray for me? God bless you!

  31. Mindy permalink

    Thank you, i really needed this.

  32. Barbara permalink

    This is so not true…..!!!!! If the un-saved can read and understand what they are reading then this is a good thing.

  33. christy permalink

    Luke 6.

  34. April permalink

    Rev Mark: I’m trying so deligently to be faithful and conscience in my Walk and Growth with God, but my boyfriend of 10 years is slipping away which is casting doubt, also because we are hanging by a thread of something, but I don’t know what that something is. What can I do?

  35. christy permalink

    It’s off subject – but I am starting my day thankful to Father that I see men leading and men seeking and men being men. Women want masculine male spiritual leaders. A man is never so masculine as when he is on his knees and/or involved in servant leadership. Strip clubs, nightclubs – everywhere – nothing is as dangerous as “gray” areas that are not gray. Praise God for men who are not making excuses and who are leading their families spiritually.

  36. Mary Ann permalink

    Many people don’t understand the wording of the King James version. That’s why there are others that put it into simpler words. The wording may not be exact, but God’s message is still the same. I also prefer the King James version, but the rest of my family don’t understand the way it is worded, to they use the NIV. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m not quite sure what offends you so much, but I think that Rev. Mark’s message is perfect. I always look forward to reading his thoughts.

    • Martha permalink

      Mary Ann & Patsy,
      Although I don’t agree at the tone in Diane’s rebuke (because we are to rebuke our brothers and sisters in love) I totally agree that these new translations are dangerous, if not outright heressy. All you have to do is do a research in how, theses Bibles have changed the word of God, in a way that takes away Jesus’ diety, these changes are unacceptable, and it brings God the Son to a stature of just being a man. A man can not save us and can not pay for our sins as all men are the sons of Adam. You have to do your due dilligence, especially when we know that we are all going to give an account for all our deeds done in the flesh. We will give an account of how we misled our children, and the future generations, even if we had the best intentions. (Rev 22:19 KJV) “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
      Taking away, changing the meaning.

      • Patricia permalink

        People tend to forget that the King James Version is a translation too. We would have to read the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek to read it exactly, but since most of us do not speak the language we have to rely on a translation. Like with any language you should read from a translation that you understand best. KJV is poetic and nice, but I also like other versions too and they help me understand the Bible better.

        I find discussions on which version is best takes away from the intent and that is to read the Bible not debate about it.

      • Diane permalink

        my point is, that he quotes on a supposed King James only page, but he uses another bible for his quote.

      • Patsy Bond permalink

        Martha, Thank you for your insight. That is why we all need to pray for discerment of Gods word. So we know the truth, understand the truth, follow the truth, and teach the truth about Gods word. Amen.

  37. Leona permalink

    First thank you, I have this on my facebook wall for friends and family. James is my favorite book in the bible, along with psalm and proverb.

    Two people touch my heart this morning as I read these comments, Diane and Michael.

    When I read Diane’s comment, the first thing that came to mind is “What prayer did God not answer for this young woman, that make her so angry”? Anger is a symptom of hurt, pain and even unanswered prayers. My christian mentor told me this once, “God may not answer your prayers immediately, because he has to move stuff around first, this may take some time. Therefore you may have to wait. However, there are some prayers he may not answer, because it is not in your best interest. Any who, back to the anger issue, what comes to mind is this, Proverbs 14: 29 and 30. Enough said here. Many people get anger when they read the bible, because they do not understand it. There many translations out there. Find the translation that helps you understand.

    Michael:

    Your comments touch me the most. I am a mother and a grandmother. At 61 I thought, I had the right to say what ever was on my mind. Not so, because a sharp tongue injures the person you are directing your comments too. Physical abuse is one thing, but emotional and verbal abuse is another, it is harder to recover from. Thank God that I am still on the Potter’s wheel, he is still molding and shaping me. You are never to old to change. Isn’t it wonderful that God has given us Grace?

    Pay it forward, be obedient, God has sent you to be his servant, so that you can help those who are in need and/or in pain. God bless.

  38. Jane Mbendo permalink

    I an touched by the lesson and at this time in my life I really feel I need some serious spiritual nourishment..I have been distraught for a while and just moving on day by day reluctantly in a tired fashion cos of all the burdens I have being at school and raising 2 young adults in a different culture…I need God’s grace and have started by attending church and fellowship…To god be the glory!!

  39. Lost Sheep permalink

    i’m in desperate need of this journey… so i have a lot of questions…
    Ps 1:4-5, “the wicked will not stand in the judgment”
    if i’m wicked, and i have turned away from God, how do i know if i can redeem myself? if i turn my face TO God, how do i know IF/WHEN redemption has occurred?

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      If you repent of your sins, ask for forgiveness and have faith in Jesus as your Savior, you are redeemed. There is no trick to it. The psalms were written prior to the birth of Jesus. With Jesus’ suffering and death, he paid the price for your sin and mine. There is no further debt. His resurrection brings life everlasting to all who follow him.

    • There is a “point of change” in the perfect and tranfigurative death of Jesus Christ on the cross which, if you have a glimpse of, will redeem you miraculously with a newness of life as you have never known before (John 3: 1-21; 19: 30-37). It is all there. Do not accept any substitute. Find it! You will be happy beyond your expectation. GBY!

  40. terri lokey permalink

    the unsaved need to hear and see the message of God’s love thru Christ–in us. i don’t think they will be concerned w/which translation of the Bible it comes from, as long as what we’re offering is real and of God….we are not called to be judges (not knowing a person’s heart, makes this impossible), though maybe we are to be fruit inspectors on occassion….the mouth brings forth from what is in the heart–if it is spewing forth bitterness and judgement and self righteousness–maybe some self examination is in order.

    • terri lokey permalink

      if i’m understanding correctly–rev. mark is reading from the new king james version which is pretty much the same as king james without the thees and thous.

  41. Sara permalink

    Weird.. I left you an email about how I have strayed from God and need help getting back and you haven’t replied.

  42. Christina permalink

    Every time I read something like this, I feel something pulling at my heart. I WANT to love God and serve Him every moment of every day, but doing that means giving up the things that keep me away from him. That would be perfectly alright if those things weren’t enjoyable, but I’ve come to the point where I’ve taken away sins or temptations that I can stand not having and now it’s time for me to remove the nitty-gritty sins- the ones that will hurt when I tug them from my life. When I read a devotional or Bible passage that calls for total purity, I feel extremely uncomfortable because I know I haven’t taken all the necessary measures in my life to become completely pure. I’m trying, but each time I pull evil desires out of the soil of my heart, they grow back. It makes me realize how inclined I am to easing my way into a pure life. I have a tendency to gradually remove sinful practices, but the Bible calls me to pluck out the things that cause me to sin. I can’t work my way into a comfortable relationship with God. It will be very difficult to yank away the objects of my affection, but if I don’t, they will not be derooted.
    I guess the hardest part of holiness for me is that I know in my head that God desires more for me than whatever the world can give me, but I can’t get past the idea of ‘now’. I want to be held, now. I want to be entertained, now. I want to know, now. This makes sense to my flesh, but inside I remember how much God focuses on ‘waiting on’ the Lord. I’m 18, in college, working as a nurse’s assistant; I have a cell phone, a laptop, constant accessiblility to people. Waiting is such a foreign concept for me. My life is rushed. There is barely a moment where I am not communicating with someone. The world today does not cater to the idea of ‘waiting’. It’s a struggle for me to sit down even for ten minutes, silently, allowing God to speak to me. I need prayer. If I am going to dive into a deeper relationship with God (and I did use the word ‘dive’ as opposed to the word ‘wade’), that may mean turning off my cell phone and music and television. Ouch. No texting? How will I survive? 🙂 My God will supply all my needs. I really encourage all of you to read Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book, Holiness. It holds some very convicting truths the journey to spiritual purity. And pray for me if you think of it. God bless you all, and remember: holiness is a choice. You must choose to love God more than sin. I’m convinced that it’s the hardest, most worthwhile thing you’ll ever do in you’re relationship with the Creator.

  43. Tina permalink

    Love the blog! One of my biggest daily challenges is sinning by thoughts and words. I am focusing on my thought life and words very diligently and working hard by disciplining myself. By asking myself would Jesus think that way or same those words. Asking the holy spirit for strength in these areas. Second part of the scripture reminds me that we should have a
    heart of compassion and love for others!

  44. Michelle Meyer permalink

    Diane, I disbelieve that the Lord would want you talk this way. I wish you a blessed day.
    -Michelle Meyer

  45. Martha permalink

    Although we shouldn’t yield to the flesh, we do, but it is us who make the decision to yield to temptations, therefore, yielding being a voluntary action, can also be controlled, if we yield more to the Spirit than we do our flesh eventually our Spirit will be stronger than our flesh and have victory.
    (James 1:22 KJV) “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
    Many other things can be done to rebuke the devourer from our lifes, like tithing Malachi 3:8 and following, God promisse us to rebuke the devourer from our lifes, and we can also put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand all the fiery darts of the wicked. Eph 6:14 and following. So we have weapons, and if we don’t use them we will be more susceptible to yielding to the flesh.
    A true Christian doesn’t have the desire to sin, in other words we’re not out there (or shouldn’t be out there) looking to sin and to purposely be disobedient to God, the Bible says that we are blinded to our own sin but the Lord can show us our sin if we desire to know, He will also clean us, Ps 51:7 and purge our conciense. So we can be blinded to our sin, or it could be that is a baby Christian or one that has stunted their Christian growth by neglecting to do the things a Christian ought to do to feed their Spirit, such as reading their Bible, praying, tell others about the Lord, not forsaking the assembling of our selves as the manner of some is and giving.
    (1 Cor 10:13 KJV) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
    The Bible says that we can bear temptation, and we have the power not to yield to temptation. With the temptation God is faithful, and provides a way to escape it.
    We can’t accept the saying, oh! that’s just the way we are, we are sinners therefore we sin, no! We ought to strive against sin Heb 12:4 , and be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12:1&2

  46. Michelle Meyer permalink

    Rev. Mark, I think it’s absolutely wonderful that you are humble to the Lord and that you watch your heart…

    This is such a tough challenge and the root of all evil. James 1:26 says our religion is worthless if we do not bridle our tongue and that our actions will show the fruit of our religion. If the heart is filled with deceit, sinful thoughts then they produce words and then action. By our fruit and our love is how people will know if we are men and women of God.
    “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” Matthew 12:34-35.
    I pray that God can keep my tongue from lashing out at those who throw blows to me and try to knock me down because of their own justice they feel is warranted. By their words, we know who they are so being honest and pure before the Lord is the way to go in order to keep self from responding sinfully. Thank you so much for bringing this out. By my reply, it helps me even further because it brings thoughts to mind and will help me get through the next battle I face. God bless everyone here in this thread!
    -Michelle Meyer
    PS. I do enjoy Kings James Version, along with others so please continue to use variation. My parents say that King James is the only version that should be used and then others say “NIV” is the way to go. There is always going to be someone unhappy with the version you use so just keep doing what God tells you.
    -Michelle Meyer

  47. this is so appropiate ,and power,it also enlightened me to see that i need to put more effort in how i live my life.

  48. denena permalink

    I love how the closer i get to God, the more i desire to be pure. I have a past of living hard and destructive. I am not that person today by Gods holy and pure Love and Grace. The thing that amazes me in this is that I do desire to live pure. Of course, I fall short but there again is Jesus, my advocate letting me know that He has me.

  49. Mayra permalink

    wow, this was really great, I found myself nodding at every sentence I Read, and now I know that Sundays shouldn’t be the only day I praise God, I shall do it everyday, and every moment of my life! Thank you Rev Mark, this was an inspirational one like all others.

  50. Myra permalink

    I just wanted to say ever since I took the vow to constantly seek God I have been coming up against obstacles. For a while now I have been fighting the temptation of being with a man I know that this is personal but I need help with this I have not been sexually active for some time now but it seems like guys that I have not had contace with for a long time now are coming from everywhere trying to be in a relationship with me. I am at a time in my life where I am ready to be in a relationshop but my judgement can become clouded with the temptations that come with being with someone. For this I have been afraid to persue anything with anyone. I need prayer I know that this may not seem serious to sum but I dont want my flesh to come in between me and my GOD I am so serious about getting right in his eyes I dont need the destraction please pray for my strength to not bow to temptation. I am asking this in the name of Jesus thank you all for just listening Amen

  51. Ashley permalink

    It’s kind of ironic that you decided to talk about this today and I’ll tell you why…

    My fiancee and I went to Church this morning, our usual Sunday routine. Now this has only been my second time to visit this church but I absolutely love it, the people are so warm and welcoming and I always feel like I have God and his son sitting right next to me. Well, my fiancee and I are really struggling financially and emotionally. He has been experiencing quite a bit of depression and it’s put a toll on the both of us. I hate seeing him this way because of the fact that I love him so very much and I hate that he is having to go through a hurdle like this.

    When he dropped me off at work today he said he was going to go and have two beers on top of him taking his anti-anxiety medication and that really upset me. Not only am I trying to be supportive but he’s drinking alcohol which is naturally…a depressant!! This is something that does bother me about his situation, that he would add to the problem. The disturbing thing was is that I had just gotten out of Church not but half an hour previous to this and him and I are already arguing.

    To make my point, after reading todays scripture and lesson I’m starting to realize that my fiancee and I’s attempt at making our life cleaner and closer to God is really making the enemy upset. He is doing EVERYTHING in his power to tear us apart from not only one another, but from the most important piece in our life…God, our heavenly father.

    So thank you for posting this today…it has really helped to open my eyes and I thank you for that. May God be with you all today and for the rest of the year. Let’s make 2010 a good one!

  52. Emma permalink

    Personally; I love using the English Standard Version (ESV). It’s the closest translation to the King James Version (KJV) and it’s in modern English. Very easy to understand.

  53. Carol Gazaway Hood permalink

    Dear Mark, I would like to have a sister-in-law receive your Deeper Into Gods Word. How should I go about doing it? Thank-you very much, with love in the Lord, Carol

  54. Ernesto permalink

    Thank you for this writing. As a new year begins and we ifnd ourselves inevitably meditating on our goals and purpose for this year and our lives in general, is good to remember that we are vessels of honor which God is forming according to his will and purpose for our lives (Efesians 1:1-6) and Efesians 2(7-10).
    May God’s will be done in our lives in this year and his word in 1 Corintians 2:9 may be manifested in our lives.
    God Bless

  55. Char permalink

    Hey there, I am enjoying the daily emails and it is a great encouragement!

    I would just like to enquire about whether I can get the Bible passages to read in advance for when i go away to camp so that I can still keep up with the Bible reading even with no access to the internet.

    That would rock.

    Thanks,

    Char

  56. Liz permalink

    Thank you for this site, and for your insights and truly devout sharings. 🙂 I’d like to share some of my thoughts on identifying and resisting those temptations that often appear in disguise…

    For many years I lived in terrible sin; for the last five years, I’ve extricated myself from that life, and now I am devoted to God – devoted to being the best person I can be, to doing the right thing in all ways and all situations, to honoring my husband and to raising my children to do well and be honorable and good adults, and to believe in God – and I’ve searched for ways to atone for my sins. Perhaps my testimony and the things I’ve learned is a way to do just that.

    I think the most important thing I learned as I pulled away from the terrible life I lived for so long, (that life that still holds temptations, and pain, and emotions stronger than I ever thought I could feel), is that the biggest enemy to those who want to do good in life is Rationalization: taking something you do and finding all sorts of reasons why you do it, so that in your own mind you can convince yourself you’re doing nothing wrong – Rationalization. It’s the deadliest enemy I’ve found.

    Even after I left that life I found that the guilt and shame I felt for living that life at all – fed more rationalizations. I’ve tried to forgive myself, in vain, so far- but I’ll try forever – God forgives us, but we must learn to forgive ourselves, and leave the guilt and shame behind, to be truly free of the temptation of behavior that might *need* to be rationalized – if behavior requires rationalization, then it’s probably not the right behavior. Things done because of guilt and shame are often not what God would want – other than true and pure attempts at atonement; but it’s very difficult to interpret. So the only way is to forgive yourself, learn what you can, and move on – leave those feelings behind, don’t let them poison the rest of your life.

    The path to God is truly a narrow path. As a child I learned that in Sunday school and growing up I didn’t believe it, for it was simple to me then. Mistakenly, I let my guard down. Throughout the years as we grow older it becomes more and more difficult to follow God’s path – the evils in the world seep into your mind, and the reasons that feed rationalizations become more and more numerous. It’s a simple path to rationalize things, to yourself and to others, and to feel secure in the wrongs you do – to feel like “God will understand.” Much too simple – and the path to God is much more difficult.

    Again, thank you for this site, and for sharing your devotion and for allowing me to share also. 🙂

  57. Denise permalink

    Thank you Pastor Mark for your passage today. It’s just another reminder on how God will “supply” ALL my needs and in His timing. We must do our part in TRUSTING Him 24/7 and living in Victory not defeat!

    God bless you as you continue your journey with Him…

  58. Lydia Reyes permalink

    God Bless all who are participating in this challenge for we are looking for a closer relationship with Our Lord. Lets all come into prayer in asking him to help us know all he has to reveal to us thru his word. May we all grow in wisdom and knowledge of his word. To help us do what’s rightious, holy and pleasing to him. There is no need to debate what version of the bible to read.I know that the spirit of God is working thru so many lives here in this site. Let’s aim to what this challenge is calling us for. Read the word, Pray and examine your life and see what we have to come to repentance about. Thank God that he knows how foolish we can be, yet still loves us and he will pick us up and dust us off and start anew with us, if only we let him. He tell us to make his word our joy. Let’s all grow together in the Joy of Our Lord JESUS CHRIST Continue to thirst for the Life giving Waters. This world can never give us that. May the Spirit of God be the guiding light in all our lives.

  59. Chuck permalink

    I have been struggling for the past ten months. I was laid off last February, and have been unable to find work since. I would ask for prayer that I would find suitable work…

    God Bless

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      This is a difficult struggle for you and many others. Prayer is being said on your behalf.

    • brother take off the suitable and just look for work..so u wont struggle for now..in GOD’s due time,will give u a suitable one..first humble urself.i kno u have prayed…just wait.

    • Steve P Orozco permalink

      Praying for you. God Bless You! 🙂

  60. Good timing for me too! Thanks.

  61. Mona permalink

    I totally agree with Patricia! The attacker is taking away from the purpose of this blessed endeavor by getting people sidetracked on which version is the best to read from. How ironic that I just had this same convesation with some people in Sunday School this morning. As I told them, I don’t read Hebrew or Greek so whatever version I choose to read has been translated. I think this is reminiscent of the ancient Jewish laws, like 613 of them, that so many people argued over and could not possibly keep all of; and yet, God wasn’t asking them to do this-they put it on themselves. Let’s keep the focus where it should be, on God, and on God alone. Mark, you are doing a superb job and thank you once more for encouraging us to become more Christlike.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      I agree completely.

    • All versions are old hats!

      God’s law being unilaterally put within people and writen on our hearts, complete with universal access to knowledge of the LORD; as far as God is concerned, the terms and seal of the “NEW COVENANT” are completely free from any version whatsoever! Aren’t they? (Jer. 31: 31-34; Matt. 26: 26-29 ff).

  62. sarah permalink

    amen ! so amazing ! =]

  63. Michele permalink

    I just thought I’d share that the enemy is alive and well and has certainly tried to stir up my house this past couple days. The closer I move to God the more it upsets the enemy. Not surprising as it is what I expected to happen. Praise God for his strength and winning the battle. As I stay faithful to Him and trust in Him, I am blessed with comfort and peace. Please pray for protection from the enemy as we walk this journey. In Jesus Name, Amen.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      The Lord’s Prayer is a wonderful prayer of protection,
      “…deliver us from evil…” Many have testified that when we grow closer to God the evil one tries harder to break that bond. Only with God’s help can we be strong.

      • ADD-ON

        From the moment we know, firsthand, personally and conclusively, Jesus Christ in vision of His self-revelation as “Son of the living God” (Matt. 16: 13-28) or the “I Am Who I Am”, the Father and self-sufficient life, in His perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (John 8: 21-28; 14: 18-21; 19: 30-37); we are IN JESUS (just as HE IN US) and more free than we know from the evil one and all his counterfeits (John 11: 25-26; Rom. 8: 31-39; Heb. 2: 14-16). AMEN!

  64. Scott permalink

    Rev. Mark, wanted to say you are in my prayers this is a massive undertaking and there will be many who will try to undo your efforts, but you keep on keeping on brother. I started reading my bible through and through in 1997 and have grown sooo much in my faith. The storms of life come and go but gods word never changes thanks be to god for that.

  65. Steve P Orozco permalink

    Psalm 1 is such a comfort knowing that the Lord is merciful and faithful to those who are earnestly trying to walk the path of righteousness. Many might scoff at us, but we are just doing what the Lord has asked us to do and that is to read His Word and meditate on it daily. 🙂
    Psalm 2 is so relevant, especially today, as many nations seek to bring about the destruction of Israel. It is such a prophetic psalm and is a warning to us, the Gentiles, that the blessing of the world comes through the blessing of Israel. As long as our country remains a friend of Israel our nation will continue to be blessed. All these rebellious leaders seem to be blind to the fact that noone can stand against Israel, because they are God’s chosen people. God disciplined Israel for their rebellion, but eventually brought them back as a nation. The Lord is faithful in keeping His promises. 🙂
    All the praise and glory to the Lord. 🙂

  66. I am a widow and if it were not for the help of a couple of God’s people I would also be home less. Praise Jesus for sending me help and a future.

  67. Sharon Sosebee permalink

    The part in James about bridling the tongue hits me right between the eyes. When I get to work in the morning, I have every intention of being positive. Then my boss and others start in with their negativity and pretty soon I am joining right in. Satan’s attacks are real and they are hard to resist, but I know Jesus is greater and can enable me to overcome. I need to take a stand which may mean stepping on others toes.

  68. Rev. Mark , I so enjoy the devo. that is placed on Facebook. Thankyou.

  69. Connie Lovingood permalink

    Salvation has made me free from guilt. Faith has added my works for God in God’s plan for my life in this world. I realized, with the confirmation of my pastors wife that I am testifying by simply saying three simple words; “Christ is our savior”. I do not need to struggle with remembering Bible verses, but I am ready to find answers to any questions that arise. I got my daughter in-law’s attention with those very words. I know this not by her words but by looking into her eyes and seeing that she is think of what those words mean to her. The conversation over religious beliefs went on; my son sitting in a distance with the children had to hear those precious words as well. Christ is our salvation. What an awesome revelation!
    As I strive to be “pure and undefiled” with my search to become closer to God, I find more and more peace as the days go on. Oh yes, satin is there poking at me along the way. The closer I get to God, the more Satan comes at me with his futile strikes. I laugh out loud because Satan cannot figure out that God is indeed more powerful and more intelligent than he ever dreamed of being. Another awesome revelation!
    With these things in mind, my Bible study continues. I seek to know what God wants me to know during me study sessions. Today, I find that James is telling us in James 1:26-27 that we need to do more that just hear the word. We need to do the word. In fact, my Bible titles this portion of today’s reading “Hearing and doing the word”. Beginning with 19, the very first verse of this teaching struck me with a new look at the expression, “Well shut me mouth”. I was led to start from the beginning of the chapter to understand what was happening for such a verse to begin a teaching on “hearing and doing the word”. I found that James is teaching us to be patient, asking God to strengthen us with ‘wisdom” vs. 1-5. Spiritual growth comes with overpowering the trials that come our way throughout life. Being humble is not one of my worldly qualities. I work on obtaining a humble heart and soul on a daily basis. I do not fret over it, though, because I know God is helping me become more humble. Each day I come closer to God bringing me peace that furthers my growth toward being a humble Christian. It never ceases to amaze me. What joy it brings to me. My friends are even noticing a change in me.
    All of that said and done, today’s lesson is telling us to think before we speak. God wants us to be humble not taking the bad things in our life as a tragedy, but to quietly focus on God with faith that He will get us through our temptations safe and sound. James is telling us not to just listen to the word of God, but to go out and do the work of God. So we need to stop sitting idle talking about the word and take action on what God wants us to do.
    “Well, shut my mouth”.

  70. What an inspiration, Rev. Brown! Just like you, I am also aware that enemies and temptation make their presence felt more whenever I seek to purify my heart, mind and spirit. It feels good to know that I am not alone in my journey towards Him. God bless you!

  71. Jaclyn permalink

    Excellent reflection for today! Especially thinking on bridling my tongue…it makes me realize some habits I need to rid myself of…such as cussing and swearing. I’m working very much on purity right now, but that’s an area I don’t focus enough on, and although I can feel that a transformation in my relationship with God and a transformation within myself is in store, I’m sure that that habit is one that is not helpful in bringing that transformation along. If you read this and feel so led, please pray for me to improve in this area with God’s help. Thank you!

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