Campus Chapel Devo with Chapin Marsh

CampusDevo-Header-1James 4:1-6

It is a good day to ASK GOD FOR WHAT HE IS PUTTING ON YOUR HEART!

Here is how;

“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Why do we need this reminder, again?

Because we can get really mixed up about who God is and where we fit in His scheme of things. We start to try and make things happen on our own and this causes conflict.

“Where do wars and fights come from among you?”

They come from our selfish “desires for pleasure…(you), lust and do not have…you fight and war…”

So, we argue a lot, demand our own way, hurt others, accuse others, murder others (hopefully only in our minds), and worse.  All, to see ourselves “on top.”

Likewise, “you do not have because you do not ask.”  Let’s pause here…

1. Do you actually talk to God throughout the day?

2. How do you speak to Him?

3. What do you talk about?

We can “pray unceasingly.”  This means just normal and ongoing chatter with God about the wonderful morning smells, easy traffic, thankful for a job or upcoming vacation, desire to see a family member or friend healed, etc.  If you know Jesus as your Savior, He is also your Lord and as such wants to help and love and guide you as well as enjoy you and your life daily, moment by moment.  Radical, right!

Let’s pause and simply talk to God:

“Thank you Lord for my salvation.  Give me wisdom on my life today.  Please help close this deal or that arrangement.  Bless my family and let Your perfect will be done, oh, and thank you for spring bunnies playing in hedgerows, so cute Lord, amen!”

Sometimes we, “ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Remember, “the Spirit that dwells in us yearns jealously.”

God is jealous for our motives because it is our motives or desires that can control us and our destiny.

Emerson said:

“Sow a thought reap an action; Sow and action reap a habit; Sow a habit; reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny.”

Let’s be very careful to:

Not be mean to others.  Not be jealous and confrontational of others.  Not fight and bring war to others…because of our own selfish desires.

Instead, remember “He gives more grace.”  Therefore He says:

God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Here is the secret.  The very thing you and I want, He wants to give us beginning with more intimacy between God and us, which will result in more peace, less strife, more graceful joy, and a hope that does not fail.  As we “seek first His kingdom and righteousness all these things (everything else that now matters to you), will be added unto you.”

Do you want less strife, more peace, to get back in the “flow” of the Lord’s wonderful plan for your life?  Today, relax, rest, stop with your plan and ease into just being with Jesus.  Talk to Him and listen to Him.  Give up your pride and drink in His Grace.  Enjoy a fresh start for your heart and mind today as you “seek first His kingdom”…and humble yourself…remember He “gives grace to the humble.”

Enjoy!

Campus Chapel Devo with Chapin Marsh

CampusDevo-Header-1James 3:13-18

WISDOM AND PEACE

“If you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.”

Ok, so envy is wanting what someone else has (I wish I had her job), and jealousy is being fearful that someone else wants what you have, (I have to protect my job from her).

When we act envious, jealous or self-seeking, (dropping subtle hints and undermining others to get stuff or position we seek), “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.”

FULL STOP

Why would we act in a way that seems temporally like it will benefit us but in reality is aligned with “demonic” outcomes.

“For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and EVERY evil thing are there.”

Did you catch it?  When you sense confusion the cause is envy and self-seeking.  The fruit of that type of life, leadership and relationships is eventually “EVERY evil thing exists.  EVERY…EVIL…THING…EXISTS...because of envy and self seeking.

Selah (Pause and reflect).

GREAT NEWS!!  There is a better way.

“Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the MEEKNESS of wisdom.”

Meekness is strength under control.  It is masked in humility.  So what is true wisdom?  Here is a filter or prism that we can live every decision of our life through.  It will keep you safe and holy and in great peace.

Here is the WISDOM FROM ABOVE.  As you read this, consider a decision you are facing and ask if you personally or the decision you are facing measure up to this:

“But the wisdom that is from above (your name here and or the decision you are facing here, am I or my opportunity first pure), is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”

Take your heart and decisions, and overlay this passage on wisdom, and if at any point you don’t have a pure heart, stop.  If the folks you are dealing with are not peaceable or they are hypocritical or not willing to yield, stop.  Wait on the Lord, as He is protecting you.

Once your heart and opportunity pass this wisdom filter then here is what you will enjoy:

“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

If you and I can wait, and let the Lord guide us . . . we will enjoy the RIGHT decision in a sea of PEACE.

Campus Chapel Devo with Chapin Marsh

CampusDevo-Header-1James 3:1-12

The tongue…again.

“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

Why is this sentence here preceding an oncoming avalanche of warnings about how destructive our tongue can be?

Perhaps because as a teacher (parents and spouses, we teach our kids and one another right?), your tongue can build up, edify, inform, inspire and educate but it can also corrupt, and:

“The tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity…it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell…but no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

Ok, so this passage is directed in context to those Jews who thought teaching would be a fine profession.  It is!  However, when we teach we are held to a higher standard because of the calling and platform to multiply our words that we are given.

In our personal lives we all teach, someone like a child, spouse, friend, et al. Our tongue which is simply a reflection of our heart speaks either life or death…daily!  Remember, we can’t be gossiping, slandering, angry and bitter and also hopeful and helpful to ourselves or others if our tongue is running wild.  Fresh water and bitter water can’t come from the same spring.

Today, let’s choose to say something positive about the one person or situation that irritates us the most.  Let your faith extend to sharing blessings and kindness where before you have been attacking and undermining.  Then, watch God return to you the same grace and mercy, “pressed down, shaken together and overflowing!”

Campus Chapel Devo with Chapin Marsh

CampusDevo-Header-1James 2:14-26

“Faith without works is dead.”

Remedy:  Do something to HELP SOMEONE God places in your path today.

Remember “Rahab the harlot (was) also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way.”

Rehab was a prostitute, she was an outcast but believed in God.  She let Israelite spies into her home and helped them, then sent them away to avoid being caught.  She also lied for them.  Then she marries one of the spies and has a son.

Later, three women lose their husbands and wander in a foreign land, alone, lost, no hope or future.  Orpah kisses her mother in law and leaves her but Ruth clings to her mother in law Naomi…faithfully.  One day she is gleaning grain and the owner of the field notices her. They meet and later get married and have babies of which one is eventually in the line of King David and eventually Jesus!

The man Ruth married is named Boaz.  He is the son of Rahab the prostitute.  AMAZING GRACE!

So, remember today, your faith mixed with works even if it is a little “uneven”with your character like Rahab, who was a prostitute, liar and likely worse, or Ruth who’s life seemed totally hopeless and with no possibility of redemption . . . . .God will provide a moment, (Rahab’s was by faith taking in the spies), and (Ruth’s was going to a foreign country with her mother in law knowing there was no hope), where the very smallest act of faith (doing something to HELP SOMEONE God brings your way), will in fact make all the difference in your life in a wonderful and intimate way!

Today, let’s pay attention for the opportunity to HELP SOMEONE, it could be the beginning of you actually discovering your destiny as well!

Campus Chapel Devo with Chapin Marsh

CampusDevo-Header-1James 1:19-27

Here is VERY good wisdom on interpersonal relationships:

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God”

In using grace for others we can always give them the benefit of the doubt which allows us to be “quick to listen.”

We also need to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

Are you saved?  Is there someone near you that simply by sharing God’s living word may be saved by your faithful sharing today?

Remember you can pray or lead someone else to pray:

“Jesus, I am sorry for my sins.  Please forgive me.  Please be my Savior and guide my life now, amen.”

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only…”. If we don’t mix works with our faith we start to forget what being a Spirit-filled Christian is all about, “for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he is.”

You can return to your first love today simply by doing one thing the Lord whispers in your heart by faith…can you hear His voice?

Remember to “bridle” your tongue.

Lastly, if you are still looking for a place to start to show your faith by works today, then here is a possible helpful hint:

“Pure and undefined religion before God and the father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Today, let’s walk in meekness, quietly listening to the “still small” voice of the Lord.  He will direct us away from unnecessary conflict with others, keep our tongue from damage and bless us to serve others as we esteem them higher than ourselves.

Enjoy a day of great peace and fruitfulness as you live a truly Christian life today.

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