So let me tell you about an experience of mine this week. One of my babies was sitting in our living room floor in front of the TV. I watched him as he moved closer and closer all the while watching all of his siblings running rampant all over the living room, screaming – some crying- but mostly screaming (there’s just so many of them y’all). So he is half watching TV, half watching everyone else… and he keeps turning up the volume and inching just closer and closer to the TV. BOOM. God moment.
Isn’t Our relationship with God a lot like this tiny babies dispute with the TV. Life, guys. The TV was plenty loud, the baby was just distracted. It wasn’t that he couldn’t hear it; it was the fact that he wasn’t listening. My life. Sometimes I feel like I am constantly trying to move closer and closer to God, to deepen that relationship with Him and for whatever reason I’m just not getting there. Come closer He says, Listen. Do not be distracted by all the craziness surrounding you; instead focus on me. Hear me. Good stuff, right? I KNOW!
So this week’s reading is on James chapter 2 and James 3:1-12
He will redeem, guys. James 2:1-4 talks about showing partiality. Last week I spoke on loving the enemy (and everyone) as God loves us. This is a growth thing, kind of like moving closer to the TV. The closer we move to God, the easier to hear; to show love to those we do not necessarily “in our eyes” deserve it. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9
James reminds us to not lose sight of the Lord, Listen. Don’t lose His voice, His love, His mercy. Mercy is for all people. It’s for the liar, the adulterer, the murder. He is the judge. He says a sin, is a sin, is a sin. Do not judge your neighbor, not by their appearance, not by their past. This isn’t the heart of Jesus, y’all. He says were all wrong. Your sin may be better than mine, or mine greater than yours but regardless the sin.. the answer is the same. IT’S MERCY. IT’S GRACE. IT’S HIM.
We all stumble. We all fall short. We say act nasty or say nasty things. James tells us in chapter 3 that nasty words often stem from nasty hearts. We’re all carrying something around with us. You’re angry, or bitter, or hurt, or jealous, or prideful. Those things take root. We have to deal with these things, address them. Lay whatever it is down at the feet of Jesus. Lay it down and do not pick it back up. Prune it all back… Then Grow. The cleaner your heart, the more room you have to store what is good. And what is good is Him. Do not get distract by the noise of life and it’s circumstances. Come closer, if you can’t hear Him.. it’s not the volume that is the problem. It’s you.