I’ve mentioned before that I listen to the Daily Audio Bible. It’s an awesome supplement to personal study and prayer. Brian Hardin is the creative man of God who implemented this vision, and the time spent listening as he reads the scriptures will be like water for your soul.
DAB has a large, international community of listeners and prayer warriors who tune in daily (or as often as possible) to hear Brian read through the bible each year. You will hear Old Testament passages 1st, followed by New Testament scripture, a Psalm and then a Proverb, all in chronological order, allowing you to build upon each previous day’s reading. The Holy Spirit will speak through this if you are willing to listen. Check it out when you have the chance.
I have the app on my phone, which is great when I’m driving in the car. One of the things I really enjoy is hearing the scripture read from different versions. This week, Brian is reading from The Voice, which is a beautifully expressive, easily understood version of an English-reader’s bible.
We in the USA have just come through a most exhausting, confounding and vitriolic election cycle, that thankfully is mostly finished, except for the actual transfer of power. Today’s reading out of James seemed a timely choice to share, so welcome to today’s post:
1:19 Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world. So walk out on your corrupt liaison with smut and depraved living, and humbly welcome the word of truth that will blossom like the seed of salvation planted in your souls.
Put the word into action. If you think hearing is what matters most, you are going to find you have been deceived. If some fail to do what God requires, it’s as if they forget the word as soon as they hear it. One minute they look in the mirror, and the next they forget who they are and what they look like. However, it is possible to open your eyes and take in the beautiful, perfect truth found in God’s law of liberty and live by it. If you pursue that path and actually do what God has commanded, then you will avoid the many distractions that lead to an amnesia of all true things and you will be blessed.
If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless. Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and resisting the evil influence of the world.
2:1 My brothers and sisters, I know you’ve heard this before, but stop playing favorites! Do not try to blend the genuine faith of our glorious Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, with your silly pretentiousness. If an affluent gentleman enters your gathering wearing the finest clothes and priceless jewelry, don’t trip over each other trying to welcome him. And if a penniless bum crawls in with his shabby clothes and a stench fills the room, don’t look away or pretend you didn’t notice—offer him a seat up front, next to you. If you tell the wealthy man, “Come sit by me; there’s plenty of room,” but tell the vagrant, “Oh, these seats are saved. Go over there,” then you’ll be judging God’s children out of evil motives.
My dear brothers and sisters, listen: God has picked the poor of this world to become unfathomably rich in faith and ultimately to inherit the Kingdom, which He has pledged to those who love Him. By favoring the rich, you have mocked the poor. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it the rich who step on you while climbing the ladder of success? And isn’t it the rich who take advantage of you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones mocking the noble name of our God, the One calling us?
Remember His call, and live by the royal law found in Scripture: love others as you love yourself. You’ll be doing very well if you can get this down. But if you show favoritism—paying attention to those who can help you in some way, while ignoring those who seem to need all the help—you’ll be sinning and condemned by the law. For if a person could keep all of the laws and yet break just one; it would be like breaking them all. The same God who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also says, “Do not murder.” If you break either of these commands, you’re a lawbreaker, no matter how you look at it. So live your life in such a way that acknowledges that one day you will be judged. But the law that judges also gives freedom, although you can’t expect to be shown mercy if you refuse to show mercy. But hear this: mercy always wins against judgment! Thank God!
Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith. Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you. It would be like seeing a brother or sister without any clothes out in the cold and begging for food, and saying, “Shalom, friend, you should get inside where it’s warm and eat something,” but doing nothing about his needs—leaving him cold and alone on the street. What good would your words alone do? The same is true with faith. Without actions, faith is useless. By itself, it’s as good as dead.
Blessings and have a beautiful weekend ❤