Do Not be Deceived by Earthly Wealth

My family in Christ,

In his letter James was very clear about the need not to be deceived by early riches. That is, when faced by those dressed in fine clothes and those wearing ragged garments we must not show favouritism to one and be unconcerned for the other (James 2:1-4). For one thing, clothes can be very deceptive…

…and, more importantly, Christ died for all of them:

True, Christ’s message (which was also spread by the apostles) is especially directed to the poor in order to lift their spirits and to reassure them that God has not abandoned them. But don’t forget those who were rich by mere earthly standards: the tax collectors, Roman governors, Roman emperors. Even the Pharisee Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) and Malchus (the high priest’s servant whose ear Peter severed in John 18:10) were humbled by Jesus’ divinity. Christians too need help sometimes: for even the strongest believer can be plagued by doubts whilst in the world!


God bless you.

The Transformation Brought about in Us by the Holy Spirit

My family in Christ,

In Psalm 15 King David contemplates the behaviour of those who are captivated by God’s Spirit:

“The one whose way of life is blameless,

who does what is righteous,

who speaks the truth from their heart;

whose tongue utters no slander,

who does no wrong to a neighbour,

and casts no slur on others;

who despises a vile person

but honours those who fear the LORD;

who keeps an oath even when it hurts,

and does not change their mind;

who lends money to the poor without interest;

who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things

will never be shaken

(vv. 2-5 NIV).

What a list! Yes maybe it is possible for the ungodly to live up to these at odd times; but to do so continually takes strength, it takes boldness and confidence to continually battle against the depravity of the world! It takes courage which only comes from true faith (James 1:21)!!!

Like me, you may fail to live up to these and other biblical characterisations of righteousness from time to time. But rest assured that the continual indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, even though we have failed to heed His directions, is our guarantee that God is waiting and will listen to our prays and cries for forgiveness. So admit your failings, be forgiven, and move on in holiness to do better in the future.

God bless you.