Passage of the Day: James 4: 9b – Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
My Journal for Today: The question for Christians in the 21st century, especially in today’s world which mocks or makes light of biblical values is, “Just how serious are we as believers, as born-again Christians, about holiness?”
The Apostle James in today’s passage says that our laughter should become mourning and our joy should become gloom when we see the sinfulness in our own hearts and the outflow of sin in the world. And yet, we giggle at top-rated TV sit-coms making fun of Christian values. I’ve done it; and I would guess that you may have done the same thing. Well, God forgive us for falling into line with the world in such moments. Praise the Lord that His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3: 22-23) and He cleanses me of my flippancy when I get serious enough with conviction and confess it (1st John 1: 9).
Of course, there is a time to laugh and to revel with joy when we see God’s providence and His purpose being manifest in His creation and our relationship with Christ (see Eccles. 3: 4). However, when it comes to our attitude toward sin, with our mind’s eye being toward Christlikeness, James reminds us that this is serious business.
Our relationship with Christ must begin, as MacArthur points out in his devotional from Strength for Today for this date, “… on a sober, humble, and serious note.” When we consider our love for God in the context of our life in this world, we simply cannot abide the world’s attitude about sin, about which we are warned against in 1st John 2: 15 – 17 [a good passage to have memorized!] …
SCRIPTURE: 1st John 2: 15-17 … Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
If I profess to love God – and I do!! – then my love for Him must be shown in the way I think and live; and as we’ve seen before from Prov. 23: 7 (NKJV), “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If my heart does not grieve or hold remorse over my own sin and the sin I see in the world, then my love for God is very shallow. And if my living worship for my God does not reflect that hatred of sin with my living to be like Christ, my relationship with my Lord is shallow as well.
May I grow to grieve more over my sin, to hate it in me and the world, and to revel in purity and holiness!
My Prayer Today: Oh, Lord, how I desire to be holy. … How I hate my unholiness! Amen