September 17
Ever Wanted to Bite Somebody?
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (Jas_1:19-20, NIV)
There was this guy who had been bitten by a rabid dog and was advised by his physician that his prospects for recovery would be long and painful. The man grabbed a pen and began frantically writing on a piece of paper. The doctor responded by saying, “You’re not going to die, so there’s no need to write out your will in such a hurry.”
“Will?” the guy replied, “I’m not writing my will; I making a list of all the people I’m going to bite!”
Have you ever wanted to bite somebody? Even been so angry you could take a chunk out of ‘em? Maybe; maybe not.
There are many around you who are feeling the squeeze; more than a few grinding their teeth. For there is a growing anger in our world today, fueled by any number of things, and headed for an unmistakable eruption. We are fast approaching the tipping point.
But how about you? How are you doing? Are you finding a way to handle our topsy-turvy world without blowing a gasket?
I think James gives us a good place to start when he advises – “everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” An old proverb says that God gave man two ears and one mouth, so that we would listen twice as much as we speak.
Why not cultivate this as a personal habit? Throughout today stop and deliberately listen – listen to those who want to talk to you. Listen to the music that you have playing in your car as you drive to work. Listen to the sounds of life happening around you. Listen to your thoughts. And, above all – listen to the Lord.
He will take the bite out of everything!


September 17
“Behold Thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass. And the multitudes cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!” — Mat_21:5-9.
THE KING of Glory approached the Holy City, seated not on the richly-draped war-horse, or followed by a glittering band of soldiers, but riding on a lowly ass, and attended by a vast crowd of rustic pilgrims! He was welcomed, not by the Governor Pilate, or Caiaphas the High Priest, but by the children, the poorer folk, the blind and the lame whom He had healed. His lodging-place was the bare ground on the mount of Olives, and on one occasion, at least, He was hungry enough to seek fruit from the fig-leaf.
Yet there was a mystic power about Him before which the rabble, that filled the courts of the Temple with noise and filth, were driven forth, and which the chief priests and scribes had to acknowledge when they challenged Him as to His authority (Mat_21:23). His authority was that of Truth and Purity and God. It was a stray beam of His intrinsic Majesty. One who knew Him intimately said: “We beheld His glory, as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Joh_1:14).
Soul of man, to thee, also, thy King cometh! Let the gates of thy heart lift up their portals and admit Him! At first you may dread the revolution which His coming suggests, but be quick to give to Emmanuel, the Prince, all the keys of Mansoul. Enthrone Him in thine heart! He is the King and Heir, and He will make thee a joint-heir with Himself. Let the kingdom of your life become the kingdom of God and of His Christ. Let every thought be brought into subjection to Him. But if, on the other hand, you are content to build the house of life apart from Him, be very sure that you are rejecting the one Chief Corner-stone, which can alone give the necessary stability and beauty to its structure. To forfeit that will involve the absolute destruction of the edifice on which your whole life-energy may have been expended (Mat_7:27; 1Co_3:10-15).
But chiefest in our cleansed breast,
Eternal, bid Thy Spirit rest;
And make our secret soul to be
A temple pure and worthy Thee.
Hosanna in the highest! AMEN.



His Temptation and Ours

We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Hebrews 4:15

Until we are born again, the only kind of temptation we understand is the kind mentioned in James 1:14, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” But through regeneration we are lifted into another realm where there are other temptations to face, namely, the kind of temptations our Lord faced. The temptations of Jesus had no appeal to us as unbelievers because they were not at home in our human nature. Our Lord’s temptations and ours are in different realms until we are born again and become His brothers. The temptations of Jesus are not those of a mere man, but the temptations of God as Man. Through regeneration, the Son of God is formed in us (see Galatians 4:19), and in our physical life He has the same setting that He had on earth. Satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things— he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.

Temptation means a test of the possessions held within the inner, spiritual part of our being by a power outside us and foreign to us. This makes the temptation of our Lord explainable. After Jesus’ baptism, having accepted His mission of being the One “who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) He “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1) and into the testing devices of the devil. Yet He did not become weary or exhausted. He went through the temptation “without sin,” and He retained all the possessions of His spiritual nature completely intact. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 30-31; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15