Inward Character, Outward Actions, and Fudge….James 3:17

Inward Character, Outward Actions, and Fudge….James 3:17

Sugar.

Butter.

Be patient and wait till it melts and boils.

Now add chocolate chips and marshmallow cream. Stir vigorously.

Pour into pan and wait.

End Result – a delightful pan of fudge

Sounds good, right? Could you duplicate this recipe and end up with the same result I did? Probably not. Why? Because I left out some key facts. I left out amounts and I left out what kind of pan, such as where you should melt the butter and sugar. Sometimes I know that I can get pieces of Scripture but miss out on the whole picture, on the whole concept. Today I want to wrap up our in depth look at James 3:17 by stepping back and looking at it as a whole.

 “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. ” James 3:17 NLT

I had the privilege to meet with a friend of mine for coffee recently. I always look forward to chatting with her because of what I experience through out the time. It is guaranteed to have laughter, depth, to be real, and to be just the right amount of time. As we talked one of the things she reminded me of was that our society puts a lot of stock into how busy we are and that is not what Jesus says. He says to be still. To come be alone with Him. This is not a new concept for me, in fact it lines up with one of the books I just recently finished and more importantly what Jesus is teaching me. What resonated with me listening to her was that she mentioned you have to be comfortable in your own skin as you work to live this way. That is a struggle for me at times.

People experience our inward heart attitude and character lived out in outward actions. Doing good. Being peacable. Gentle. Considerate. Sincere. Not playing favorites, treating each person the same. The characteristics that James list show up outwardly as we are changed inwardly; sometimes as we do the right thing and are seeking Jesus those actions help with the inward molding of our character. It works together, not one or the other but both. Its who we are and what we are doing.

James 3:16 describes what it looks like without the wisdom of above; “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” I don’t want that. I want to be represent Jesus. I want the wisdom that is from above; that is peace-loving, compassionate, willing to yield, gentle, sincere, does not show favoritism, has fruits of good works, is full of mercy.

So how can I do that? A couple of ways.

  • A heart and mind check. What you think, pours out into what you say, and then into your actions. We have to be on guard with what we think and what is going on in our heart. I am learning to be willing to pause and look, really look at myself and ask Jesus to show me what He sees. What do I need to work on? What am I being blind to?
  • Open to correction.  As we check our hearts and minds, we will need to correct thoughts and feelings that are wrong. Sometimes Jesus has to be very specific with us and it hurts; but its better to let Him point it out and bend then knee then when the sin has grown.
  • Read the word. I love to read my Bible; to study it and to be in it. Its a book that never grows old. Its God’s word to us. Pray, believing, asking Him to bring a thirst and a hunger for His word. Its amazing how the more I read the Word the more I want to be in it, reading, learning and applying.
  • Pray. So reading the Bible and praying go together. God is working on me with this one. Talking with Him and listening to Him. Conversing. Immersed in Jesus.
  • Slow down and choose to look. Am I so busy that I can not see God at work around me? Am I so busy that I am missing areas in my life where I need to change? Am I moving at such a high rate of speed that I don’t see the hurt, the fears, the sorrow of those around me.

Today what area can you take action in and let Jesus work in you so He can work thru you; refining the inward character displayed in outward actions that people experience.

The Full Recipe:

The correct fudge recipe is found over on the Kraft’s Website here: Fantasy Fudge

I make the following substitutions:

Instead of chocolate squares – use chocolate chips (12oz – 16oz) and instead of peanuts, we like no nuts or pecans. Its your preference.

Enjoy!

 

Today…..learning to follow, listen and obey; trusting in the ONE who loves me and HE loves you too.

 

Visual reminders help me remember what I am learning, I have a free 8×11 of James 3:17 or Bookmark available to download & print out.

James317Bookmark

 

 

DOWNLOAD HERE: James317FullPage

DOWNLOAD HERE: James 3:17 BookMark

 

 Holy Bible. New Living Translation copy right 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All Rights Reserved.

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