The Crown of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

This one verse of Scripture contains an enormous amount of truth, yet this verse also has caused a tremendous amount of confusion for so many people. “Temptation” is in the singular because when we are tempted, the temptation most always comes one at a time.

The word “endureth” is a unique word in the Scriptures because it means to be prepared to hold your ground, to hold out through pressure when it comes. Pressure surely will come to believers from time to time, yet when we hold on to our beliefs and convictions through a temptation without succumbing to it, then we may receive the promise of receiving the crown of life.

The greatest temptation in this life is to blame God every time things go wrong in our lives, and most people do!

The word “tried” is another interestingly unique word, for it means to be approved, rather than the way it is translated ─ tried. The question that needs to be answered is: When or how are believers approved? The answer is actually quite simple once we see the truth of how greatly we are approved before our God.

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved {this is the same Greek word for “tried” in James 1:12} unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

“Study” takes effort, studying to correctly understand the Word of truth about how greatly we are approved before God is how we hold our own ground through a temptation.

We believers are already “approved” before our heavenly Father, God already loves us, and He always thinks the best of us. Yet man, in himself, is subject to condemnation and blaming God, and at times it is extremely difficult to raise our believing up to the point of accepting the graces of God upon our lives because society itself teaches us that God punishes us through temptations to test our faith, etcetera. Yet, this is totally untrue. When we study the Scriptures, especially the Church Epistles which are directly written to believers of today, and when we rightly divide the truth, we will begin to realize that we are approved before God, rather than being tempted by Him.

As a safeguard to prevent us from blaming God, James continues:

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

How often are we tempted by God? NEVER! Our loving heavenly Father never, ever tempts us in any way, shape, form, or manner! If temptations were from God (which they are not), then we could never genuinely, from a spiritual point of view, love our Savor Jesus Christ completely because there would always be a fear element lurking in the shadows of our minds.

Jesus Christ gave his entire being to the point of humiliation and death on our behalf, and in our stead, so that we may present ourselves to God being made already holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I {God} know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It is interesting to me that so many people think and believe that God is the force behind all the evil in this world, and the people who propagate this lie obviously know more than God because God specifically states that He knows emphatically what He thinks, and He thinks thoughts of peace and not evil thoughts towards us. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11); this is the real, truthful pleasure that the LORD has towards everyone, that they live to receive His eternal benefits.

This is rightly dividing the Word of truth, and the more we look (by studying), the greater we will come to understand the wonderful approval we already have before our heavenly Father.

I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer {allow} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Through our life’s trials and temptations, we can look to God for His strength and His refuge (Isaiah 25:4) and be assured of God’s continuous deliverance (II Corinthians 1:10).

God never called us to incur His wrath (Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10), but rather He called us to “an expected end” and the greatest expectation that we can receive for not accusing God for all the temptations we go through in life, is the crown of life!

To be continued in The Crown of Righteousness

Jesus Said, I Am The Way. . .

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Psalms 119:33 – Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

As the Psalmist (David) looked to his Redeemer, he was able to ask God to teach him the way of His statutes; today we also know Jesus Christ who is the perfect way to the Father. The Psalmist first said “teach me, O LORD,” and without God’s instruction, without the teachings of God’s Word, one would wonder aimlessly.  Whenever a believer comes to God’s healing Word with a heart to learn, great things will begin to happen in his or her life because when we receive instruction from the Word with a believing heart: that the Word emanates from God, then the lessons that God teaches us will never be forgotten.

“Teach me” means to show, to cause one to spiritually see, to point out divine revelations of grace. When we look to God’s Word with an expecting heart, then we will see the “statutes” of God’s true and faithful Word, which in turn reveals to us spiritual realities of God Himself.  God shows us the “way,” giving us spiritual inspiration (in-spirit-action), and direction. Then the Psalmist said “I shall keep it unto the end,” he will keep God’s Word for eternity, not simply until the end of his life because God’s Word lives and abides forever! As Jesus Christ “loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). The meaning here is that Jesus loved us beyond his death, he will continue loving us throughout eternity because he was resurrected, and he continues loving us today and forever.

Psalms 18:30 reads, “As for God, his way is perfect.” Men may think that God’s way and His Word are full of imperfections; however, in the eyes of God, as we are taught His Word, and when we believe to live the way that is called “perfect,” then God begins revealing the realities of Himself to our minds. This is what is important to us who believe ─ who gives a hoot what unbelievers think? We can live it up with our heavenly Father in the way that is perfect rather than to worry what the neighbors might think about our enjoying and living in the way God teaches us.

Psalms 18:32 It is God that girdeth me {and you} with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Our heavenly Father is able to uplift our lives with His strength, and cause our ways to be perfect. Wow, praise God for His Word with thankfulness for receiving His divine teachings, and for him who is the way to the Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who let us know: “I am the way . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by {through} me” (John 14:6).

Have you ever had a question about life or about God? Then one day as you were perhaps reading the Bible, or thinking about something spiritual, then all of a sudden your question became answered! Once we receive an answer from God through His inspiration, then that hunger for the answer becomes eternally filled. Oh yes, God will continue giving understanding to life’s questions in specific areas of life, and God can and will continue inspiring us ─ these become truly precious moments of serenity and completeness that only God through Christ gives to us. This is what Jesus was referring to when speaking to the woman at the well in John chapter 4:

John 4:14 – But whosoever drinketh of the water {the word “water” is a reference referring to the Word of God} that I shall give him shall never thirst; but {because} the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The Best Way Out!

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it- I Corinthians 10:13. Whenever you pass through a temptation believing that God will help you out, you will inevitably become stronger, more courageous, and be victorious. Evil never lasts; it always subsides and God will always show you the light at the end of the tunnel, and guide you to the easiest and best way out.” ~LMJ~

The Daily Inspiration of Jesus Christ (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

This is a study revealing how we Christians can allow the principles of the master teacher into our daily lives so that his teachings become our daily thoughts, and his inspiration becomes our rescue in times of need. Following is an example from the Gospel of Luke showing how Peter learned to allow the daily inspiration of Jesus Christ into his heart, giving us a vivid example of how we can allow the written Word to nourish and strengthen our souls.

Luke 5:4 – Now when he {Jesus} had left speaking {the Word of God}, he said unto Simon {Peter}, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

Jesus had been sitting in a fishing boat and teaching the Word of God to a multitude of people. There were so many people that Jesus went out a little way from the shore where the acoustical sound over the lake must have carried his voice quite well as he expounded divine truths. Then after Jesus had finished teaching he asked Peter to launch out further and let down his nets so they could haul in a load of fish. We will see how Peter recognized Jesus as a teacher during the meeting, yet when the meeting was over Peter left his teaching and inspiration behind, and let us see the result.

Luke 5:5 – And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Peter told Jesus that the previous night’s fishing expedition was a waste of time and grudgingly Peter said, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” When Jesus spoke to Peter he was speaking the Word of God to him (John 14:23-24; 15:15), but Peter felt that he was the expert when it came to fishing, after all it was “only” a carpenter who told him what to do. Notice what Peter did? Jesus said, “let down your nets {plural}” but what did Peter do? He let down a net (singular). Peter had the opportunity to take Jesus Christ with him to work. Can you imagine? Today in God’s grace we have Christ within, and he does reveal God to our minds whenever and wherever we allow.

Luke 5:6-7:
-6: And when they had this done {the letting down of the net}, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net break {because they did not use their “nets”}.
-7: And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Proverbs 3:6 comes to mind: “In all thy ways acknowledge him {God} and he shall direct thy paths.” No matter what we do for a living, or where we are at any moment, we can carry God’s healing Word and its inspiration with us to become successful. Jesus Christ reveals God to our hearts, and as we allow Jesus into our daily lives, the greater he reveals his Father and His power.

Luke 5:8-10:
-8: When Simon Peter saw it {recognized that Jesus was right}, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
-9: For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
-10: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Peter immediately knew that he was wrong, he knew that even with Jesus in his boat, he did not allow the words of his inspiration into his life. Peter, to his credit, realized that he was just a man, one that was not perfect, and like any other, “a sinful man.” Jesus, to his praise, did not condemn Peter (or throw him out of the boat), but rather encouraged him that he most definitely would have better days, more opportunity to believe the Word that Jesus would continue revealing to him. “Fear not” because we are dearly loved by God and by His Son Jesus Christ.

So today, as we continue living our lives to the best of our ability, let us continue walking with the Savior and allow him and his inspiration into our lives, and watch God work miraculous things for us. When we place the Savior’s words of comfort in our minds, they can inspire us to be the best in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in our life’s endeavors. When we allow the master teacher into our hearts – his words will become our thoughts (our inner consciences) and his inspiration will be with us in our time of need.

The Knowledge of Christ (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once there was a man who hated Christians. He persecuted them at every opportunity; he put them into prison, and gave his vote to have them executed by stoning them to death. He carried written permission from the leaders of his day to go anywhere, into any home, and forcefully drag out men and women and take them to jail. From the depths of his heart he loved God, and walked faithfully and blameless before others who believed in his religion and he somehow did this with a clear conscience. Yet he was a very religious man who prayed and worshiped the same God we pray and worship. He believed in his heart that the Christian movement came from the pits of hell.

I have no doubt that I would not allow him into my home or around my friends because his very presence could mean death. He thought in his heart that he was a great believer and that he was doing the right things before his God as he personally anticipated the coming of the Redeemer.

This man lived in the first century as a Pharisee, he had the best schooling that money could buy. He also had the right credentials as he sat under the greatest, first century teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures, named Gamaliel (Acts 5:34, Acts 22:3), and he was one of Gamaliel’s favorite pupils. This man was Saul, also known in the Scriptures as Paul (the difference in the two names is that Saul comes from the Hebrew spelling, while Paul is from the Greek).

Acts 22:4 – And I {Paul} persecuted this way {this way represented the followers of Jesus Christ who was, is, and shall always be “the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6} unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

I Timothy 1:12-13:
-12: And I {Paul} thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
-13: Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious {an insulter}: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Ignorantly in unbelief means that Paul did not have the right information to believe correctly, even with all his religious training in the Scriptures which foretell and announce the coming of Christ, the promised Messiah. Paul completely missed the truths in the Scriptures that reveal Jesus Christ to be the promised Redeemer and the Savior of humanity.

One day when Paul was on the road to Damascus he, for the first time in his life met Jesus Christ, and as we know from the Scriptures, Paul had an immediate change of mind and heart, because he for the first time in his life saw the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Paul in Acts 9:5 “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest!” Can you imagine?

Personally — if I were Paul — this meeting would have given me a heart attack! Yet, Paul recognized the error of his ways, changed his mind, and he became one of the greatest believers this world has ever known, he received perhaps more revelation and inspiration than any man or woman has received in all of history.

The great Apostle Paul from that day forward dedicated his life to teaching and showing others the depths of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. Paul helped believers receive an understanding of the healing Word by preaching Jesus Christ, who in turn reveals the righteousness of God to our inner hearts, as His Word continues blessing our lives with spiritual truth.

Philippians 3:8-9:
-8: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered {or allowed} the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ {there is nothing as precious as learning about Christ},
-9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Discovering our Lord and Savior in the Word of God is a rewarding adventure in this life as Jesus said, the Scriptures testify of me (John 5:39). It is Jesus who opens up our understanding to the Word of God, so with him the words in the Word begin making perfect sense. Luke wrote: ”Then opened he {Jesus} their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45).

II Peter 1:2:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

Grace and peace is something we may expect to receive simply by going to our Bibles and looking for the knowledge of Christ, who is according to I Corinthians 1:24, ”the power, and wisdom of God.”

Grace and peace being multiplied in the Apostle Paul’s heart is what changed his life around and presented to him great deliverance, and this will also bless us with the inner comfort of having grace and peace in our hearts through discovering the wondrous knowledge of Christ.