Spiritual Editorial: Who Really Is The Best? | Faith


When we become Christians, we must forsake the way of the world. We must stop being the greatest in the eyes of the world. Jesus tried to explain and point out to his disciples. The disciples knew it was wrong, but sometimes they were still competing for the top spot.

I think the apostle Peter was, in a sense, the best because he became a leader after Jesus died. He seemed to oversee the entire ministerial system. The apostle Paul became a leader of the Gentiles in Rome, Ephesus, Corinthians, Colossi, Philippi, Macedonia, and Greece, but was also challenged by others.

The apostle John eventually became the head of the church. He lived in many places, but in the end he spent his last year in Ephesus. He was the oldest apostle and lived until death from natural causes.

James was not one of the first twelve apostles. He was the half-brother of Jesus and the author of the Epistle of James. He talks about what we need to do to be the best in the sight of God, not humans.

First, we must be wise and understandable. James says that faith that does not work is dead (James 2: 17-18). A “work” is generally interpreted as doing something good for others, especially those in the church or in our community. Often these are shown in the work of food banks, helping the poor with rental aids and utilities, and other ways to show the love of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a way of showing Jesus that we are serious about our faith.

But we have to be careful in the process of showing the world that we are “real” and that we really care about ourselves. Otherwise, we can start to fall into the traps that many churches and Christians fall into. They begin to lose the idea that our salvation as Christians is not based on what we do through our work, but on our faith in what Jesus has already done for us.

Some religious groups promote what we call “exercising righteousness,” which is not what James is talking about or what the apostle Paul meant. We must believe that Jesus was guilty of the world, including us, and that he died to pay for our sins.

No other human being who has ever lived can accomplish what he has done. James explains that the work and the work we do for God should be done with kindness and wisdom. We need to get rid of selfish envy and ambitions in our hearts. We must not proudly lie about the truth. When we are proud, unspiritual or demonic, we are using the wisdom of the world, not the wisdom of God. This kind of wisdom brings wickedness and disorder.

The wisdom of God is also pure, peaceful, calm, ready to give in, full of mercy and good fruits. He shows no prejudice or hypocrisy. It shows mercy, not what you kill or steal.

When we really want something that is consistent with what we know to be Bible principles, we should just ask God for intercession rather than struggling for it. Gave that.

I know people who have prayed for transportation, shelter, and many other physical and medical needs. From time to time the Lord provides it directly or immediately through others. If you are faithful and sincere before the Lord, it can happen to you. And you, is Jesus your Lord and Savior? How else do you plan to enter paradise? Just being a good person is not enough.



Jim Berence, pastor of Bethel and Milk Creek United Methodist Church in Hughesville



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