◦     vs. 16-17             Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

▪     Don’t be deceived!

 Apparently we can.  So we need to work on not being deceived.  By who?  By our feelings, by our wants and sin, by others, by Satan, by our past, the things we were taught that we just believe because someone said it was so… the list goes on and on!

▪     There is that word Every again!  Not some of the good things but every good thing.

What are good things? What are your good things ?  Are you aware they come from God? Do you thank Him for them? 

◦     I sometimes just try to pray a prayer of thanks.  No asking for anything, just thanking Him for he amazing gifts He has give me!

◦     Sometime you should write them down.  Be very specific!  Leave out nothing.  It takes time. 

◦     Years ago I was feeling kind of down and someone told me I should write down every day three blessings I had received that day.  So I did.  I was amazed.  I challenge you to do the same.  I think I might start it back up again!  I am not depressed or anything, but I still want to remind myself of His graciousness and to be aware enough to thank Him!

▪     God does not change! 

If you write in your journal tonight I hope one of the things you can thank Him for today is that you finally understand how awesome this fact is! Lets think about it.

◦     If God changed, where would we stand?  We would be afraid He would change His mind about our salvation! 

◦     If God changed, He could stop loving us!

◦     If God changed, He could change the way we are to live from time to time and we would never be able to keep up.  I can’t keep up now, thank you Lord that I don’t have to change what I am doing because You changed Your mind!

◦     But since He is the same, now and forever, we can trust Him, we can depend on Him, we can get to know Him, we can learn the things that please Him and we can put all of our hope in Him.

 vs. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.

▪     We are born in our second birth through the word of truth… Who is the Word?  Who is the truth?  Jesus!  Our salvation rest squarely on Jesus.  It is God’s will that all be saved. When we agree with that our birth is conceived!

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

▪     Quick to listen.  Listen to what?  Now this is the Holy Word of God talking.  So I pretty sure we are to listen to God, through His Word and Holy Spirit. 

 He starts with listening.  How many times do we just speak and act before we listen? Besides listening to God, it is a very very good practice to listen to others! 

◦     I have, myself, and seen others, jump to speaking before we heard someone out. Usually it is a mistake. 

◦     I have, and have seen others, speak concerning God and His will before we listened to Him.

◦     Healthy relationships between us and God and us and others begin with listening.

◦     Remember God gave us two ears…. and one mouth.

▪     Slow to speak. Some people are slow to speak.  Shy and quiet.  Others are quick to speak, full of things to share and others just ramble to be rambling.

Slow to speak would save us a lot of woes!

◦     Sometime you should take to the time to look up all the warnings about the mouth, talking too much and foolish talk in the Bible. 

▪     Slow to wrath:  If we were quick to listen and slow to speak, wrath would not happen so quickly! 

God does not want us angry!  See what He says next…

20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

▪     We better be very very careful with our anger.  It cannot turn to wrath and be anything good in God’s eyes.

I believe the wrath of man has put a bad name on Christianity. History has show men full of wrath.. Christian people… and many many died because of it. 

Our wrath does not produce righteousness. 

 Anger vs. Wrath

◦     Anger rises in us for many reasons. 

▪     Sometimes because we feel like we are being blocked in some way… that anger can cause us to work harder, do better.

▪     Sometimes anger rises in us when we see an injustice, and then we determine ways to stop the injustice

▪     Anger can help us cope with something that hurts us… anger feels better than hurt.

▪     Many times anger is healthy.

◦     Wrath on the other hand is not healthy.

▪     Wrath is one of seven deadly sins…. hmm….

▪     Wrath is the unhealthy expression of our anger.

It produces violence.

Wrath can take many forms :

◦     resentment,

◦     keeping up negative thoughts,

◦     negative self-talk

◦     shaming,

◦     seeking revenge against another or ourselves.

◦     Depression is wrath hidden. When we find ourselves feeling the emotion of anger and choose to repress that anger or suppress, we are turning that anger in on ourselves which can eventually turn into depression, a feeling of being small and insignificant and make us useless in life and as a witness.

We must remember… wrath is not pleasing to God.  It is sin!

I hope this week was helpful to you. It was to me.  I am reminded, again, to be slow to speak!  It is a lesson hard learned for me, but I want to be obedient and the kind of person that pleases God, so I will keep trying!  Join me?