ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 404


And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone
else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag
us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed
to grow, it gives birth to death.
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and
perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created
all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all
creation, became his prized possession.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to
listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce
the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your
lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it
has the power to save your souls.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise,
you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t
obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away,
and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect
law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you
heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling
yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the
sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their
distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in
fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor
and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat
to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there,
or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your
judgments are guided by evil motives?
Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor
in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the
Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor!

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