A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8 

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. James 3:10-12

Duplicity. What a pretty word, if you like words. By definition, it is a most ugly word. Double-minded. Deceitful. Disloyal. Cannot be trusted.  This is a person that speaks out of both sides of their mouth, in today’s vernacular. The word “duplicity” has been on my mind in recent weeks as I observe and listen to the leaders elected to serve.

Our government is ripe with duplicity. We are sickened with broad acceptance and promotion of duplicity and disloyalty. Duplicity is not a new thing, but it seems that accepting it has become more common. Ladies, we want to avoid duplicitous people, or be aware of their presence. We need to remember that duplicity poses a threat to us and to our families.

And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13

The first evidence of duplicity began in the Garden of Eden. The serpent was subtile. Eve did not see the serpent as a threat because he beguiled her; he charmed her.  Why did Satan beguile Eve? It gave the serpent, the devil, the inroad to challenge her about what God really said. I believe the serpent in Genesis was the devil; this verse is why: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  Revelation 12:9 

We are influenced by our friends and by what we see and listen to. I cannot overstate the importance of discernment. We can avoid being deceived by double-minded people by knowing what God says, including what He tell us about friendships and relationships. When we have a momentary thought that something does not seem right, we do well to consider it at our first opportunity.

James, the Lord’s brother,  talks about a double minded man being unstable in all his ways. To be sure, Satan is not double-minded in any way, but he is duplicitous. His hatred makes him single-minded in his works to destroy. He will use any tactic to deceive. He is not double minded, but fully diabolical. Our ability to recognize double-mindedness as possible duplicity may be significant. We know people like this and we may think they are harmless, that their inconsistencies are not meant to harm anyone. The Bible teaches that this person is unstable in all their ways. God is warning us. Imagine that you want to cross a raging river using a wooden bridge that you know has a few loose screws. It is important where and in whom we place our confidence. Have you ever heard it said that people have loose screws? Look for the parallel and choose friends wisely. 

We must know what we believe or know where to find irrefutable truth. One of the beautiful things about Scripture is its simplicity. The Bible has deep truths and mysteries that are described as meat. They require study and guidance to understand, but much of the Bible is plain and clear. Any individual that can read can understand it, if they want to.

We can become very passionate and angry about deception and disloyalty and general corruption within the halls of government. Duplicity can enter into any area of our life that we will allow, including our churches. Our passion should be greater against deception regarding the things of God. God did ordain government, so it remains high on my list of importance.

Several times each year I hear an impassioned plea about there being many ways to Heaven, that god is God by any name. This is taught in some churches too. Why would God send someone to Hell that has not heard the Gospel? In fact, God is righteous and He is kind and He is just. The Bible says,  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:12.  The previous verse names the name: Jesus Christ of Nazareth. That is where salvation is found.

When we hear words spoken that contradict the Bible, we have two things to do. First is to be sure of what we have heard. What was being communicated? Our second obligation is to the Word of God, the Bible, that is always truth. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17.  This verse is part of a prayer that Jesus, the One that paid for the sins of the world prayed. The word sanctify means to cleanse or purify. We cannot be cleansed from our sin in any way that is contrary to the Bible. Anyone claiming Biblical authority that tells you there is salvation in any other name than that of Jesus Christ is guilty of duplicity. They are lying.

Many Christians struggle with this truth. If God were to allow a basically good person into Heaven, a person that did not believe in the need or sufficiency of Jesus Christ, then God would be guilty of duplicity. Wow. Simply pondering that thought is unsettling; writing it more so. We can be confident; His word is truth.

It is important to God that we know what we believe and to be able to communicate it in an uncomplicated and straightforward way. 

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He lived a sinless life. His unblemished life and willingness made Him the acceptable Sacrifice for my sins. I know I am undeserving – my goodness is like filthy rags. He died for my sins, including the sin of thinking I might be good enough.  I did not change my life to be good enough for salvation, but my life and desires have changed since I believed and understood what He did for me. I believe the Holy Spirit of God changed my life and that He continues to do so as long as I will allow it, also in any area of my life.

I pray for you grace and peace this week. 

A little something extra to go with our tea today: Crumpets!

Do you have anything in your cupboards or freezer that you can serve at a moment’s notice? To deliver or serve if you get the urge to invite someone to stop by? Here are some things you can keep that make hospitality effortless:

  • Keep some whole milk and/or cream in supply. You can freeze either and thaw as needed.
  • A few tea bags. If you are not a coffee drinker, storing coffee for long periods is not advised.
  • Sweeteners, honey or sugar. Stevia or monk fruit. A glass of water is good too. It is the grace with which we serve it.
  • A box of store-bought cookies that are free of most all allergens, no nuts, no soy, no egg, no wheat. Yes. This exists – Try Enjoy Life brand. This is a brand that tastes good and all my grandchildren with assorted allergies can enjoy.
  • Keep something good in the freezer. Even a loaf of good bread. This can be toasted and served with butter. Who would not enjoy this? 

Think about what you can do easily.

Last week, a friend came by for a much needed visit. Instead of setting a matchy-matchy table, I pulled out neutral colored things and served coffee and crumpets. Tea and crumpets is very British and delicious but drink what you like with your crumpets. That is what I call very American, and was really quite tasty.

Next week I will tell you how to make crumpets and give you tips for doing so. Today I am going to try to make some that are gluten-free for my grands. Will let you know how they turn out too. They will be tossed into my freezer until they come next time.

India is back home in Florida and recovering. She was in church Sunday. The doctor feels the surgery was a success and India feels quite good.

I am in final weeks of ankle recovery, healing from several fractures. The day to day improvements have slowed but I have not had any setbacks. I probably won’t see marked improvement daily, but the healing should continue, just more slowly.