Friday, January 25, 2013

The book of James, a call to true faith!

This book has been absolutely monumental for me to study this closely.  How often have I skimmed carelessly over these words and not applied them in my life?  How often have I neglected to be obedient to my precious Father who wants only my love?  How often have I rejected him by my lack of concern for His will?  And how often have I caused another to stumble, or worse, by my lack of discipline, my failure to realize how important His call really is?

I have struggled with writing in this blog.  I have wanted a way to share with others - but sharing personally was never my plan!  I just wanted to find great ideas on how to save money, or find a great recipe, and maybe even make a little money with an ad while I learned to make laundry detergent at home!!  (By the way - I sure save a lot of money with just that one easy thing...evey little bit helps!)

However - getting personal online - was not my plan.  But - it's really not about me.  It never has been.  I guess I've just been so steeped in a greedy culture of people afflicted with entitlement - that I didn't even know it.  It's always been about Christ.  From the moment God shaped this earth in His hands, from the first bite of forbidden fruit, to the nervous laugh of Sarai and her long awaited son's first breath.  This entire time - I've blundered through life; making mistakes, sharing tears and joy, suffering, and growing, while I never realized that the reason I was having such a hard time is because I put too much emphasis on my needs.  His plan has never been about me.  I am a part of a precious story, the story He is writing with every breath we take.

God has blessed me so abundantly.  Through my children, I have learned to love more deeply than I ever thought possible.  They are the first of many gifts God gave me so I could learn to love unconditionally and completely.  Yet even still - this story is so much bigger.  He loves us so much - despite our disobediance.  However - I have finally reached a place of true desire for obedience.  I truly want to do whatever His plan is; though it scares me since I know that may mean something I never wanted to do.  My pastor challenged us recently to search the scriptures to find a place that God has done BIG things without personal sacrifice.  I don't know what God may be asking of me - and sometimes I feels stretched so thin that I couldn't do another thing; but I want to obtain the righteousnesss He wants us to strive for.  But what has held me back until now?  Why have I never really felt ready to do His will.  I think I have been stuck by feeling unworthy.  I know that my many mistakes have left me feeling drained and unfit for His work.  Yet, He still offers mercy - He literally rains mercy down over us. 

Lord, I want to be your child; to depend on you fully.  I am so thankful for the freedom you have offered us and the amazing love you have for us, though we do nothing to deserve it.  My prayer today is that someone who is trapped in a life of sin.  Someone who may not even mind living in a lost, fallen world, will hear you now.  They will feel your whisper, and heed your call.  Maybe a young person who has not made the many mistakes as I have will fall in love with you and prevent a life of unneeded heartache that results from disobedience.  Maybe another who has never understood what it is you offer us will leave a life of lostness to cling to your promises.  Lord, I love you and I want you not to forget us.  It must be difficult for you to see the world as it has become so distorted from your original creation.  I pray that you will strengthen us to remember what You have done for us and stand up for the Truth that is Christ!  Breathe on us anew Lord, and awaken in our hearts a yearning for You.  In your precious, sweet son's name I pray. Amen.

Take the time to study this book...I have truly been convicted by the words of James and I pray that they will change you for God's Glory as well!

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:2-27

1 comment:

  1. I love the book of James. Its so encouraging, so real... God knows we are gonna fail and doubt and shame ourselves, but He gave us His Words, especially in James, to remind us, tell us its OK and to strive to do better! Great post! :)