Well, Marla is at it again with another read-along. God was faithful with the last one so I couldn’t turn this one down. And honestly, I need some accountability to stay in the Word.
James 1 is no joke. You could spend your whole Christian life in this one chapter and always be both encouraged and challenged.
I was specifically encouraged by two verses and then challenged by 3 more. Let me share.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds
How can you not be encouraged by this verse? Like everyone, we’ve been facing trials of our own. Many personal, others somewhat public like Emma’s start to school. What a great reminder that these things are doing a work within us. Even things that Satan means for harm can be used to make us more like Christ if we turn to him in these trials. And not for him to magically make them disappear but to learn to persevere through them.
James 1:5 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. (The Message)
I love the way The Message words this verse. And how many times lately have I just prayed, “God, I have no idea what I’m doing! You have to help!” It’s true. We have to remember to go to HIM for that wisdom and direction. He is just waiting to give his wisdom but we have to ask for it in faith.
James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
This has been on my prayer list for weeks. I need help controlling my tongue. Period.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
I think those of us, particularly in the blog world might struggle with this. How often do we read or listen to posts or messages about Christ and yet fail to actually live them out? We are DECEIVED if our life does not look like the word.
James 1:27 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.
Marla pointed out in her post that these are the two spectrums of people..the socially aware liberal and the law-loving right-winger. We are responsible to be BOTH. But what struck me reading it is that phrase “polluted by the world”. What is the world? How do I become polluted by it? How do I be a part of it without being polluted? There are lots of questions for me here.
I’ll be honest and say one area I’ve been challenged by the past year is TV. Is that considered “the world”? All of it? Some of it? Just my penchant for addiction to it? I have stayed away happily from TV this summer. Should I continue through the fall? Or to what extent? All I can say is God definitely is pricking me in this area and I’m searching for the right balance for me. And trust me, I believe that it is different for all of us.
Whew, see? That is enough to keep me going for quite a while. Make sure to hop over to Marla’s and read the rest of the linked up posts.