I just love the book of James. It's one of my favorite books of the bible.
Why? you ask. Well, I see myself in James a bit. He's practical. He's pretty straight forward. Here it is, now do it. Done.
How wonderful it is to have such practical wisdom!
I'm currently doing a ladies bible study at church, http://www.christianbook.com/james-mercy-triumphs-leader-kit/9781415872604/pd/872604/1282201201?event=100960SBF|780524|1025
I can not tell you how timely this bible study as come into my life.
After all the struggles we have been through the past year, this has been such a pleasure. And what's not awesome about doing an in depth study in one of your own favorite books. Is God awesome or what?
OK, off the tangent...back to James 1. While doing the study last night, Beth Moore said something that hit me like a ton of bricks.
You see the reason James is so straight forward in his book, is that he lived with Jesus, and missed all this... He missed it. He didn't believe in him, he mocked him... and then AFTER Jesus' resurrection... He GOT IT!!!! He GOT IT!!!!
How exciting, yet sad all at the same time. Ever have that happen? You just are fighting something to no end. You are not going to allow it, or believe it and then BAM, the Lord reveals it to you. And you do a total 180*. That was James.
So I believe in his excitement..and in not wanting anyone else to miss it. He writes the book of James with such authority! Don't waste your time trying to figure it out. It's here, in lay mans terms.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 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. 6 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. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do
Consider our trials joy? Really... Yes!!!!! Why? Because it's a testing of your faith, and that produces perseverance!!! Oh.. OK.. I get it.
Ask God for wisdom, YES, YES, YES!!!! He gives it freely!!!! Remember Solomon?
Key point, But when you ask, you must BELIEVE. Do you believe it when you ask? Or are you whining and complaining to God that you need wisdom, and then you walk away..without waiting for the supernatural whisper of our Lord to comfort you?
The consequences are big if you don't believe the wisdom will come, you are like a ship being tossed about at sea.
I mean really? I love the visuals James gives. Here the action, if you don't do it.. Here's the consequence!!!
Awesome, Awesome stuff!!!!
Double Minded and Unstable in ALL they do... I don't want to be that, do you?
What does the Lord say we are under trials, we are blessed. (v 12) Blessed...
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. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Every gift is from above. Our trials are gifts... hard one to swallow, but everything, EVERYTHING that happens to us... GOD is in control of...
We are his first fruits, I want to be a good fruit on that vine.. I want to be a big, juicy, delicious tempting fruit.. Not a shriveled up rotten piece! Or juicy and plump on one side and rotten to the core on the other.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 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.
Oh, the above pains me at times... quick to listen, yup I can do that, slow to speak, sometimes... I could use more practice...slow to become angry... OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!! and then read on... Anger does not produce righteousness!!! YIKES!!! Yup, need the Lords hand on this one. If he placed it right over my mouth that would be good! :)
Get rid of all moral filth! Hello, it doesn't get any more plainer then that. Get rid of it.
If it is taking you away from serving your God or your family first. Then it has to go. So simple. Don't justify it. Just get rid of it. Throw it out, End it. Period. DONE, OVER!!! Got it???
Humbly accept God's help.. His word will fill your temporary void. And then you will look back and say to yourself, how could I ever have put that above my God, or my family?
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Oh, that is my favorite piece right there!!! Don't merely listen, DO IT...
Seriously!!! Just do it!!!!!! Act on the word of God!!!! It can't get any easier then this!!!!!!!!!!!!
2324 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 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.
James is just full of action and consequence. I just love it. Do and be blessed or don't and suffer the consequences.
To me the greatest consequence would be to disappoint God. We are his first fruits... Just let it sink in...
I pray that you would make me a ripe, juicy fruit. And I thank you for the practical book of James. May this blog be used to encourage someone along the way. And if you are reading this and don't know our Lord personally.. May you be encouraged to put your life in his hands. He wants to mold you into the person you are desiring to be. A person that will be his first fruit.
In Jesus' Holy and Precious Name.
From My Heart to Yours!