Monday, January 13, 2014

James. .Week 2. .Assignment

I LOVE the way that God’s word is just becoming more and more a part of who I am!!
So MANY times lately. .
advice from the book of James just SHOWED up. .in my mind. .
in my heart. .and on my lips. .at the right time. .
reminding me of God’s will and God’s wisdom and God’s expectations!
Last month as I wrote this section for our email bible study. .
I had a particular day of reflection. .
As I mourned the loss of a dear patient and friend. .
whose family, has become my own family. .
a friend whose second year sobriety medal can be found in the top left hand drawer of my desk. .
a friend who asked me to sing at his funeral nearly THREE years ago. .
and informed me of exactly the songs that I would sing. .
a friend that was much too young to die. .
that left a wife and grown children behind to sort through the memories. .
much like another wife and children that I know well. .
who had been at that same painful intersection not that long ago. .
a friend that HAD the opportunity to be found by God in the painful circumstances of his life. .
and faithfully use his remaining days to glorify God in his mission and actions!! He IS the lucky one!!
I was able to reflect on EXACTLY what James reminded the believers of in 4:13-17. .
that we are just here for a little while. .
as long as the duration of the morning fog
(which we don’t see for very long once the sun comes out). .
our life is the length of a vapor. .or a mist. .
or a breath some translations say. .How long does a vapor last??
 In the total scheme of our day. .the vapor from our coffee. .
lasts NOT that long. .

Our lives. .are sooooo short in the eternal scheme of things. .
And as I was reminded of that. .
even when we KNOW death is knocking at the door. .
it’s never been long enough. .
I know that as we get older. .
we know that our time is shorter than it was yesterday. .
to do what is important. .
to show the love of God to others. .
to attend to the ones that we have been given. .
Yet, as one of the ladies mentioned. .
we get so caught up in planning out our lives. .
that sometimes we forget. .
that in the blink of an eye. .all of that can change. .
that in one simple little phone call. .our lives may never be the same. .
or perhaps. .that OUR life. .may be the one that God has called ceased!!
But. . at the end of the day. .
are the things that we spend the majority of our time on. .
going to make a difference in our eternal life. .
or the eternal life of others in our world??
 I find it a little interesting that on the heels of that advice about consulting God as we make our plans in James 4. .
that James reminds the early Christians. .
that it is sin to KNOW what you ought to do. .and then NOT do it. .

How many times. .
do we forsake what we KNOW we should do in our Christian walk of life (love others, take time out to help someone, make an opportunity to grow in knowledge or learning, etc, etc, etc) because THOSE plans. .
don’t fit into the time that we have left AFTER we take care of all of OUR plans??? 
  I know that I am certainly guilty of neglecting something that would bless someone else. .
because I don’t perceive that I have the time or the desire to make that potential work of God a priority!!  It may revert back to being a SLAVE of God again. .
Our focus should be doing God’s work!
The other verses that kept coming to me. .
were the verses that James uses discussing wisdom. .
He reminds us that wisdom from above. .
the ONLY true wisdom. .is PURE. .
it is peace loving, gentle at all times, willing to yield to others, full of mercy and good deeds, always sincere, and never shows favoritism. .
If we want that. .all we have to do is ask!!
I was headed backwards through the book of Proverbs on my way to a verse that I can’t even remember now. .
when I was stopped short. .
on Proverbs 16 as I noted the word wisdom at the top of the page. .
it was actually from 15:33 which said The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. .
BUT the next verse took me right back to what we just discussed. .
about making our plans. .and as I read through Proverbs 16. .
I was amazed (as usual) at how MUCH those verses tie into what we have been reading in James. .
So I included Proverbs 16 so that you can just read it as you have time. .
and see HOW detailed God was as He orchestrated all these authors to print the same concepts  throughout this awesome book of knowledge!
If you feel inclined. .I would be interested
 in knowing about one (or more) of the Proverbs verses that you directly tied. .immediately. .as something that you have just read in James!! You can reply a short answer back after you read this if you like!
Proverbs 16 NLT

16 We can make our own plans,
    but the Lord gives the right answer.

People may be pure in their own eyes,
    but the Lord examines their motives.

Commit your actions to the Lord,
    and your plans will succeed.

The Lord has made everything for his own purposes,
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The Lord detests the proud;
    they will surely be punished.

Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin.
    By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil.

When people’s lives please the Lord,
    even their enemies are at peace with them.

Better to have little, with godliness,
    than to be rich and dishonest.
We can make our plans,
    but the Lord determines our steps.
10 The king speaks with divine wisdom;
    he must never judge unfairly.
11 The Lord demands accurate scales and balances;
    he sets the standards for fairness.
12 A king detests wrongdoing,
    for his rule is built on justice.
13 The king is pleased with words from righteous lips;
    he loves those who speak honestly.
14 The anger of the king is a deadly threat;
    the wise will try to appease it.
15 When the king smiles, there is life;
    his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
    and good judgment than silver!
17 The path of the virtuous leads away from evil;
    whoever follows that path is safe.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
    and haughtiness before a fall.
19 Better to live humbly with the poor
    than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Those who listen to instruction will prosper;
    those who trust the Lord will be joyful.
21 The wise are known for their understanding,
    and pleasant words are persuasive.
22 Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it,
    but discipline is wasted on fools.
23 From a wise mind comes wise speech;
    the words of the wise are persuasive.
24 Kind words are like honey—
    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
25 There is a path before each person that seems right,
    but it ends in death.
26 It is good for workers to have an appetite;
    an empty stomach drives them on.
27 Scoundrels create trouble;
    their words are a destructive blaze.
28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
    gossip separates the best of friends.
29 Violent people mislead their companions,
    leading them down a harmful path.
30 With narrowed eyes, people plot evil;
    with a smirk, they plan their mischief.
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained by living a godly life.

32 Better to be patient than powerful;
    better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
33 We may throw the dice,[a]
    but the Lord determines how they fall.
I will have a little extra reading available in the next week or so. .
so you can see for yourself the scenario of Abraham offering his one and only son. .
begotten to him when he was no less than 100 years old. .
at the direction of God!! It is a story that should just make you think WOW. .
especially since many of us are parents and can understand HOW difficult that trip up the mountain would have been for Abraham to make!!
I will also be asking you to introduce your heart to the story of Rahab in Joshua 2. .
As a reminder. .that SHE was a hooker. .
the lowest of low in our judgmental  eyes. .
YET. .even in the midst of her awful sin habits. .
to accomplish His divine will. .and counted her as righteous. .
a faithful hero (Hebrews 11:31)!!  I hope that your faith is growing. .
as you are learning and seeking to be who God wants you to be. .
a servant FOR His purposes. .
that you are making strides in your own wisdom. .
and that one day. .on the ONLY day that will matter. .
you will hear Jesus Christ say to you. .

Well done. .my good and FAITHFUL servant!! Matthew 25:21
So. .This week. .
please read through James. .
with your notebook handy. .
and see who God reveals Himself to be within these pages. .
from the lips of James!!
Enjoy your week!! Love Mel

1 comment:

  1. I think I may have known this patient of yours! =) Thanks for this!