Living the book of James: Week Five. Of course! We all love being called adulterers.

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You know, don’t you? You do realize and believe me when I say:

These words minister to my heart daily.

So, when someone tells me last week- “You should go back to the bible study you did over James and practice what you preach.”  (ha! no, it wasn’t my husband.)

If you think for one second I have it all together you must thing again. We all struggle through this life simply waiting to dance sweetly with Jesus. The beauty of this life is:

Deciding to dance today. While we wait, we rejoice! While we wait, we grow. While we wait, we struggle through what it means to truly be a disciple of the only one who is perfect.


Monday: Read James Chapter 4 vs 1-18

Tuesday: Read James Chapter 4 vs 1-18 again

Let’s focus on verses 1-3

You want something you do not have, so you kill. You want something but cannot get it, so you fight for it. You do not get things because you do not ask for them.  Or if you do ask, you do not receive because your reasons for asking are wrong. You want these things only to please yourselves.”

As we dig deeper into James, I struggle on how to “bring out the text” I mean, I don’t really know what to say outside of what James says. It’s pretty plain and simple, there.

I do know I think of this verse often, especially the You do not get things because you do not ask for them.   Often times, I struggle with asking for things. I think God doesn’t want to give those things to me because they are either “worthless”, “petty”, or maybe even “worldly”.

It’s true. I don’t necessarily know if God cares about a new TV I want or a better looking car. I’m not sure he cares If I can take a vacation, visit special places, or even have the fancy house I want. When I get into places of doubt like that– I examine the character of God.

He is my father.

His word says, he will give me the desires of my heart, yes. Although, are my desires good and pure desires? Or are they greedy and ill motive desires? Maybe it all comes back to the heart of the issue.

Take two of my girls for example, they are so very different. One would take a candy bar we gave her and be thankful. She would nibble on it here and there, save it well. She would hide it away and forget about it, really. Nobody would ever know she had it so she’d never have to share. She’d like it that way.  She wouldn’t gobble it all down at once, and she SURE wouldn’t ask for another one. She would be most thankful. However, the other daughter, she would eat it as quickly as she could and ask for another. She would never save it, it would drive her crazy having an uneaten portion of candy within her grasp–chances are, she will even ask for a soda to wash it down. BUT this daughter would share.

Remember James says, Or if you do ask, you do not receive because your reasons for asking are wrong. You want these things only to please yourselves.”

Perhaps its more about who we are, what we’ll do, and how our character matches up with the character of God that determines how God gives us good gifts? I wonder which one God would have chosen to give the candy to. My saver or my sharer.

Today: Examine yourself, your motives. Pray God would reveal his character to you, showing you who he is and how you can strive to be more of his character. Many times, I think I’m doing just fine and then God brings me back to 1 Samuel.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

Wednesday: Read chapter 4 again.

Let’s focus on vs. 4-10

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”


So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

Something I have been convicted of strongly lately. When was the last time I was broken. When was the last time I just broke down, humbled myself, quit trying to be so strong and fell at the feet of Jesus?  —what? He’ll lift me up in honor?


Oh, the sweet, sweet ways of Jesus.

Thursday: Read Chapter 4 again.

Let’s focus on vs. 11-12

“Christian brothers, do not talk against anyone or speak bad things about each other. If a person says bad things about his brother, he is speaking against him. And he will be speaking against God’s Law. If you say the Law is wrong, and do not obey it, you are saying you are better than the Law. Only God can say what is right or wrong. He made the Law. He can save or put to death. How can we say if our brother is right or wrong?

Ahhh, there goes nice ‘ol James again. Giving it to us straight. Remember week two: the gossip journal? Have a problem with another brother or sister in Christ? Take it to the brother or sister. Doesn’t fix it? Pour your heart out to God about it. Make it your focus until the issue is resolved. By focus I mean, don’t stop praying, seeking, and humbling yourself before the King before you have a resolution to the situation. Remember David and King Solomon. Sheesh!

Friday: Last day, read it again! Come on, you can do it!

“Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans and all such boasting is evil.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

Can I just say? Five years ago my husband was in a full time youth ministry we lived a happy little life. We had a steady paycheck, did normal church things. Our home was always full of students and parents.  Behind the scenes we struggled daily with being so comfortable. Each day we prayed over and over again for God to stretch us. Wouldn’t you know? Within a year we were plucked up and moved to the town we prayed we’d never return to. Now, we are so blessed to live in that town and use our home as a non-profit café a place for community and outreach along with a clothing closet. People come here to volunteer. We have increased our home size to eleven having a new family move in just yesterday. We walk hard and joyful roads with friends. Friends who show us what Jesus looks like, daily.

Here’s the deal. You never know what tomorrow might bring friends, love big today.

 Challenged right there along side you.

For real.

Full Love,

Kati

Living the Book of James: week five. Oh no, it’s about the tongue.

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Are you ready? eek! It’s all about the tongue and having true wisdom.
 
Deep breath in. Deep breath out. I’ll admit, I’d rather be reading your devotion to ME this week.

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living the book of James
week 5
chapter 3:1-18

Monday: Read James 3:1-18 (come on, it’s little– you can do it!)

Tuesday: Re-read James 3: -8

 

Notice in vs. 4:

…Or take ships for example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.


Is our tongue driven by our emotions or steered by our grace?
Do we lash out hasty like a snake, ready to strike at any minute?

If you are like me, it depends on the day. Some days, nothing can make me upset. Other days, I just snap. Oh my goodness, I hate those days. You see, our emotions are big and usually driven by circumstances. They are like the strong winds, pushing us in all different directions– we cannot trust emotions. Our grace however– it’s like the small rudder which must steer our “ship.” It’s hidden deep and capable of doing big things.

Our emotions can be steered by grace–that unexplainable gift we have been given that causes us to accept each others faults– if we draw daily on the one who gives that gift. If we are living in the spirit, focused on the One Who Gives Life, it makes it easier to see things with new eyes. And drawing daily doesn’t have to be a big deal. Remember? It’s just about doing it.

Wednesday: Read James 3:9-12

…With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.

Oh, My
Oh, My
Oh, My

I really don’t know what to write about this. It is so simple and right there. Our options are — well, there are no options at all, are there? He tells us right there what we do each and every day. This is what I love about James, it’s not hard to figure out, it’s not sugar coated– or in some sort of code. It’s black and white.

…My brothers, this should not be.

Can a Christian worship on a Sunday morning, then go out to lunch and not express a smile to those serving them lunch? Can a Christ follower talk bad about people who work on Sunday — working on the “Sabbath” — and then go to Wal-Mart to buy groceries, being checked out by someone working on a Sunday?

I think Rob Bell sums it up best:

“Because with every action, comment, conversation, we have the choice to invite Heaven or Hell to Earth.”

Thursday: Read James 3:13-18

Love, love, love, love this passage.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincerePeacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Could it be that wisdom is not found in what we know- but rather who we are in Christ? Oh my goodness, I sure hope so. Read that again slow. Could it be that wisdom is not found in what we know- but rather who we are in Christ? Oh goodness, I am so far from wise and I’m full of childish ambition- I’m daily in need of a reminder: Who am I called to be in Christ?

Friday: Let’s meditate on this: James 3:18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.

May we live in such a way, Jesus would be proud.

simple. yet, life changing?

Loves,
Kati

The day my nine year old was picked up by the police: When people think you have it all together

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“I don’t want to live here anymore.”

“I.want.a.NEW.family.”

Stomping her feet- right there in the middle of her bedroom, surrounded by all who love her; she had made up her mind- it was time to leave.

And what do you do when something like that happens?

Because when you’ve grown up being tossed around from foster home to foster home- from institution to institution when things get hard; of course you want to leave.

So, she left. And I followed- all secret agent like. Parking behind trees and in peoples driveways. It’s true. I simply hid out as I watched my little girl skip around town- thinking all was right with the world; thinking she had won.


Some days, I want to skip around town- thinking all is right with the world, thinking I have won. But the truth is: I’m a broken mess.


I followed her for an hour before the city police finally came and picked her up and drove her home. All the while I thought, “And people think we have it all together.”

This is the truth, friends.

None of us have it all together.

I have sat with mommas who have tried to take their lives; mommas who I thought had it all together. I have sat with women whose marriage I envied; only to find they were nearing divorce. I have wished upon stars for your picture perfect child to influence my not-so picture perfect child; only to find your child is no-so picture perfect after all. I have hoped and dreamed for the homes of many- only to see those homes be taken by the bank or cause a divorce over finances.

My nine year old just wanted a new family. And when the police picked her up? Well, she didn’t care one bit. She told him she ran away because she didn’t want to do her math problems and she wanted a new family. Well, in orphan world- police take you from families to make you safe. She thought he would just snatch her up and move her to a math-less world. So, when he said, “Next time, I’m taking you to juvie.” She wasn’t too impressed.

So, how do we: moms, dads, sons, daughters, co-workers, bloggers, foodies, grandmothers, men and women– how do we show the love and grace of Jesus in a true and genuine way? Because as Ann Voskamp sweetly reminds us:

“Aren’t we all really like Peter– cowards and liars and deniers and absolute messes? I am.”

I am.


And when one runs away or one hits another child, or one does something unthinkable, I simply am reminded. We all need Jesus. A suit, tie, and seminary degree, all packaged with a big smile aren’t going to change the fact that I am a broken mess and so desperately in need of a savior.

And hopefully? By leaving all of that religious, “I’ve got it all together” facade aside, this desperation can speak loud into the lives of my children. That life is hard, and days can be crazy. But Jesus is loving, and grace filled- no matter what.

Then, when we break at the feet of Jesus,  we’re just a bit like my nine year old- who, hours later– even hours after being toted home in a patrol car- finally broken, collapsed in my arms and said,

“I’m sorry mom and I love you.”

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“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God.” 1 John 3:1a

Lavished by the King- and so desperately in need of Him–

Right along side of you, friend.
Kati

Similar Post: Do things that make the white guy in Walmart say, Da** girl; how many baby daddies have you had?


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Whatever you do- don’t ever homeschool.

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writingwithintrees:

Because I’ve had chats upon chats this week and last about homeschooling. This. Because my inbox is full of mommas with insecure hearts- feeling inadequate as they humbly teach, train, and nurture their children before they fly the nest. This.

this. because i am just as insecure as you.

- Kati

Originally posted on writingwithintrees:

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die is a process of learning.”  J Krishnamurti

disclaimer:  please, just continue on your happy way today if you are one to be sensitive to a certain type of school- be it homeschool, unschool, public school, any type of school– as I do not intend to offend ; )

I only intend to take one, maybe two of you? on a tip-toe journey through a crazy thing called:

this.right here… this girl. THIS homeschool mommas real “live”  life.

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Here i am. Standing amongst all things we call, in our home, opportunities of learning- strewn out all over once again as I tackle a school room move.

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Yup, there it is- all behind…

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Making time for what matters. living the book of James: week 4

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We ended last week with James 2: 5-12 and are starting this week with James 2:14-26

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Grabbing a few moments of sweetness in His word this morning.

A few moments because it has already been a crazy day- and it’s only 7:30 in the morning.

Because my night job ran crazy long and seemed to fall apart at the seams; which put me home late this morning. Then, one of the seven children who live life fully within these walls- had an accident in their bed. Of course, this was the one who needed to be up and out the door the earliest. Then, of course, there is a pile of paperwork that needs looked at, a trip to the bank, breakfast to make- oh wait, lunch and dinner. But then again- I need to leave the house in 20 minutes with a car full of kiddos; equipped with their homeschool books for a morning of shopping for the café (you know- that place where we shack up with people?)

On top of it all: that enemy and his whispers… those evil whispers of, “You’re not good enough. You’re always… a failure, disorganized, good for nothing… you name it, he says it.”

So, THIS time in James? Let’s make time for it together and nurture our souls.

Because a million other people have a harder story than mine this Monday morning and.it’s.all.going.to.be.okay.

(Thanks to the sanitizing setting on the laundry machine- thank you, sweet Jesus)


just. breathe.

exhale.

Pssstttt, this is one of my very favorite parts of James.

Monday: read James 2:14-26

Tuesday: read James 2:14-26 AGAIN and then go back and read James 2:14- 15  (thru end of 15)

Question: Do we consider ourselves someone who has faith? The passage is not referring to a faith like,  “Oh yes I believe in Jesus.”  You see, I cannot just say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus, I have faith in him” and never do a good deed.  He is saying that a GENUINE Faith will produce good deeds because we cannot have a true faith without good deeds.

It is like this: If you are an apple tree, what kind of fruit are you going to produce? Apples! always! There will never be an orange on your tree. IF we are someone who is captured by faith in Christ as a savior than we will automatically be someone who produces good deeds. It is like the apple tree; it cannot help but produce Apples. Like a young tree, someone young in their faith will not produce as much as a mature tree, although they are producing. We cannot help but produce good deeds, it’s an overflow of the God story.

Are you saved by deeds? No, not by deeds alone. We are saved by grace and grace alone. Grace, my – oh – my that wonderful thing called grace.

What a great deed that was– the journey to the cross.

Tomorrow, let’s examine ourselves. Are we REALLY a person of faith? Let’s keep tabs on all of our good deeds and keep track of all our bad deeds. Which one wins out? How often do we think of others first? Friends, this is not a time for us to say, “Oh man, this is too hard; I can’t ever be good enough.” NO!

It’s not all about being good enough, it’s about being good–good to others.

All God asks of us is: try. And when we mess up or fail, just try again. Let’s try to be a person who thinks of others first. Trying to be a person who is more worried about other people than ourselves. It is something we can acquire, I promise! Galatians says that we will know a Christian by their fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.) If we are striving to live a life that Loves God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength our life will produce good deeds, which IS a true faith, the kind of faith that we are saved by.  Oh my goodness- doing things for others is sooo addicting! Trust me, it’s like a good time, Jesus drug. =)

Wednesday:  Read James 2: 15-17 (thru to the end of 17)

It seems like a lot of times we just see a ‘sad situation’ and walk away without doing something. We may even go home and say to our family… “I talked with this person l today that is having a real hard time, they just kept telling me about all this bad stuff that keeps happening to them.” and you continue by saying… “I felt so sorry for them.”

What if, instead of just making that the ‘story of our day’ we made it the story of their day. What if we made a change in that person’s life–all by a simple deed.

What if we went home, cleaned out our closet and took that person a lot of new clothes from our own closet? Groceries from our own pantry, A gift tucked away in a secret place for them to find, never telling them what you did?

Have you ever done something like that? Let’s take a second to write down what we think of this passage. Have we ever been in this situation? How does the passage challenge us?

Thursday: Read James 2:14-24

Notice that he asks in vs 14 ‘can such faith (a faith without good deeds) save you…’ What do you think?  vs 20 says You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Then he tells the story of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son because God had told him to. God sent a sacrifice and Abraham did not have to do that but because of his faithfulness to honor God, his faithfulness to love God more than he even loved his son, he was called God’s friend.  Then he continues by saying… you see? A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

Thought for tomorrow: Does God call us his friend?

Friday: Read James 2: 20-26

vs 26 says As a body without the spirit is dead so faith without deeds is dead.

This weekend, let’s try to focus on being ALIVE in Christ! So excited about what he did for us, is doing for us we cannot help but make this life WONDERFUL by an overflowing of sharing love with others. Let’s have fun, laugh, focus on the blessings of beauty all around us. Let’s be thankful for friends to talk to, legs to walk on, clothes to wear, little cheeks to kiss, phones to talk to friends with… everything! When we learn to focus on the wonderful things it makes it a lot easier to love people through good deeds/actions/ words, etc.

It becomes our heartbeat.

Are you hurting right now? Hurting too much for this?  I pray someone is living this scripture with you, loving you along life’s hard roads– like that sweet Jesus type of love.

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Loves to you, friend.

Kati


Totally lost?
We started the book of James HERE.
Week two is HERE
Week three is HERE

A book I recommend on finding joy and living life fully? Oh yes. This. A Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are.


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Care to hear a story of yet another homeless man? Living the book of James: week 3

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We ended last week with James 1:26-27 and are starting this week with James 2:1-12

Monday night: read James 2:1-12  (thru to the end of 12)

Tuesday night: read James 2:1-12 AGAIN and then go back and read James 2:1-4 (thru to the end of 4)

When I originally wrote this study, it was for Jr. Highers. This is a lot easier text to go through with a bunch of public school Jr. Highers- struggling to figure out who they are in the mist of several different social groups at school. It’s a little harder to address with adults.

Maybe it’s even a little more important?

Vs 3-4 says: If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet”, you have  discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts.

You see, we picture this scenario to go like this…

A nice looking, clean, “rich” person walks into a room and we offer him a chair. THEN a poor man walks into the room, he stinks and is not dressed well. Do we offer him a chair or just ignore him? Of course we offer him the same type of chair at the same table. We would never separate him from the others… that would hurt his feelings. I mean good grief most of us are not totally mean.

As an adult, I believe this scripture goes a little deeper within the heart here. I think it has several applications for different stages of life. For some, it is a matter of just not loving poor people outwardly. For others, it’s a heart issue. And me? I don’t have either one of them figured out. I simply know this. Jesus loves the poor. He loves them just as much as He loves you and I.

Yes, we know He loves the poor child in the other countries we support monthly, and He loves the hard working momma in Uganda, but listen when I tell you this: He loves the man sitting on the corner begging for change. Many of us would probably argue, “How do we even know if that person is poor; he may have a mansion just around the corner.” The beauty of that crazy God story? It doesn’t matter what we think he has, it matters what God says our love should do, love unconditionally.

Here are a few ways you can love poor/homeless people:

Stop and pray with them. This is one of my children’s favorite ones. Especially when a person is in an area that is applicable to stopping, such as a Wal-Mart parking lot. Stop, ask their name. Ask their story. Grab their dirty hand and pray with them. When you leave, don’t stop praying.

Take them home. Yes, I know it’s a scary step. And as much as I want to say, It will be OK, just put them up in your guest room. That is not safe. Let’s be honest, God calls us to love. There’s a smart way to do that. If you choose to take in a hurting stranger, especially one you have never met, I suggest having a garage, tent, or storage building you can give them. Let them earn your trust over time if they stay. Don’t give them your home, especially if you have young children.

Feel uncomfortable doing this? Why not take them to the local shelter for the night? They are equipped for this situation. You can read about one of our homeless friends, Mr Floyd, by clicking here.

Ask them. Ask them what their need is. One man we met, his sign said “Needing cash for gas to get home.” We took him to go get gas. Did he ask us for cash after filling his pump? Yup, he sure did. Did we give it to him? Nope. But we smiled real big and hugged him goodbye. I know he probably stopped and held the same sign for years, every time he needed gas. But it’s not about him, is it? Another man had just been released from jail and had a free rehabilitation place to stay across the country. He only had to get there. He needed a bus ticket. His letter, addressed to him in jail, was from the place he said, stating the things he told us. At that point, we only had one choice, help him.

Ask them to go eat with you. Several times, the sign will read “Hungry, need money for food.” Don’t want to just fork out money? Take them to lunch. We have offered this to several people, several. Only one has accepted; his name was Willy.

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 We met him on our vacation to San Antonio, TX a few years back. While walking the river walk, he asked us if we could spare a dollar. We invited him to dinner. He walked with us, several blocks to the hub of town telling us all about the city. As we passed other homeless people, he would call them by name, saying, “Hello, Roger…”. When we passed some of them homeless men, Willy would warn us to move over. “This guy is no good, you kids move away from him.” Our oldest daughter, Alli who was nine at the time,  was totally enamored by his ‘homeless man knowledge’ =) His shoes were too small, and he smelled real bad but he had a smile that was worth gold. There might not have been any teeth, but there was joy. =)

When we asked him what he wanted, he said, a hamburger. “Oh, I’d love me a good hamburger”, he said. Well, have you ever been to the river walk on a Friday night? Yes, it’s packed with people and apparently, they all love a good burger. After waiting several minutes at one restaurant, we decided to move over to another. A fancy Mexican restaurant, they had immediate seating and hamburgers.

The staff was very rude to us and the table next to us asked to be moved. But we laughed, worked with Willy on reading our names, and talked about life. Willy’s belly was full. And us? We.were.full.


Taking them to lunch too big of a step for you right now? I had a friend tell me once they buy up lots of gift cards and store them in their purse. When they see someone but don’t have time to stop, they give them a small gift card. Do the people sell that for drugs or beer? Possibly. But again,

It is not our job to determine how they use Grace, it’s our privilege to share it.

Wednesday:

Thursday: read James 2:5-12 (thru to the end of 12)

Question: what do you think about vs5?

Notice how he says “those who are poor in the eyes of the world

You see, we put a value on people based on what they look like or by what they own. If they don’t look a certain way, they are poor. If they don’t have a certain amount of money, they are poor.

God puts a value on people by where their faith lies. 

God says, you can have a great style, a nice house, tons of friends and money but if your faith does not dwell/reside in God, you are poor. And the people we think are poor, God considers rich.

Notice James says at the end of that verse … he promised those who love him. The poor person has to love God, obviously. BUT it is much easier for a poor person to have faith in God; not only because they don’t have money to depend on but also the little things like not typically having friends or family.  God is their source of strength in times of loneliness, heartache, and financial crisis. Again, if they love God.

Who or what do we truly depend on in times of loneliness or heartache? Our family? Our spouse? Our credit card? Our savings?

Oh friends, being alone. The desert. There is a relationship in those places we will never understand.

He says in vs 5 that He has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom He has promised those who love him. But we say, well, I love God. Do we? We love God by loving people, not only believing in Him. We learned that a few weeks ago. We have to love all people. It is a hard thing to do, trust me, I know but God knows when we are trying. When we are trying that is being faithful to Him. It is when we just don’t even try that we are lying to ourselves in saying that we love God.

My friend Tony says it best,

Love is an action.

Friday read James 2:5-12

Yesterday we touched a little on ‘you love God by loving people’ check out vs 8. It says, if you keep the royal law (which is the law of love) found in scripture “love your neighbor as yourself”, you are doing right.  You see, friends. It all comes down to the same song, love others like you love yourself. This is everyone. Your parents, your friends, your boss, people who are real mean to you, people who are totally skanky. We are called to love them all. Sometimes we feel like it is our job to not love them or to be mean to them because they are always mean to us. Nope. Jesus says revenge is his. Our job is to love them and trust faithfully that the Lord is going to bring justice. And believe me; He does a much better job of it than we do!

We think that we have all these “rights” but think about this:

God is the shepherd of our lives. Think of a shepherd, what does he do? He takes care of his flock. The sheep have no rights; they cannot do anything for that shepherd or to that shepherd. But guess what! The shepherd is always faithful to care for the sheep’s needs. He protects them, feeds them, and dedicates his life to them FULLY.  If we are the sheep, what rights do we have, especially the right to determine who to love and not love. {my, oh, my I am right there with you!}

This weekend, let’s focus on not being the judge of people’s status. Let’s try our hardest to love everyone equal. Treat everyone with equal respect.  Remember, God does not judge us at all by what our money can buy or by how our clothes look. He judges our heart and our faithfulness. We cannot be a fair judge of those things, only He can because only He knows our hearts. Therefore, we have no business judging others. I cannot tell you how happy I am knowing that only God can judge my worth because I know that I will just never measure up to everyone’s standards!

vs 13.  … if you have been merciful.

 Mercy, Grace, and Peace to you!

Lovingly,
Kati


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Living the book of James: week two of a simple study

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Busy weekend, friends? I’m right there with you.

Remember last week, when I mentioned I first did this study years ago with my Jr. High Sunday school class? Well, one of those junior highers moved in with us this weekend. Yup, he traveled from the precious place we once called home- a state away, and joined us to live life together. However, he is no longer a junior higher, he is now a man.

You just never know what tomorrow brings.

Grab a few minutes this afternoon and let’s dig in, simply.

May you be challenged and loved as you walk the scriptures this week.

I’m right there with you.

 


living the book of James
Week 2
End of Ch 1

Written by James, brother of Jesus.

We ended last week with James 1:21-25 and are Starting this week with James 1:26-27

Monday: read James 1:26-27 (thru to vs. 27)

Tuesday: read James 1:26-27 again.

Vs 26 says… if anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Question:

Do we consider ourselves to be religious? Now days we use that term like it is bad. For example, we might say “Well, they are just religious.” because they like a certain type of praise music in the church or maybe they like a “type of church” better than the other. That is what we have made religion to mean… what it actually means is our OUTWARD acts of being a Christian.

Someone should be able to look at us and say “wow, that person is so different” NOT because we are rude toward non-Christians or because we go around judging other peoples sin, but because we are so incredibly nice to people, forgiving, happy, and carefree of life’s worries. {aka living by the fruit oh.so.hard}

Gandhi says it best. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Oh, friends. What does our Christ look like?

Continuing in vs. 26: How about our tongue? Do we keep a tight rein on it?

Tomorrow: Lets focus on displaying our OUTWARD acts of being a Christian. Lets watch our tongue, think before we speak, (remember last week… quick to listen and slow to speak). Vs. 26  doesn’t just mean bad language; this means all talk. Mommas, talking bad about one friend to another friend is wrong, it is a sin. It is a sin that is so VERY EASY to fix! We have to just train our mouths to not speak mean things.

When we choose to love God more than we love talking bad about people it makes us a more beautiful person.

Remember who we are. we are a wife, a mother, a friend, a mother in law, perhaps even a grandmother. Let’s work together hard now on using kind words to others and about others; trust me, it pays off. Are you sick of having friends who back stab you? Then quit being a backstabber. We only attract the type of friends we ourselves are– or the type of friends who want to become someone like who we are–

Not because we are so good, oh we are not. But because the grace and goodness of that sweet Jesus. That crazy Jesus love.

Wednesday: Write it down! Feel like talking about someone? Mad at someone, been hurt? Start a journal. Lets write our feelings down. When we write out our thoughts, without even knowing it, we are giving all our worries and cares to God–he will take care of us. Then, it is so amazing to look back and see his goodness in each step.

Thursday: read James 1: 26-27 again

  1. 27: the religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: look after orphans and widows in their troubled times and keep yourselves from being polluted by the world.

Is our religion one that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless?  James gives us the exact definition of a religion which God accepts as pure and faultless.

do.we.know.an.orphan?

how.about.a.widow?

not do we know of one, do we know even one?

what are our hands, our feet, our words, our lives too busy doing?

Oh friends, mine is busy doing the laundry, are you there with me? There are always things to be done, but which are eternal?

Friday night: read James 1:26-27 again

Question:

Do we find ourselves taking better care of us rather than others?

How are we doing with keeping ourselves from being polluted by the world?

The world says, “Oh, you deserve a break.” “Take a rest.” “This is too much for you.” 

Jesus says,  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” no matter the context, it still says the same. He is our strength.

This weekend, lets focus on taking better care of others rather than ourselves.  I think we will find, it is not just pleasing to God but it also makes us feel much better, as a person.

Even if we feel the person we are serving does not deserve it remember, we sure didn’t deserve what Christ did for us but he did it anyway. AND remember we are doing it because we love God. I can’t tell you how often I have to say that to myself… “This is because I love you God, because I know this person doesn’t appreciate what I am doing, but you do.”

He sees you.

Our mission? To become a servant of all.

Becoming with you,

Kati