I have recently returned to James; easy for me [reading James, not living James] Reading James is like slipping on old comfy shoes on a rainy day, I love to be there. Now, living James? That’s always a new journey in itself.
A few years back, I did a study through the book of James with the Jr. Highers at church with devotions lined out for each day. I’m posting those here, journey with me?
The first day is simple, read those words, examine your heart, pray to that great big God of ours. Tomorrow, read it again and ask yourself the questions.
I’ll be right there with you.
living the book of James—>> not just studying it.
The book of James, Written by James, brother of Jesus; one of the many brothers of Jesus.
Monday: Just read James 1:19-25 (thru to the end of 25)
Tuesday: Read James 1:19-25 AGAIN then go back and read James 1:19-20 (thru to the end of 20)
Vs19: how do you feel you do with this verse? Are you quick to listen? Slow to speak? How about slow to become angry?
It says in verse 20 “mans anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
That doesn’t mean that we have to not get angry just because God “desires” it from us. It doesn’t even say that we have to do it to go to heaven. We are not God’s little puppets, we have a choice. God desires us to have the best life possible. When are we going to wake up and realize that HIS instructions are A BETTER WAY OF LIFE not just his way of controlling us? I would much rather live a life full of joy instead of bitterness. A life full of kindness instead of hate. Why waste so much time on being so mad at people and being quick to say mean things? It is a choice that we make; nobody MAKES us angry… we choose it.
Today: meditate on trying to be QUICK to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry In every situation! Friends, parents, teachers, siblings, people you don’t know that make you mad. Think back to this day last year… I am sure you were mad about something. What was it? Hmmm, must not have been that important. Rest assured I will be challenged right there with you today, we are on this journey together.
Wednesday: Read James 1:21-24 (thru to the end of 24)
Thursday: Read James 1:19-25 AGAIN then go back and read James 1:21-24
Vs21: Do you have Gods word [the bible] planted in you?
I love verse 22… it is like God knew how we were going to answer that question (imagine that). He says “Do not just listen to the word and deceive yourselves, [trick yourselves into believing that you obey it] DO WHAT IT SAYS.” He continues in verse 23 “ Anyone who listens to the word [the bible] but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Do we remember what we look like when we look away from the mirror? Do we remember what you learn when we read God’s word?
He is saying, those who just sit and listen or sit and read but don’t act upon what they have learned are deceiving themselves. There is a big difference between TRYING to honor God’s word by planting it inside our hearts and just showing up to church each week and listening because we think that is our “Christian obligation”.
Sometimes God tells me: Kati, you just need to put the bible study down and live what you’ve learned.
I once thought it was real hard to learn scripture and find time to study it. But over time I have realized it is just as easy as keeping the scores of the last football or basketball game, remembering the latest celebrity gossip, a great movie, or the last conversation you had with a friend.
We will retain in our brain, anything we value. Do we value God’s teaching? (deep breath, i am right there with you, friends)
Friday: Read James 1:21-25 (read thru 25)
Vs 25: BUT the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard but doing it- he will be blessed in what he does.
Isn’t that just amazing? PERFECT LAW THAT GIVES FREEDOM… WHAT? That’s right! Freedom!! When we accept Jesus we are set free, our chains are gone. It is not a life full of rules but a life full of blessing.
Do you feel like you are blessed in what you do? When we choose to trust and have faith in God believing that He has our best interest in mind our life will be so much better!
This weekend, focus on finding joy. Don’t focus on the negative. This path that you have chosen in Christ will be the only thing that will ever bring you everlasting joy. Everyone, everything, in this life will let you down at some point in time. Stay focused on him.
James Ch 2 — next Monday?
Much love this Monday and always,
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