I’ve been writing a song over the course of the past year and a half that reflects on Jesus’s fascinatingly contradictory nature, the way He lived and demonstrated life by doing the exact opposite of society’s norms and expectations. Touching the untouchable in the leper, loving the adulterous prostitute, breaking bread with crooked tax collectors. His bold actions went against not only cultural taboos, but against many of the laws of the day. After He ascended, His disciples, who became the first leaders of the “modern” church, discovered the reasoning behind and hope within why Christ lived like that while here on earth.
I’m reading through James again at the suggestion of a colleague and friend, and I just started writing what came to mind as I read. Enjoy…
- When faith is tested, endurance will grow. When endurance grows, it will make me stronger. Not on my own, but by His strength.
- Is my loyalty divided between God and the things in this world? Am I truly putting my faith in Him alone? Where am I falling short when it comes to seeking and asking Him for wisdom? How do I tell the difference between what I’m coming up with on my own and what He is inspiring?
- The rich should show humility for their blessings, and the poor should boast of how God is honoring them. They have all they need in Him, as long as they are making Him all they need.
- God never tempts us, He never puts things in front of us to test our faith in such ways. But He allows it so we may be blessed by enduring it!
- In spite of how mankind has continued to abandon Him, His heart still beats for us.
- There is a distinct difference between my anger and God’s righteous anger. I need to defer to His anger when I’m angry or frustrated, and I need to be open to letting Him in to dispel it, including when it’s offered by a friend.
- I need to not just read & listen to the Word, I need to live it. I need to practice it! Daily! I need to have it on my mind so I truly know it.
- James 2 is hitting home. I find myself judgmental of people purely by their appearance, and I remember a time when I didn’t. That’s the world’s influence on me. I think this is one of the really tough areas for me to grasp.
- The law that sets me free will also judge me, so I should live according to that law of freedom and enjoy the freedom I have in it!
- James 3. As a leader in the church, I will be judged more strictly. I’ve already felt the sting of poor decisions, and it is the least important reason I need to guard my heart and mind. The most important is the tremendous freedom in Him, as mentioned before. Why do I need anything else?
- Humility humility humility. Draw close to God, He draws close back.
- James 5… Prayer is powerful. Prayer is conversation. Prayer with others is uplifting and revealing.