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James

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The Wisdom of James

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:" James 1:9 James is such a painfully great chapter in the Bible to read! The book is falling out of my Bible because I am consistantly brought back to revisit the Truths that are stored here.

Last night, at church, we looked at this verse and then to John 8:1-11. In John, Jesus is a picture of what swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath looks like.

"Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (Joh 8:1-11)"

The challenge for us is to imitate Christ. To be swift to hear-really HEAR,or discern the situation. To be Slow to speak- listening also for the Lord's direction and not leaning on our own understanding.To be Slow to wrath-not allowing our emotions cause words to flow from our lips that are in contradiction to the Word of God.

I am praying that the Spirit will show me my shortcomings in these areas. I will be intentional to hear swiftly, speak slowly and not respond from emotion. Will you join me?

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God in the Laundry?

I think my favorite book in the Bible is James.  My kids laugh when we talk about what we have been reading, because 8 of 10 times I have just reread a passage in James!  I think I love it because it's SO full, hard to read sometimes because it steps...no STOMPS on your toes, but it is rich.  There is so much to learn from that little book way in the back of the Bible.

Anyway, another passage that is dear to me, even though it too, steps on my toes, is Proverbs 301:10-31.  It is the passage that lays out what a Godly woman and wife should look like. 

Last night, after church, the house was quiet and there was still so much that needed to be accomplished.  Tempted to grumble as I was changing out the laundry at 11:00, an amazing thing happened!  God brought Proverbs to my thoughts instead.  I recalled that Proverbs 31:18b "her candle goeth not out by night."  Well, that changed my whole attitude!

You see, while I was standing there folding clothes, I realized that I was making strides in becoming the woman, wife and mother that I so earnestly study about and strive to become.  It is a LONG process! We can't just read a passage in the Bible and think that the next day, by some grand miracle, we will become what we have read.  BOY, there's a thought!  Too bad that doesn't happen!

I have studied and prayed and cried about and prayed and studied Proverbs 31.  It is my hearts desire to be this woman.  To fear the Lord, admonish my husband and provide a "safe" place for him.  To be a prepared mother and raise up Godly children and to show the love of Christ to others around me through kindness and compassion.  But it all starts in the heart while I'm folding laundry, late at night in a dark quiet house.  Do I grumble, or do I praise the Lord? Do I "count it all joy" as James 1:2 says?

I still have a long way to go. I know I will never be perfect, but perfection is not my goal.  To be able to stand before my Lord Jesus and know that I have made every effort to "Walk in the Fullness of God's Calling on My Life" so that he might say, "well done, my good and faithful servant." That, my dear friends, is the desire of my heart, the goal I am reaching for. 

What is yours?

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