It was battle. (I think I should start praying for more hours in my day. Do you get up early and study? Please pray I can accomplish this. ) I admit: I did NOT answer every question Beth asked, but I did write out every word of James in my journal. Then used the study has a commentary so to speak.
Getting the "right" answer or trying to come up with one can be a frustrating aspect when doing a bible study. Its ok not to answer the writer, but to keep studying, reading, and asking the Lord how he wants to speak to you.
What did He show me?
I need to be a better listener.
I want to be a Mom that listens to my kids. I need to track with what they are saying, no matter how silly it may seem.
Have you ever done the: "oh yeah aha aha.." or "really.. funny.." or "thats cool", but NOT HEARING A WORD YOUR CHILDREN SAID?!
When writing James 1:19-20 in the margin of our study, I was immediately convicted it would be a very simple lesson in parenting:
1. swift to hear
2. slow to speak
3. and (hello!) slow to wrath
On a different note, I learned that James speaks of self deception three times in the first chapter alone.
It left me pondering what areas in my life fall into this category. It also reminded me of a verse I studied many years ago:
Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your god has forbidden you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." Deut. 4:24-25
Another focus in this week: not showing partiality to the rich.
I really want the Lord to show me how to not show partiality in my circumstances. I had a very hard time relating to Beth in this section of the study because honestly among most Americans I would be considered "poor". If it was not for Gods gracious provision with our living circumstances or government assistance for food, we would barely have enough to live. With out this help.. practically nothing. Just more debt. Reality though, I am always aware how financial rich I am compared to many others. Especially compared to the rest of world.
I did love this quote from day five:
"While Christianity's canvas is speckled with exceptions, the tendency is that believers with less trust God with more. Believers with more trust God with less. In some ways, it's simple math. Have much/need little. Have little/need much. Blessed are those who need God. Blessed are those who need Him enough to know Him enough to love Him enough to know He's enough."
The subject does not need to be money when it comes to partiality in my life.. it can even be personalities. I need to make sure I am reaching out to any that are in need, and at the same time not judging the rich for what they have. Covetousness is a sin just the same. If you read my previous blog this week.. the Lord was showing me how RICH I am.
I am rich in Christ. I am rich in faith. I am rich with children.
He will supply all my needs according to His glorious riches.
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