Book Study: James, Part IV

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.” James 1:22

How easy it is to attend church on Sunday, sit there in the pew, feeling rather righteous. “I’m here, I’ve done what I should”, mentality. How easy it is to get back to doing things my way on Monday morning.

It’s great to read the Bible; we can’t know God’s expectations if we do not read His word.  But we can’t stop there!  We need to ‘implement’ what we had read, practice what we’ve heard preached.

Not that we will be perfect in this life, but we need to ‘do what the word says’ in order to draw closer to God.

As I have examined my life and my way of doing things, I have realized there exists an abundance of things I need to change. I have learned to focus on one or two things at a time.

‘Showing more patience’ was a great goal for me one month.  I quickly realized how many opportunities I had each day to reflect God’s love through my patience: not reacting in anger when my husband forgot to tell me about an early morning meeting until that morning, consequently interrupting my early morning run. Another time, (or two or three!), I needed to measure both my words and my attitude when one of our daughters forgot her homework in her school desk, again.

Yet I began to realize, God is not asking me to do anything He himself does not emulate.  And, He supplies help for all of us through the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22 and 5:25).

And Jesus knows how challenging this world is, through His life experience here on earth.

These realizations helped me to gain a new perspective: I must do what the Bible says and God will supply what I need in order to do it. When I fail, He will offer me true forgiveness once I have sincerely repented.

Reflections:

1) As you read James 1:22, what jumps in your mind?

2) Evaluate how, and with what attitude you go about your day?  Is there any one thing or person who always seems to manage to frustrate you?

3) Make a list of items you believe you need to change in order to align yourself with the teachings of the Bible.

4) Pray over the list.

5) Pick an item from your list, pray specifically over it, then brainstorm how to improve that item.  Implement!

Please feel free to share your reflections and your successes or challenges so we can each pray for one another!  Thank you for reading and sharing, please return by Monday, September 24, for the next post.

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