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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

James: Mercy Triumphs Week 3


Girls, I don't know about you, but I was slammed by the Holy Spirit this week!  WOWZA!  There was so much covered in so little verses, and I have no idea where to start!

Deep breath......

For those of you watching the DVD teaching, that hour of study was jam packed with information, as usual.  I absolutely love her in depth teaching, especially the deeper meanings into words in the Greek and Hebrew.  Those explanations give so much depth to the scriptures.

I just want to highlight one thing, as to not leave anyone out who isn't able to watch the DVDs.  Beth really drilled home the fact that our anguish can turn into joy.  I couldn't agree more.  Yes, that road is often wrought with pain, suffering and choking, but God has a way of always making it turn into something good.  Does that scripture ring a bell with anyone?  I loved that we were reminded that our pain will very often turn into our passion.  For instance, my pain through several cases of depression makes that a passion of mind to teach right thinking in the Christian community about the stereotypes of depression.  Does that makes sense?  By sharing my past pain, I am able to help others, which brings me joy.  I hope you can resonate with that message.

Now, on to Day 1,  How about that intro to stop you in your tracks?  Who among us has never been quick to speak?  I am SO guilty of this!  We tend to miss half the converation because we are formulating in our mind what we are going to say next!!  Have you been  there? OUCH!

I was really touched and encouraged with a quote on page 77, "Those words I planted in you have the power to save your very soul.  Welcome them!"  Isn't that a compelling reason to memorize scripture?

I don't want to gloss over anything that really strikes home with someone, so please let us know if there were other parts of Day 1 that really struck you.  Does anyone have struggles with that "slow to anger" part?

I read the scripture in Day 2, James 1:23-24 like I have never known it before!  I loved learning that James was saying that the mirror wasn't just reflecting the visual appearance of the man that he was forgetting, but he forgot who he was IN CHRIST that should have been reflecting in the mirror.  Did anyone else have that revelation?  "I was created to be a bearer of the very image of God."

Day 3 brought us to that sensitive word "religion".  I enjoyed writing out those ways that manifest my devotion to Christ each week.  It reminded me of a conversation I had with a another parent at my kids' school.  We were talking about church, she asked me about my beliefs and I mentioned prayer and reading the bible, to which she replied, "Yea, I thought you guys were hard core."  This really opened my eyes to what others perceive to be religious activities!!

God has really worked on my heart in recent years about missions.  I got very excited reading these portions that command us to take care of the oppressed.  I know that God is not finished with me in this area, and I am looking forward to where He will take me next.  What did you write down on page 85 for those images that remind you of the exploited?

Days 4 and 5 flowed very nicely into one another with one central theme:  if you do not show favoritism, you will be able to love your neighbor!  I loved the walk through Old Testament and New Testament scripture that reinforces that God never changes: He does not show favoritism or partiality.  He loves those starving in Africa the same that He loves us.  It really rocks your mind when you spend time thinking about it!

This was a deep and rich week, and I fear that if I wrote everything that touched my heart, we'd be here for a very long time!  Please don't be shy in the comments about what you are learning.  It is all so very rich! We can't wait to hear your thoughts!


I am loving this walk through James with all of you!!

4 comments:

  1. I had a much better week staying on track. I knew right away that I was not very good at slow to anger but I soon realized I might be worse at listening and slow to speak! What an eye opener! I know I need to listen now but why such a hard time implementing it. It breaks my heart to know how much sorrow I have brought God just by my words. One point in day 2 still echoes in my head...Beth said we can underline our bibles till our pen runs dry without a drop of ink splattering our lives. This speaks volumes to me because I am guilty of this. Day 3 hit me the hardest. It always seems to come down to my tongue. You would think I could have more control of it by now but I struggle in that area. Dear Lord, please help me with my tongue! Everything I stand for and my religion (yes that bad word again) is IN VAIN if I don't control my tongue. oUCH! That hurts. I tend to think I need to travel and go "big" to help others but the reality is I am being called to help my neighbor. I still want to go big but God wants my big to be right in my own family and community. This study is awesome and I thank you Cherie and Natalie. How is everyone doing with memorizing because I feel very strongly I am suppose to memorize the book of James and I don't even know chapter 1 yet.

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    1. Kristy, I hear ya! I'm learning things about my tongue that I never even knew! It is so convicting. God has revealed a lot to me this week. I was deeply moved by that same line that Beth said about being splattered with the ink. WOW. I'm writing it in several different ways, but haven't tried the memorizing. Let us know how it goes!

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  2. I was yet again blown away by what we studied this week and I felt a lot of conviction while reading.

    I’m teaching this same study in my Adult Women’s Sunday school class, so I bought a wonderful commentary (James: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur) I’ll will be quoting from it throughout this post.

    My biggest hindrance is my tongue, and like Beth I spend too much time thinking about a great comeback instead of listening. I’m also guilty of speaking before I think. MacArthur says “Keep silent inside as well as outside…and when we do speak it should be carefully thought out.” This is one of the reasons I love writing. I’m able to “speak” but also take time to go back, and re-read what I’ve written. Like many of you (I’m sure), when I send something by email sometimes I rehearse in my mind what I did (or didn’t) say…was it taken wrong the wrong way, did I speak clear enough, should I have even sent it? I’m always in need of prayer when it comes to the tongue.

    On pg 76, Beth recounts how James 1:21 says "put away all filth and evil and welcome the message implanted within.” This reminded me of something our pastor recently said. He said if we don't fill our hearts with things of God (the Word) then we will be filling it with things of the world.....so true….and then we find out on pg. 78 that we “can underline our Bibles until the pen runs dry w/out a drop splattering our lives.” (or as MacArthur says “It’s possible to be unfailingly regular in Bible reading, but to achieve no more than to have moved the bookmark forward.”) This is something we should all take to heart … We need to make sure that when people see us reading our Bibles, posting verses online, attending church regularly that they also see that our Monday’s are proof of our Sunday’s.

    Another section that touched me was about true religion. My husband makes comments about this all the time. He once said I studied more than a preacher (lol) and asks regularly what else I could possibly read from the Bible. I don't feel like I study enough, but it makes me wonder how I come across to others?? I never want to be viewed as a "holier than thou." (know what I mean?) For me I have trouble knowing exactly how to balance my Christian life. I’m in constant hunger for more of the Word, I need to find time to continue writing and studying, but I want to make sure I’m giving enough attention to other areas of my life (especially to my husband)

    MacArthur had an interesting description of the verse James 1:23 (like a man looking at his own face in a mirror) He said in New Testament times mirrors were made of highly polished brass or bronze (wealthy people could purchase ones made of gold or silver) Not until the 14th century were they made of glass. Early mirrors were dim and distorted. A person had to carefully turn the mirror in a particular direction to find the best light….by careful and patient observation they could eventually discover what they actually looked like. But for whatever reason when they stopped looking and went away, they immediately forgot what they saw.

    The best quote from this week was "You make up your mind who you want to be and daily die to the rest. You accept that far easier ways to live exist, but you were born for nothing less." Amen, Amen, Amen!

    Thanks for the opportunity to do this study with you all! As usual I was wordy again.. lol

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    1. Salina, thank you, thank you! I just love that some of the same things are hitting home to all of us. Now we just pray that it changes us!

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