stripped of everything

Blogger Small Group

with 3 comments


I apologize if my thoughts and findings in this current weeks scripture seem to be surface level. Through my week this week, I have had so much on my mind that has caused me stress. In reality I believe that maybe God took this weeks reading and purely placed it just for me in my walk, more so than perhaps what God wanted for me to write on the blog. For those who have prayed for me this week, I thank you. Here I submit to you, what God has spoke to me about the scripture. [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

[James 1:1-2] – Doesn’t it just sound ludicrous to say “consider it pure joy” when referring to going through trials? This is the first reminder to me as I start this small group, which it is important to always to continue to read and not just stop at the current scripture. If we just read one scripture and ignore what comes before and after the particular scripture then the true meaning of the scripture will never be found. The meaning will always fade to the back. I know that had little to do with one and two of James chapter one, but I believe it’s important.

[James 1:3] – Here he tells us why to consider it pure joy. I find it funny that he doesn’t tell us like it’s the first time, but merely reminds us what he knows in our hearts we know. He says, “you know…”. I think it’s important to remember that we our a born creation of God and therefore God is in us.

[James 1:4] – After he reminds us of what we already know he then gives us more details on why we know this. This verse has hit me square in the face. I’ve been going through some trial times in my life right now and this verse has been extremely hopeful for me. I actually received an email today with this message:

‘To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did’
When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.

It says, “…not lacking anything”. For me as I’ve gone through some of the most trialing and hard times in my life, I’ve been able to fully meditate on this, knowing that God is building me up to do something that I could never do as an incomplete person without Christ.

[James 1:5-8] – He goes on to tell us that God WANTS to guide us. He not only does not expect us to do this alone, he desires to take part of this with us. However, He so much wants us to be a part of this, He knows our desire for knowledge, so He tells us that he will only give us this knowledge if we have complete faith of His knowledge over ours, with NO doubt. Not a little doubt and most hope, but to have complete faith and no doubt. If you’re like me, this might be the hardest thing to do; to trust completely in Him. As a human I have this sense of selfishness to be in control. This is the part where I ask you, the readers: how do rid of that sense??

[James 1:9-11] – I’ll be honest…while reading this, my vision and thoughts have been blurred all week. I know what my thoughts are on these particular scriptures, but never could I desypher my thoughts to put in writing. I will continue to try.

[James 1:12] – Refreshing? Sure. Scary…even more so for me. What about the man who doesn’t believe he has perservered under trial? There are many times that I just feel hopeless. I lack the faith that I need. I struggle with hope. Sure there are times where I have went through something horrific and felt like a new person. I knew at thost moments of my life that it was God that not only pulled me through, but sometimes, pushed me into, so he could form me, so that I could praise Him instead of praising myself. This verse left me with lots of questions.

[James 1:13-15] – This scripture allows the fear of God to kick in. The fear that anything not of Him, is sin, and gives birth to death. Here he doesn’t mean physical death(at least not exsclusively), but here he is talking about a spiritual death. If we give into sin and allow sin to control our lives, it ultimately pushes away the holy spirit, and blocks all walls for the holy spirit to enter. In return, we lose the holy spirit, we lose our connection. It does not lose us. It is our choice, our sin, that disconnects us from God. Never does God tempt us, remember that. I cannot say that enough. Satan can turn beautiful things into the most evil things with a snap of a finger. So be careful, set boundaries, and connect with God daily, ask him ,with full belief that he can, to deliver you daily from the hands and temptations of Satan.

[James 1:16-18] – I think here he just reminds us that these beautiful gifts that God gives us does not change, and that he “does not change like shifting shadows”, aka He does not change beautiful into evil as Satan does. Then we’re reminded that if we wonder if it is of God, to go to the Word, our sword, and he will reveal the truth.

[James 1:19-21] – Here he starts talking about Listening and Doing, which is by no means supposed to be a different topic or disconnected from that last. He reminds us to listen, to be slow to speak, because Satan will attack our tougnes, he will attack our hearts and our minds. He then refers back again to His Word as a savior for us. If we are believing in this scritpure, then we need to believe that it can heal and save us.

[James 1:22-25] – Wow, “Do not merely listen to the word…”. How many times can we quote scripture, tell someone else what scripture says about their current situation, yet when it comes times to living it out ourselves, we lack the true knowledge of the scripture. We don’t know how to apply this scripture fully to our own lives. It makes me question myself and ask, “how am I giving advice through scripture if I do not even fully apply it to my own life?” [Read Pete’s blog for a great perspective on this] With that said, it’s important to remember that we are not perfect and that God knows our hearts. That when we desire, and when our intentional work is for God, that he knows this, he will bless us with the ability to do things outside of our own power. Only He can do all things, in which we are the tools he uses to do it through.

[James 1:26-27] – This is just a reminder to me, that He uses us. Useless, no good for anything, pointless, us. He chooses to use us in amazing ways, and the way we choose to live our lives can either build or destroy His kingdom. He desires for us to love, everyone, not just anyone, but everyone. If we subject ourselves daily to not loving, then we will drift from God, and then in return will be polluted by the world, and His love cannot shine when we desire the things of the world outside of his desires.

As I have been studying James, it was no accident that God placed these scriptures on my heart. I’m in a time of my life where I am facing trials of the largest kind. It has been hard to stay faithful and hopeful to God and his calling in my life. While I was reading God completely opened my eyes and heart to His truth, giving me an amount of strength that there is no reason I should have.

I truly look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts on the scripture and the findings and compassions placed on your hearts while reading. Now go, post your thoughts on your site, link back to here, and post your link in Mr. Linky.

If you’re unsure of what to do, the original instructions link is below.

INSTRUCTIONS

[p.s. Don’t forget to link back to here so everyone can go back and forth easily and to leave a comment. Be blessed]

[due to wordpress.com to post your link or see links to others blogs and findings from this weeks scripture, you have to click the Mr Linky icon]

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Written by vagabondrunn

April 29, 2008 at 7:41 am

3 Responses

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  1. My thoughts on James 1 are up. Looking forward to what you folks came up with.

    Jeff M. Miller

    April 29, 2008 at 9:47 am

  2. What a powerful book… there is so much here and so much to learn. This is an exciting study… thanks for setting this up.

    Michael

    April 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

  3. Great post! I know its been a tough week (understatement of the year). It’s a testimony to the life and power in the Word of God that you are able to even share. Thanks!

    My thoughts are online at http://www.andprotest.wordpress.com

    rjschaefer

    April 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm


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