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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Love is...Blind

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:1-13

In this passage, James addresses a timeless issue of the human attitude of favoritism.  As old as history itself, James faced the same matter that churches and you and I and everybody else have to guard against today.  Favoring one group over another.  Preferential treatment for the such and such's or so&so's.  James calls it judgment.  And he warns us not to do it.

So let's unpack this passage...........

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What good does religion do you?

I hope you're enjoying our slooooooow trek through the book of James.  I love it and, even though I have taught it several times, there are several Truths that I need to be reminded of.  Sort of like looking in a mirror and then forgetting what I look like after I walk away.....

This week's Wednesday's Word will wrap up chapter 1.  Just two verses:             

James 1:26-27

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

First, let's check our context.  In the preceding verses (21-25), James exhorts believers to obey God's Word, clinging to it, embracing it, receiving it in the same way one would receive an organ transplant!  (Although he didn't use that exact phrase....the idea is the same - make His Word a part of your life by meditating on it, memorizing it, and most of all, minding it!)  James warns us that it is highly possible to merely listen to God's Word and never get around to obeying it.  That, he says, is worthless.  That kind of faith will do nothing to change anyone, will not transform them into the image of Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Helpful tip for Mommies and Memory work

I have some really brilliant friends.  And I love it when they share their ideas with me.

And I love passing them on to you!

Here's one from my brilliant friend Brionne that will help you help your kids memorize Scripture:

Once a week (Thursdays after AWANA verses the night before) she writes her kids' upcoming memory verses on their bathroom mirror.  With dry erase marker.  They see this at least twice a day, she says, when she brushes their teeth.

And they get those verses memorized over a whole week. 

Instead of cramming them in on Wednesday afternoon.  Like somebody I know........

It's  a great idea.  I hope you'll try it.

Aren't you glad I have brilliant friends??? 

I love sharing their ideas and I'd love to pass yours along, too.

Oh, btw.  Just in case you're wondering.  She's not only brilliant.........she's beautiful as well.

I'm still marveling over the fact that she gets four kids' teeth brushed TWICE A DAY.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Looking in the mirror

Do you ever slap yourself on the forehead and say "I knew better than that!!"?  I surely do!  I cannot count the times that I hear a sermon or read a passage of Scripture or just plain remember a Truth and think - "I used to do that right but somewhere along the line, I've stopped".  Or I find myself repeating the same commissions or omissions over and over again.

How does that happen to us?

Well, basically,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's Nike Time

James 1:21-22

21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves

We spend an awful lot of time trying to fix ourselves.  An awful lot of energy and money, too.  And I don't mean physically (although that's true as well!) but I mean emotionally, relationally, psychologically.  Even though we are slow to admit it, I think deep down we know that much of what's wrong in our lives has to do with the fact that we are broken people.  People that "need fixing".

Trouble is, we don't know how to do it.

I think this verse tells us.