Daily Word

James 1

Read James 1 – Wow!  This is so good!

James addresses how to handle trials (:2-4), faith and double-mindedness (:5-7), poverty and wealth (:9-11)… I could go on and on, but let the verses speak to you.  Trusting the Holy Spirit to awaken your heart to what’s important for you today.

Enjoy this short chapter, be strengthened, convicted and encouraged by these good and perfect gifts that come down from our Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. (my paraphrase of :17).

Daily Word

James

Read James 1:1-4 – First, to find James, turn to the back of your bible, Revelation, then turn 40-50 pages in (if you have a thick bible like I do).  You’ll pass Jude, 123John, 12Peter these are all short epistles.  James is sandwiched between Hebrews and 1 Peter.

Now, if your bible contains some sort of introduction, read that.  The James who wrote this is Jesus’ brother.  He was not an apostle.  The book of James is one of the earliest written in the New Testament.  Let’s think about that.  This would have been all the first believers had to go on, and as you read I think you’ll discover how comprehensive James was for Christian living.  

Beloved, we are the only bible many people will read.  People will not go to church or dust off their great grampa’s bible to consider Jesus, but they will watch you, how you live, if you have integrity and joy.  Do you have a life that makes Jesus apparent? 

James writes to the twelve tribes that were scattered among the nations.  This would have been after the events of Acts, when Stephen was martyred and the Jewish-Christians fled in many directions.  Life was difficult, they did not have a church to lean into because it was all brand new.  Yet, it also applies to every believer today too.  So, what is the first thing James tells them:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops your perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  :2-4

Beloved, is joy your go to emotion when you face a trial?  The natural inclination in a trial is fear and worry, but as a Christian you are to take those off and put on joy.  This takes some training.  James not only tells believers what to do, he tells us why.  ‘Why’ is a good thing to know when you have to make a hard change in your thinking.  He says it is to develop perseverance, and he gives that a ‘why’ as well… so we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  Now, that sounds good to me!

I pray this verse permeates you.  I encourage you to memorize it, so when you find yourself in a trial you’re able to cast those fears and worries at the foot of the cross and set your heart and mind on the joy and all that ties into a life lived for Jesus our Savior.

Daily Word

Psalm 119:113-128

Monday!  Monday! – read Psalm 119:113-128 – These are words of rescue. 

I wonder if Elijah had access to them?  Could you imagine him in that cave, meditating on, “You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope…. Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live!  Do not let my hope be crushed.” (119:114,116)  And maybe, these are just the words you need to receive this fine day. 

“My eyes strain to see your rescue, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled.”  My friends, even if you are not in a trial today, you most certainly will be at some point.  Train yourself now to look for rescue.  Hold tightly to the truth of the Lord’s promises.  Prepare your heart to do what James instructs, “Consider it great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials,” James 1:2

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1 Peter 4

Read 1 Peter 4 – Jesus, Jesus, Jesus –

Whenever you are deciding right from wrong, look to Jesus.  Whenever you are in a season of trial, and Satan starts whispering doubt, look to Jesus.  He is the Author and Finisher of our faith(see Hebrews 12:2 “Looking to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”) – Jesus is like no other, for he has literally “been there, done that” in terms of suffering, betrayal, and temptation. There is nothing you may face that Jesus did not encounter.  

In verse 4:2 we get a picture of freedom that may be a challenge to imagine to the immature of faith, yet when you take on the attitude of being anxious to do the will of God, life takes on a delightful, powerful, purposeful dynamic! 

 “The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.”(4:7)  Talk about a call of duty!  What does your prayer life look like?  Don’t keep it on hold for desperate situations – No, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.  

Use your God-given gifts wisely(4:10).  If you don’t know what yours are, volunteer for everything; they will rise to the surface.  And again, Peter stresses that suffering will happen.  Trust your life to the God who created you, for he will never fail you(4:12-19). 

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1 Peter 1

Read 1 Peter 1 – May God give you more and more grace and peace. 

Peter is writing to the people of modern day Turkey (Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia 1:1) to comfort and encourage them in a season of persecution.  This letter was written around 63 A.D. – Jesus was crucified in 33 A.D.  It is a mere 30 years later and Christianity is still considered fringe by the masses…. And common people tend to treat non-conformists with hostility, much like today. 

Peter reminds them of their hope due to God’s mercy, Jesus’ resurrection and their Salvation(1:3).  He assures them by their faith, God is protecting them (1:5).  He doesn’t sugar-coat the truth that there will be trials, but encourages them to take joy over the fact that these trials reveal their faith to be genuine and will ultimately result in great praise, glory and honor when Jesus is revealed to the whole world(1:6-7). 

Beloved, read these words, pray for the Holy Spirits lead as you navigate the trials of life in this world.🙏🏻🕊📖🤗📖🕊🙏🏻