My Thoughts After Reading James Chapter 1:1-27

After reading James chapter 1 in the bible I am struck by the idea of our need for faith. It is something we must have and direct toward God, the Father.

James 1:2-3 says we should consider it all joy when we are faced with various trials in life. These trials will test our faith with the idea that our faith will in turn produce endurance.

Sometime trials are not brief in duration but instead can last for a long time. God wants us to know He is there with us and will be with us during those trials and testings giving us the endurance we need.

Another key component in facing our trials is having wisdom from God. He gives us wisdom liberally if we ask Him for it. I believe He wants us to ask Him so we can be successful in facing our trials and making decisions.

I pray Father that this day you will give me your wisdom to face the day and make the right choices with faith through your Holy Spirit. Bless me with your Holy Spirit, O’ Lord. May I be sensitive to His leading.

I praise you Father for these and all other blessings you give me. In Christ’s name…..Amen.

Are You Trying To Direct Your Own Life?

being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have full endurance and patience, and…—Colossians 1:11

God gave us the free will to choose His plan or step away from it. When life does not follow our desired path, we can try to make things happen in our own power. Though this option is tempting at uncomfortable times, it often leads to disappointment and difficulty, and we end up missing God’s best.

Scripture contains rich promises that we can claim throughout life—and God always keeps His Word. As His followers, we are to believe with faith, anticipate with hope, and wait quietly with patience (Rom. 12:12). In the meantime, we listen and obey.

Embrace whatever season God has you in right now. If it’s a time of waiting, choose patience, trusting that His plan for you is beautiful. Walking in His will requires us to remain sensitive to His voice. When we readily listen to our loving Father, He protects us from making mistakes.

A Marathon Walk With Christ

In a race, how you begin is not as important as how you finish. And this same principle is also true to a large degree in the spiritual realm. That’s why the writer of Hebrews reminds us to “lay aside every encumbrance” that hinders us in the race set before us. A believer’s lifetime is not a sprint but a marathon walk with Christ, and our goal should be the same as Paul’s—to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.

It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuits and pleasures of this life and forget that we have a higher goal. Once we cross the finish line and see Christ face-to-face, everything else will fade in comparison. So let’s run with endurance the race set before us.

Four Characteristics of Godly Love

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
— I Corinthians 13:7 ESV

According to Jesus, love of God and neighbor are the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-39). Indeed, He said that “‘All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments'” (Matthew 22:40). In other words, every other commandment is in some way a commandment to love. One should not covet, for example, because that would not be an act of love toward one’s neighbor.

The verse above lists four characteristics of Godly love.

First, love bears all things. The person who truly loves God and neighbor should not be easily offended or hurt. Love puts up with things. It does not allow perceived slights and offenses, from God or people, to easily get to us and undermine our love.

Second, love believes all things. That is, the person of love always thinks the best of God and neighbor. With respect to God, love does not attribute wrong motives and intentions to what God says. With respect to neighbors, love is not overly suspicious of what people say. This does not mean that love is na ve. After all, the Bible also says that we should “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (I John 4:1). But it does mean that we should not be quick to suspect the worst of our neighbors.

Third, love hopes all things. With respect to God, this means that love trusts that God will fulfill His promises and that He will bring His glorious plan of redemption to complete fulfillment. With respect to neighbors, this means that love expects the best of people and believes that they can change for the better with the help of the Lord.

Finally, love endures all things. If we are to truly love God and neighbor, then we should not easily give up on love. No matter what happens to us trials, troubles, tribulations, offenses, hurts, wounds we should not cease to love. Sometimes God allows things to happen that we may not like or understand and sometimes people do things that wound us or hurt us in some way. The person of love continues to love and endures these things.

The two greatest commandments are great because they are central to what human existence is all about. Everything we say and do is governed by them. Today, and every day, therefore, let love reign.