I hate to admit how slow I've been in finishing the James study, but it's taken me several days to do the first day of week 5 (Doing and Being).
My topic today was James 1:25. "But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." nlt
The one who "looks carefully" is like someone who leans over to inspect something intently and continues to inspect until all is understood.
Studying Scripture the way God intended is supposed to be deliberate and in-depth, but it's much more than attending a class or filling in blanks to answer questions.
Looking carefully into God's Word requires that we "see" the Scripture with such clarity that we also understand how it applies to our lives. We must take what we've learned and allow God's Word to change us.
I read something today that slashed me with conviction:
"The early disciples took what they'd learned in three years with Jesus and applied it to take the gospel literally around the world. We have these truths we're studying because of their efforts.
"I've had many more than three years of teaching, but I haven't used what I've learned to make the kind of impact they made. Why not?
"The biggest difference in them and me is that they were sold out from the start. They literally laid everything down for Christ and He blessed their sacrifice in ways too big to fully comprehend." (from James: Living a Life Worth Living)
"Sold out from the start."
The first disciples were so changed by the teachings of Christ that they spent the rest of their lives doing what He'd said. Teaching. Making disciples. Following.
They suffered terribly for it, but they pressed on. Why? Because they allowed the Word of God to change them so completely that obedience was the only thing that mattered.
We're supposed to be so changed by God's Word that obedience is the only thing that matters to us, too. But are we?
Today, let's embrace God's Word with transformation as our first priority. Let's invite our Lord to change us into the obedient disciples He intended us to be, the kind of disciples that turn the world right-side-up for Him.
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Proving Our Repentance by Our Actions
*** I'm sharing about my Jordan Journey at a brunch (and Jordanian food sampling) April 1 at 10:30-12 at Global Outreach home office, 74 Kings Highway, Pontotoc MS, and you're all invited. Comment or message me if you'd like to come.***
If God has called you to help with this ministry of digital and in-person outreach (both in the US and around the world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 or you can mail your check or money order to:
Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.