We’re going to get down to some nitty-gritty living-out-our-faith-for-REAL details here in a minute, but first, a quick recap of the James Read-Along Day 1.
Oh, friends. Today (Wednesday) was amazing. Thank you so much to each of you who wrote a post or left a comment or just soaked up some thoughts from the sidelines. I loved your insights and I so appreciated your honesty, and I learned new things and felt all happy and blessed (and also convicted and poked).
I even got a smidge riled up a time or four, but thankfully, I have a built-in Bible study partner/sounding board one desk over, and he helped me process some things I might have just spewed all over the internet and regretted immediately after.
Anyway. Feel free to keep discussing, and keep clicking on everybody’s posts, because there’s some good, good stuff in them hyperlinks.
Now, Let’s Be Doers and Not Just Hearers!
Today is a day for practical applications, so I’m not going to get into any theological discussions about being-saved-by-faith-alone vs. faith-apart-from-works-is-useless (James 2:20). The bottom line is this: we are supposed to go beyond just reading/talking about James Chapter 1 and DO WHAT IT SAYS.
I’m going to share a handful of examples of some people who I believe are living out specific verses in James right this very minute. Then I’m going to share some things I plan to do in the coming hours/days/weeks to put some of this into action myself.
And here’s where I need your help. I want you to do the same. Tell me about someone who’s living James, and then tell me something YOU are going to do to become a doer, not just a hearer.
Let’s start with at the end, the last verse of the chapter (27–the one about widows and orphans).
Meet Danielle. I won’t tell you all the parts of her story that I know, but you’re more than welcome to read everything she’s written publicly on her blog. Long story short, she and her husband are adopting a young girl, an orphan. The situation is difficult, this sweet girl’s circumstances are so hard, this will not be easy, but Danielle and her husband are obeying God.
And Rachelle (you can see her sweet comments on yesterday’s post). She and her husband have four biological children (pre-teen to teenager) and are in the process of adopting a sibling set of 3 more. That’s seven children (SEVEN) ages 9-17. I have loved every conversation I’ve ever had with Rachelle about all God is doing in and through her family. Her humility and willingness to obey just shines out of her.
“Did God call us to this humanly ‘impossible’ task?” she asks. “I am absolutely sure. And the overflow of blessing is amazing. First we had to let go of OUR plans, hopes and fears. I feel so privileged to parent all of these children, it is undeserved grace.”
And Jen. I was first introduced to Jen when I read this book of hers and got my world pounded. We’ve since struck up an online friendship, and I adore her more and more each time we chat. She and her husband recently adopted 2 kiddos from Ethiopia, and this is one of the most brutally honest, ugly-yet-gorgeous accounts of adoption I’ve ever read in my life.
I wish I had time to share more precious families with you.
Maybe you’re not called to adopt. Maybe you (and I) should ask God to be sure. Will you take a minute to pray for one of these families or an adoptive family you know?
Look at v. 26 (bridling that tongue) and v.19 (slow to anger). Is there a certain someone or situation that brings out the worst in you? How might you take steps to bite your tongue and keep awfulness from blaring out?
What’s an area of your life right now that’s bringing out the doubt in you? (v. 6-8) Can you give it over to God? And trust him to take care of it? For real?
Are you pursuing riches and prosperity instead of Jesus (v.11)? What’s something tangible you could do today to help turn your affections to God, not your possessions?
Is there anything you’re doing that just might qualify as being “stained by the world?” (27) What kind of plan could you put into place for some stain removal?
Some Small Things I’m Going to Do to Get Started:
–write a letter to my sweet Grandma, a widow in a nursing home.
–write to our Compassion child, Maria, in Mexico.
–go the entire day without reacting in anger/using my tongue for evil with my middle daughter as we navigate this homeschooling thing.
–believe that God has my children’s future schooling in his hands and not fret about it.
–sell something I have as a rich person and give the $ to someone who needs it.
–read my Bible more than I read other books (this one might be the hardest of all for me).
Enough of Me, Let’s Talk About You:
1. Tell me about someone you know who’s living James. and/or
2. Tell me something YOU are going to do to become a doer, not just a hearer.