Bible studies refresh me. They fill me. I love learning about who my God is.
But let's just be honest, there's nothing like a needle in my balloon to deflate me like knowing that Beth Moore has memorized the entire book of James. Am I the only one? (I'm going to pretend you're saying a hearty amen on the other side of this screen...)
I wasn't surprised, however. She is a woman that seeks so diligently and fervently after the heart of God that memorizing Scripture is no-brainer for her. And I realized, as I was reading Melissa's words in this study, that God graciously revealed my selfish and shameful heart right at the starting gates of this chapter.
He exposed and stripped my inward focused perspective of inadequacy so that the rest of the chapter could resonate more profoundly.
With that, I want to say Melissa set up this chapter beautifully. Didn't her connection between now and the first century Church inspire you to memorize everything?! It was the perfect springboard.
Here is my summary-take-away from this week's study:
-"James can teach us the difference between talking about living in victory and actually doing it."
How often do we counsel a friend to walk steadfastly in the truth of the Lord, and even as we're speaking we realize we have not lived into our own counsel? I don't have a lot to say on this one because I am currently, in the midst of learning how to live this out. I know truth is on my lips, but it's getting it from lips to hand and feet and decisions that's the tough part. Guiding God's word from my lips to my hips, is what we say around our house now.
-"The Word of God is meant to do more than penetrate. It's meant to activate."
Dart to my heart. Move, Julianna, move. How often do we miss opportunities to be good stewards of the message God has entrusted us with? Jesus hasn't saved us FROM something as much as He's saved us TO something.
-"We were created to be satisfied with nothing less than the fulfillment of our original purpose."
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:25) How often in our lives do we discover God's dreams are bigger, mightier and more stunning than we ever choose to imagine for ourselves?
There are so many areas in my life where I strive for satisfaction but remained unfulfilled because I haven't allowed my horizons to be expanded. I am walking down a narrow, preplanned, human conceived road when, if I would just look up, I would see there is an entire freeway of women (and men) like you and me who are heading in the same direction, towards the same satisfaction and that is Jesus Christ. And when I get lost, I need you to remind me where we're headed. And when you get lost, I'll remind you.
-"We answer to a living Orator who still oxygenates His Word with warm breath and...watches to see that His World is fulfilled."
How often do we forget God is active in the nuances of our everyday lives? How often do we forget He speaks with the most clarity through His Word? All. The. Time. This is what I've needed to be most reminded about in my current season of life. He loves us. He see us. He cares about us. And He is fashioning us individually and as a corporate Church to be His beautiful bride.
This list could go on forever, amen?
The sum of it all is this: "We need eyes pried wide open to mercy so great and so rescuing that it cannot help but make us merciful. We need the mercy of a holy, righteous God who is good enough for us." (pg. 94)
Girlfriend, God has redeemed you for His purpose and it is marvelously beautiful. Together, let's continue to seek, learn, share, and activate God's mercy in our worlds.
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