It is quite funny how we can pick to do something and then later find that God had actually purposed for us to learn from that experience. Well, I picked James as I had just finished doing John and wanted something light for the BSF break. How very wrong I was as James turned out to be the very thing I needed to continue with the lessons learnt from the Book of John.
What character traits of God did I see?
- God as sovereign, ordering all my plans and in control of my future.
- God as Judge. Reading James 5, I learnt that the coming of Christ is imminent and that in all my plans I have to remember the eternal plan for mankind’s salvation.
- God as transformer who is able to change me from my fallen self through to the daughter that He would have me become.
What actions/thoughts do I need to stop?
How has the study encouraged me?
- I was encouraged by the fact that by abiding in Christ and remaining in His words and teachings, I will grow. This was brought out through the likening of God’s word to a mirror. (James 1: 22 – 25)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 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.
So be encouraged!!
Encourage your group members to choose a verse or passage of the Bible that illustrates:
- A way they would like to grow in Christlikeness.
- A promise they need to remember.
- An attribute of God’s person they want to know more deeply.
- A precept they want to apply to an area of struggle, pain, or temptation.
And, to be clear, Jesus does encourage. He offers words of strength to the weary and comfort to the hurting. In a world where we so often feel we don’t measure up, we need his encouragement daily. By focusing on only part of his message, however, I’m concerned that we’ve reduced Jesus to a spiritual cheerleader. And, in turn, that’s what we’ve become to one another. We offer words of affirmation, but not rebuke; words of forgiveness, but not repentance. We rightly celebrate his grace, but often forget to mourn our sin.
Take your thoughts captive and examine them closely. Bring them into submission. Consider the fruit. Then fight back with gospel truths. This is how we go to war.
What can we do when we’re unmoved by God’s love and the gospel’s power?What can we do when we’re unmoved by God’s love and the gospel’s power?
You can have the best spouse on the planet and enjoy the most fulfilling sex life imaginable, and still this fact remains: if our hearts are not satisfied in God, they will never be satisfied. Spouses can be wonderful helpers, but they are sorry saviors. The best way to have a blessed sex life is to delight in the God who gives the gift. Jesus is always better than any gift he gives you, including sex in marriage.
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Tagged Africa, Bible Study, bible verses, Ethiopia, fatherhood, Kenyan elections, marriage, motivation, Nigeria, photography, prayer, Salvation, travel, working
This week I am grateful for so many little things of a personal nature to me.
- My two little nephews – one is 8 years old and the other is just over a month old. With all the talk of a royal baby, it’s hard not to be grateful for the two that are related to me.
- Feeling more and more integrated with the new team at work and being involved in office banter.
- Had two difficult conversations that went very well actually.
- After three weeks of planning, I FINALLY MADE IT BACK TO GYM!
- Went to St Georges Parktown this past Sunday. Love that Church.
- The opportunity to participate in a very practical and uplifting bible study with a friend in Nairobi.
- Job 37:14: Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders
So what caught your eye this past week?