Friday, 11 May 2018

James - Digging Deeper 1

Our bible study group, God's Girls (we call ourselves 😊), has finally tucked into our study of James.  We purchased a book called "James - Exploring the Elements of an Authentic Christian Lifestyle" written by Everett Hill, and along with our bibles, life application sources as well as Matthew Henry's "Commentary on the Whole Bible" we are digging as deep as we possibly can with prayer and sharing!

We have been at it for 2 weeks now (meeting once a week) and have dealt with Chapter 1 v 1 - 8!  When you consider Mr Everett covers chapter 1 in 64 pages we are doing well!!! 😏

In this post I want to summerize what we have learnt thus far. 

James 1 vs 1:  (NKJV)
Greeting to the Twelve Tribes
1)  James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:  Greetings.

Here we learn that James is speaking to the twelve tribes, specifically to those Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, God and Saviour.  They were scattered all over and he wanted to unite them and encourage them as brothers and sisters in Christ.  And thus, this letter applies to us too, who have accepted Jesus as Christ and Saviour, we the Christian!

We also learn that James was a brother of Jesus.  They grew up in the same household.  When you consider siblings, and the usual spats, love/hate relationships they can have, it is amazing and humbling to know that James ALWAYS followed Christ, in life and once He was crucified and risen from the dead, James continued on in the faith.

James 1 vs 2 - 4:  
Profiting from Trials
2)  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  (4)  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Another version of the bibles says that we are to remain steadfast.  The author of this study guide says that steadfast as a Christian is to remain firm, in the One who never changes, God.  And that steadfastness (in the context of a Christian remaining firm) is the ability to adapt and change and grow, whilst trusting the One who never changes.  The picture that comes to mind is of a little boat launching dock, which moves up and down with the tide, but remains anchored to the post in the ground, which prevents it from sailing off into the big wide scary ocean.  We are to be adaptable and not stubborn or reluctant to change as God would have us change.  Not headstrong and prideful.  But steadfast and humble.  


Another point made is that one needs to be able to remain steadfast, firm and true in the face of trials, but also to remain joyful.  The writer uses the analogy of  healthy eyes being able to see traffic on the highway as you travel, but also to be able to see the beautiful trees that line the highway.  We ladies added the birds one sees flying in formation above you as well, whilst driving! 😊

James encourages us to remain joyful in trials because we know that the outcome of that trial will make us better people, more patient, firmer in our faith, closer to God. 

  • We need to be thankful that God is with us through our trials.  
  • We need to be joyful, because we KNOW that trials better us and bring us closer to Jesus.  
  • We need to be steadfast, tenacious in faith, hanging in there, because we know  we serve a God who only allows things in our lives as they work together for our good!  
  • We need to remember that God, our Creator, loves us so deeply, He allowed His own Son to die for our sins!  Such love! 
We cannot but choose to do things His way, a way that James conveys in his letter to us.

God bless
Tracy


My ABIDE scripture this week is:
Phil 4 vs 12 - 13:  (12) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  (13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


PS:  Watch this space for James - Digging Deeper 2

8 comments:

  1. Dank je Tracy! Wat een leerzame blog. ben er blij mee. Thank you Tracy, I am so glad with this blogpost. May the Lord bless you for it!

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    Replies
    1. Baie Dankie Aritha, ek is bly jy hou daarvan :)
      God bless

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  2. Dear friend! You have, once again, encouraged my heart and edified my spirit! I would love to attend your Bible study and can only imagine how the presence of the Lord comes down and graces your times together! I was thinking as I read the part about God allowing things to work together for our good how He winnows our path. He spoke that to me recently and reminded me that everything that touches our lives has to pass through Him first, and He decides what to leave in our path and what to take out. That is a great comfort to me and helps to make sense of things. I would so appreciate your prayers right now. We are going through such uncertain times and need God's direction desperately. Sending love and hugs to you across the miles!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, I would love for you to be in our bible study. I have no doubt you would have loads of wisdom to contribute and help us grow :) . I will be praying for you. God knows your heart! Stand firm! Believe!
      God bless

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  3. James is my favourite book in the Bible!

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    1. Hi Susan, its a favourite of mine too :)
      God bless and thanks for the visit

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  4. Thank you for this excellent study!

    I really appreciate you sharing it with us all.

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    1. Thank you Marygems, I am thoroughly enjoying it :)
      God bless

      Delete

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