Hello Beautiful People!
Its amazing to see so many of you on board with the James Challengehaving done the #EstherChallenge , #RuthChallenge and #LWChallenge. For those that still don’t know what it is, don’t worry! The James Challenge is a 5 day challenge, where we read the 5 chapters in the book of James in the Bible! It is not just about reading, I would love for us to share our understanding of what we have read with each other, so as you read, feel free to hashtag #JamesChallenge if you have twitter. In addition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your notes for each chapter, or a summary and I will put it up on this blog page!
The book of James really focuses on our attitudes and behaviours as Christians which I believe is so key in really getting the most out of our Christian walk and abiding in God’s will for us!Some points I haven’t touched on in my summary are covered in everyone elses contributions, so I didn’t want to repeat and bore you all!
Day Four- Chapter Four
KEY POINTS FOR ME:
Ask the right guy with a right heart.
…You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive,because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
We are constantly in need as humans and there are many things that we lack without God. Some of us are too prideful to ask for help, even from members of our social network, but when we are in trouble we are quick to call on mum…better still, God.
But here is my problem. We are so quick to ask God when we are in certain situations that we did not initially invite Him to endorse. In other words we started without Him, without His blessing or covering, how on earth to we expect Him to come an rectify something He didn’t start? Our motive comes from a place of selfishness! We have selfish expectations of God. I used to do this way too much and I have learned that its really not the way forward, it in fact showed my elementary understanding of God’s authority in my life and in everything I do. We need to include God in all that we do, from the very beginning, even in planning.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps – Proverbs 16:9;
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs:19:21
I say ask the right guy with the right heart because it is so key! Let me give you an example, if you offended your mum, but you really needed her to give you something lets say £5, how confident would you feel about asking her for that money, knowing fully well that you offended her and she knows that you offended her without any remorse? Not very confident at all. That is the problem with Christians as well. God is just, He isn’t a pushover, nor is He mocked. We offend God on a daily, in fact hourly basis, yet we ask and expect Him to do what we want for us without a feeling of remorse for our wrongs…we need to change that. Go to God with the right heart, a repentant heart and He will not reject you! You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God- Psalm 51:7
You have to actually ‘ask’ God, which involves speaking to Him. How many of you dislike it when randomers that you haven’t spoken to for years only talk to you when they need something? MEEEEEE! Its really annoying, but the truth is, thats how some of us are with God. We only speak to or AT Him when we want something and I think that is rude tbh. Let us cultivate a relationship with God, so that our asking is just a small part of the conversations we have with Him and not the only part.
It’s by God’s grace
Another Christianese phrase but a powerful one that I encourage you all to say when you make plans and also James encourages us to say!
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, we only live for today. In my day-to-day diary at the beginning I’ve written ‘All the plans made in this diary are by God’s grace alone’, because I understand the importance of including God in my plans and acknowledging His power to fulfil them if they are according to His will. Trust the God that knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) rather than trusting yourself that only sees a short part of the journey!
Idleness…Lack of Bystander intervention (bit of psychology there) is a Sin….OUCH
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (4:17)
Many of us have been in situations when we know that we ought to do the right thing but we just don’t…yeah thats bad. Sometimes doing good is a sacrifice, it causes you to lose something, but sacrifices made in the name of God, done as a child of God always come with a promise and reward. Don’t shy away from doing good because you think someone else will do it (diffusion of responsibility) or because its not your problem…James is very clear, and I agree with uncle James. Lets all do good regardless of how uncomfortable it may be!
What Everyone Else Doing James Challenge Has Learned: