Friday Morning: 28 Jun 2019 – James 1:12-27 ~ Faith and Obedience

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose beloved Son first suffered pain and crucifixion before entering into glory: Mercifully grant that we, walking in his footsteps, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – James 1:12-27 (NLT)

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

Listening and Doing

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
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Morning Reflection:

Faith and Obedience

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.

– James 1:12 –

In today’s reading, James builds on his premise that God uses our troubles to perfect us in faith and obedience that we might receive his promised reward – “the crown of life” – life to its fullest potential in the present and in the future.

But that premise requires clarification: God is not the source of our temptations, he simply uses them for our good. Rather than blaming God we need to recognize that we are responsible when we yield to temptation, not God. So how does temptation work?

+ Temptation comes from our own sinful desires.
+ These desires give birth to sinful actions.
+ When unchecked, these sinful actions lead to death.

Nevertheless, God is good; his desire is to bless us –

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word.
And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
– James 1:18 –

So, how then can we respond positively to the God who chose us and loves us? By accepting God’s Word, by acting on it, and by abiding by it. Here are some practical examples to follow –

+ Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry
+ Control what you say and do, shun filth and evil
+ Humbly accept the word God
+ Care for orphans and widows in their distress
+ Refuse to let the world corrupt you

Questions for consideration:

  • As you consider these practical examples of faith and obedience, which one(s) are most difficult for you? Please explain.
  • What would would you need to do (or not do) in order to act positively on God’s word to you? Please explain.
  • Obedience is not simply a one-off, it is ongoing; and for believers it means taking on a lifestyle that distinguishes us from that of the world. Can you think of one way you are influenced by the corruption of the world? And what would it take to resist that influence? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Holy Thought

O God, without whose beauty and goodness our souls are unfed, without whose truth our reason withers: Consecrate our lives to your will, giving us such purity of heart, such depth of faith, and such steadfastness of purpose, that in time we may come to think your own thoughts after you; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

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“Christ Be All Around Me” – All Sons & Daughters

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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