My word for this year is forgive. It has been a journey of lessons. What follows is some of what I have learned.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13b niv
When I read the word you that means me. I am to forgive, it is a statement, not a question or suggestion. I am not to forgive in my own way but as the Lord does, completely without hesitation or restrictions.
When the Lord forgives me He doesn’t keep reminding me of what He has forgiven me. It is done. So it is to be when I forgive someone. Forgive and be done with it. Forgive once and for all. It is to be the same when I need to forgive myself. I mustn’t hold onto regrets and “if only’s”.
I want to be truly forgiving of others, readily, without holding back or waiting to be asked for forgiveness. I often have a hard time letting go of hurts and offenses. My heart needs to be softened. There is only one way to accomplish that softening; on my knees in prayer. I may need knee pads, I can be pretty stubborn!
Blessings this day of grace,
This month all the devotions were from the book of James. This was the first book I studied when I began my journey on this path of faith and my eyes and heart were opened wide and I learned much about the everyday life of being a follower of Christ. This month my eyes and heart were once again opened wide and I learned new lessons and learned again some things had gotten lost in the clutter of life.
Here are some of my reflections:
- Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials…
There will be trials. Trials are a given and they are a testing of our faith and are meant to develop perseverance. Persevering brings us to maturity of faith and makes us complete in Christ.
- Do not merely listen to the word…Do it…
Faith is not meant to be passive it is to be active. As our faith grows and matures so should our service; the doing for others, in many ways. Our serving is to be impartial; not looking at the many outward things that the worldly believe to be of great worth. We are to love and serve from a Christ-centered perspective, with the needs of others being the focus, not in a self-centered way where we serve for our own gain or selfish ambition.
- Be quick to listen and slow to speak…
Words can be mighty weapons. We can use them for good or evil intent. We are to be wise and loving when we speak. What we say can build up or tear down; with our words we can hurt or heal. We have the responsibility to rule our tongue. Our mouths were created to have beauty and praise come from them not vileness and curses.
- Be wise and understanding…
We have the choice before us to be wise as the world is wise or to look heavenward for wisdom. When we look to heaven for wisdom and understanding no evil intentions will take root within us. Spirit led and inspired wisdom is always pure and selfless; always good.
- Be patient and stand firm…
There will be suffering but not forever because the Lord is coming. To help us stay strong we are given examples of people in the bible who did not lose faith, often in extraordinary circumstances. We also have examples today of those who remain strong when faced with adversity staying focused on the wonders ahead for those who persevere .
- The prayers of the faithful are powerful and effective…
Pray and praise in good times and bad times. Pray for one another, it is a wonderful gift we give to each other. Talk to God on all occasions and in all seasons of life. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow.
What did you learn, or learn again, from James this month?
Blessings this day of grace,