“It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me, but the parts I do understand.” That often-quoted insight attributed to Mark Twain, pertains to our time in the book of James. There are very few interpretive issues to wrestle through in James, but it is a difficult book. Its difficulty lies in its application.
Speaking of application, I want to share with you some practical steps for applying God’s Word to our lives. I shared this material (not original with me) with the men during a men’s study this past summer. If we are to drink from the well of God’s word and not just sermon sip, then each time we are in God’s Word for ourselves, we ought to come away with something we can put into practice. We are to be self-feeding and then exercise.
Here are some questions you can ask in your time in God’s Word that can help you exercise it, put it into practice, be doers!
As you read a particular passage of Scripture (and don’t bite off more than you can chew) ask:
1. Is there an example to follow? For instance, if you were reading through Daniel, chapter 1:1-8, an example to follow might be Daniel’s resolve not to defile himself. In what area do I need a stronger resolve?
2. Is there a sin to avoid? For example, Let’s say you were reading in Ephesians 5:1-7 and you meditate on verse 3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed because these are improper for God’s people.” Personalize that to apply how greed or sexual immorality or impurity have snuck into your thoughts or actions and how you might need to put up a guardrail in your life to protect against even any hint of it.
3. Is there a promise to embrace? Romans 8 for example is packed with promises. Perhaps write one of the promises down or put it somewhere where you can reflect on it.
4. Is there a command to obey? The Book of James has 54 clear cut commands. Spot them as we work through our study in James. Not only identify the commands, ask what it would look like to put it into practice this week.
5. Is there a condition to meet? In John 15:5, for example, the condition for fruitfulness is remaining (or abiding) in Christ. In verse 7, we like the promise of whatever we ask will be given to us. But it is conditioned upon, staying connected to Jesus.
These are just some practical ways we can approach God’s Word with the intention of doing God’s Word. If we don’t use it, we lose it. The more we use it, the hungrier we are for more of it.
I know that James is disturbing the comfortable. And not just you, by the way, it has been speaking into my life. It is all part of God beautifying His bride that we may be good news to the unbelieving world and display to each other His excellence.
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
Men’s basketball will be starting up this Monday, October 18th in the gym. Contact Justin Whitman at 603-477-2970 or firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in helping with this ministry.
Trunk or Treat
Trunk or treat will be held Sunday, October 31st in the gym parking lot. Sign up at the fellowship counter to contribute/volunteer.
Adult Corn Hole Tournament
Stay tuned for upcoming corn hole tournament on November 6th at 5pm in the gym with refreshments. Look for more information in this Sunday’s bulletin.