Thursday, January 13, 2011

James and Me

I'm reading through the Book of James right now. Although Martin Luther called it "a right strawy epistle," the book of James is very special to me. It was the first book of the Bible that I read and . . . it hit me. I mean really hit me, the kind where you find yourself convicted, crying, and connected to God. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in my room, home from the first year of Bible College and enjoying my summer. I had read through the Bible during that year but and although I learned lots and enjoyed it, it was nothing like I felt that day. I opened my Bible and randomly picked James and as I read everything suddenly got intense - and I became super focused. Every word burned in my heart and the conviction was almost unbearable. I found tears in my eyes as I felt God speaking to me through his Word. I sensed his will for me. It was all very unexpected and wonderful.

I don't feel that way very often when I read the Bible, but when I do I am extremely thankful. That day was a gift and a reminder that God can indeed speak to us powerfully. And I still never tire of reading James' letter and his call to action:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James 2:14-19

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