Rocks. My. World.
I started this study back in January when we brought Emme home. It is a fantastic study. I sorta dropped the ball on the study around week 4. A few weeks ago I picked it back up and joined a Women's group at our church that is studying it this summer. And it is so good.
here! Its really good!) I had 5 million reasons why I shouldn't go. Like...
1) its 5:30 AM who does that?!?!
2) I was up late listening to David Platt sermons with my honey so therefor I should sleep in
3) Running hurts every part of my body (I HATE it but want sooo desperately to LOVE it!)
4) I couldn't find my "good" headphones
5) My iPhone only had 12% battery life left (I ALWAYS forget to charge my phone)
6) Maybe I could just make something up to get out of it :)
I ended up going and though I couldn't breathe...My lungs were literally collapsing...well, not literally but whatever, they HURT... I LOVED it. I loved running with my friend, I loved getting to chat with someone before my day started, and I loved that I exercised early and was able to be home early get showered and start my day early. It just feels good. I came home, showered, put on some coffee started laundry and sat down to my James study.
I love how God can take a day that starts with a whiney attitude and just breath some fresh air into your soul and you feel renewed and awakened and challenged to something better then the day before.
Today's lesson is titled "Faith Perfected" based off of James 2:20-26. (HCSB)
"Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God's friend. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, wasn't Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."
If you know the history of Abraham and the story or Rahab, you are able to grasp the full redemptive goodness of Gods character.
I love how further into the lesson Beth states that, "Yesterday's failure can become tomorrow's hero in the faith." That statement rung loud in my ears. Oh, how there is such truth in that statement. I don't want to give away the study for those who are going to do it or who are doing and aren't to this part yet but I had to share this section with you.
"The actual Greek word translated "prostitute" in 2:25 is "porne". She could have been the porn star of Jericho, and God still called her to faith. When He who was, who is, and who He is to come, sees each of us, He sees who we were, who we are, and who we will become." ... "God can change what people do. He can change behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab did the same old thing for years...and then she did something NEW"
The example of Rahab captured my heart and my attention. I stopped there and thought, how many times have I been stuck in do the same-ole'-same-ole'? How many times have I kept something I did in the past from doing something NEW the Lord has called me to do? How many times have I relied on the way I cope get in the way of relying on the Lord to cope? How many times have I said "This is just the way is it and the way it has always been for me!"?
I am ready for something "NEW"!! For God to use my past mistakes, for him to change the way I cope, the way I comfort myself (i.e. FOOD) and to change my behavioral patterns (i.e. LACK OF DISCIPLINE and LAZINESS) So today I RAN. Running is more then just a health and fitness thing for me. It is spiritual. It goes against the grain. It requires discipline and routine. I am NOT a creature of discipline and routine. There are other areas in my life that need a good God led makeover. I'm always needing a good cleaning out. I believe God when he says he is healer, deliverer, redeemer, comforter, sustainer and that he is forever faithful!
God can change my lack of discipline. My actions. My choices!! I will choose to do something NEW. Will you?