Tuesday, January 8, 2013

If I Don't...

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.... But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." ~James 1:5-7

I often pray for wisdom. Wisdom for homeschooling, wisdom for speaking with people, wisdom to overcome daily temptations.

But do I believe that He will really give it to me?

Do I "ask in faith, nothing wavering"?

Verse 7 - No faith, no wisdom. No faith, no anything!

If I don't believe, I won't receive.

"Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief." 

(Mark 9:24)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

All Joy

Last year I committed to join a number of my friends in memorizing the book of Acts. I never finished, due to conflicting time schedules and the need to reorder my priorities once I got to Thailand. However, I learned a lot about the power of God to help me cement His words in my mind. It was an incredible experience. (For the record, I still plan to finish the book of Acts! However, the review schedule is too much for me to handle at the moment.)

This year, since I've laid aside the Acts Challenge, I've been feeling a lack. I need to memorize, but motivation has been absent. Then came an invitation in my inbox: "James: Before Men and Angels". Just what I needed. :) Something short and sweet, but power-packed. So this morning I've started.

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." ~James 1:2-3

All joy.

Not 5% joy, 95% grief.
Not 95% joy, 5% grief.
100% joy!

100% joy? How can it possibly be?

The key is how you count. :) He's not saying the temptations will be enjoyable experiences. He's not saying you will feel like being joyful. He says count it all joy. Heavenly math. :) In the heavenly math books, 5% joy can equal 100% joy. How? Simply this: Stop counting when you reach the end of your blessings list. Don't count the negatives.

A new twist on a familiar verse. I love it. :)

Father, teach me how to count, so that my joy may be full.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Spiritually Poor

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 5:3

The poor in spirit. I had always thought this meant something like "humble", referring to those who really were close to Jesus, but went around hanging their heads in holy humility.


The poor in spirit. The spiritually poor. Those who have "a sense of their spiritual poverty".

In other words, they are spiritually sick, and they know it. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Isn't heaven for those who are spiritually strong and thriving?

No. It's for the spiritually poor. The ones who despair because they are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (See MB 6-7.) It's for me.


"Those who know that they cannot possibly save themselves, or of themselves do any righteous action, are the ones who appreciate the help that Christ can bestow. They are the poor in spirit, whom He declares to be blessed." (MB 7)

"Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness. He presents us to the Father...saying: I have taken the sinner's place. Look not upon this wayward child, but look on Me." (MB 9)

How comforting....