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Reflections from James booklet

July 22nd, 2014

Hello all,

I have put the last few weeks of blog posts from the Book of James into another free booklet to download.

It contains 14 posts or reflections so it will take two weeks if you read one per day.

If you are interested you can find it here.

God Bless,
Dave

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25 years ago today

July 21st, 2014

It was 25 years ago today that I prayed a prayer in a tract and asked Jesus into my life. The greatest prayer of my entire life.

The tract was given to me by a friend at work who shared his faith with me. We talked about God, he prayed for me regularly and gave me a tract.

I was searching for God and my friend was there just being a Christian in his workplace. God used him to reach me.

The tract “A journey into life” contained this prayer…

Lord Jesus Christ, I know I have sinned in my words, thoughts and actions. There are so many good things I have not done. There are so many sinful things I have done. I am sorry for my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong. You gave Your life for me on the cross. Gratefully I give my life back to You. Now I ask You to come into my life. Come in as my Saviour to cleanse me. Come in as my Lord to control me. And I will serve You all the remaining years of my life in complete obedience. Amen

It was a powerful prayer that not only changed my life, but changed my eternal desinty.

God Bless,
Dave

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Dear brothers and sisters

July 21st, 2014

One thing I really noticed this time from reading James again was the amount of times James used the term “Dear brothers and sisters”. He used it 11 times in six chapters.

Not only did James see his fellow believers as family, but he used it to highlight his key thoughts. He introduced each major idea with it. Here are a few…

James 1:2-3 – Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

James 1:19-20 - Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

James 2:1 – My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

James 2:14 - What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?

James 3:1 – Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Have a look through the rest of James and see if you can find the other “Dear brothers and sisters” and see what the rest of his key thoughts were from the book.

Often it is a good learning tool to sit and read a whole Book of the Bible in one sitting. It helps you to get an overview of the major themes and to see any patterns in the writing that can lead to key messages the writer wants us to understand.

God Bless,
Dave

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Wisdom from Proverbs

July 20th, 2014

Here are three passages from Proverbs about plans, direction and trust. Enjoy…

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬ NLT)

The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? (‭Proverbs‬ ‭20‬:‭24‬ NLT)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ NLT)

Trust God. Seek Him with all your heart. Seek His will today.

God Bless,
Dave

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Restoring wandering believers

July 19th, 2014

In the last section of James we are looking at the heading of “Restoring wandering believers”. It comes from James 5:19-20. It says…

“My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins”.

These two verses tell us the importance of going out after people who have wandered away from the faith.

Over the years I have seen a number of people wander away from the faith. Some of the reasons I have seen are…

  • People have been hurt by the church or people in the church
  • A breakdown of an important relationship and they withdraw
  • A long term illness that they can’t make sense of God allowing
  • No solid foundation of discipleship when they came to faith
  • They don’t regularly pray and keep connected with God
  • The decision to follow Christ was a quick alter call decision
  • They feel their needs were not met by the church
  • They felt they didn’t fit in to the church culture
  • They love the world or someone in the world too much

It is not easy to approach people who we think have wandered away from God. It can be confronting and most of us would probably not do it if we are honest. But I think it is important to keep the lines of communication open.

Jesus reminds us of the importance of this in the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7). In verse 4 He says, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”

Jesus goes on to say in verse 7, “There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away”!

As I type I wonder if there are people in my area who have wandered away from God who need a shepherd to go and bring them back into the fold? How about your area? Are there any people you know?

God Bless,
Dave

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