Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Faith Revealed • James 2

Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.
James 2:13

There is so much in this chapter! 
But, due to a real life lesson, 
I need to share this verse and how the Lord 
used it in my life this morning.

You see, after I posted this verse to my status 
on Facebook, I had a pop quiz on it.

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, 
when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is 
forced into the open and shows its true colors." 
James 1:2-3

Through a difficult conversation with a friend, 
my mercy fruit was tested and what was revealed 
was instead a root of judgment.

As my friend poured out her feelings to me
the words that jumped to my lips
and rolled out of my mouth
did not encourage, lift up or give life.
Instead my words put her on the defense
and threw up a wall between us.

My words conveyed the judgment in my heart.
They showed that I expected
so much more from her.
Couldn't she see that she wasn't acting
like a real Christian?

My words revealed that I
thought she should perform,
cover up her initial feelings
and pretend that she had it all together.

Where was the mercy?

Thankfully, this conversation did not end 
with my judgment hanging out all over. 
Jesus came in and brought His mercy and forgiveness,
brought down the wall and restored relationship. 
Praise His Holy Name!

Our Holy Gardener is landscaping me 
with His Word. (See James 1:21.)
I am so thankful that He is at work and 
that He is making me into the Salvation-Garden 
He wants me to be!

But let me tell you, 
pulling these roots can sure be painful!

It is all well and good for me to read His Word 
and write beautiful shares about what 
He has showed me in His Word, 
but if I don't act on what He has showed me, 
what good is any of it?

Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere 
in this if you learn all the right words 
but never do anything? 
Does merely talking about faith 
indicate that a person really has it?
James 2:13-14

Dear Lord, thank You for allowing this test this morning.
Thank you for prompting me to come to You,
because when I did You showed me what was
happening. Thank you that You do not want us to
pretend or perform for You. You want real fruit that comes
from walking in faith, in Your power, as I rely on Your
Spirit to produce Your Good Fruit in my life.
Thank You for Your Word that instructs me in the Way
I should go. Help me to do more than just read it
and talk about it. Thank You for showing me that I need to
do more than just talk and share about Your Word.
Help me to, by faith, do what it says.
Please teach me what Mercy is and please grow
the fruit of Mercy in my life. Please rip out the roots
of judgment that I have so faithfully tended.
In Jesus' name, Amen.


Lil' Momma said...

I am amazed by God every day. We have had the same thing happen in our life recently. We are trying to train our oldest on certain things to lead him down a Christian path instead of a lustful path. And my husband and I went to watch a tv show that comes on after the kids went to bed and both looked at each other at the same time realizing that We need to walk the walk, too and not just talk the talk. I know that might not make since w/o more detail, but hopefully it made enough since. I am also amazed how God shows me more and more of his word through my children everyday.

Thanks for sharing!

Christa said...

Brandy, thank you so much for stepping out and sharing that! I totally get what you are saying. God is so faithful, isn't He? He is so patient with us and uses even our own children to teach us. May God continue to be at work in Your life as You walk in faith and do what He says!

Love you,