James Online Bible Study Week 4

By December 11, 2011James

Welcome back to online bible study as we continue discussing James, Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. We’ve just finished reading week four in our workbooks and once again it’s time for a group discussion. We first learned from Beth two key points: first, faith is meant to do some good and second, faith shows works. This ties in to last week’s lesson where we discussed ways to love our neighbor. It reminds us that by loving others, we are demonstrating faith.

In the audio session, Beth talks about how the good life saves us from ourselves, while jealousy and selfishness make us spiritually sick. Then she explains how we carry this in our heart and try not to show it to others, because we’re “religious people.”  She says “it’s really un-cool to be jealous and have self-ambition and be a Christian!” It resides in the heart.  “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it,” says Beth. Instead of physical or mental illness, Beth proposes we have “social illness.” The more we put ourselves first, the more insecure and jealous we become. All of these are forms of pride.

We need the Holy Spirit inside us to keep us from being full of ourselves. On page 101 in the workbook Beth writes “the Holy Spirit convicts us and compels. If we can keep on living without any intervention, interference, or empowerment from Him, He may not be present with us.” If you haven’t invited the Holy Spirit into your life, do so now. If you are struggling with this, seek the advice of your pastor.

Once again Beth opens her heart as she discussed James 3:1 and shared her own teaching experiences. One of the reasons I like her studies so much is that Beth is transparent and real. She reminds us that she’s human, flawed as much as God allows it, and a living testimony of God’s powerful mercy and grace. Her testimony reminds me of my own life verse for teaching: He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30 It’s been the focus of my heart since I started ministry and I carry it with me as Beth carries John 7:16-28 and Jeremiah 45:5 I know many women participating in the online study are also leaders of church studies…and I hope you were touched by this week’s lesson. It wasn’t written to create doubt and confusion (the work of the enemy) it was written by Beth to remind you false teachers exist and will mislead others. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV James reminds us to beware of false prophets too..and I think we’re so convinced everyone is a false prophet, we don’t recognize a real one when he appears. It’s an uphill battle for modern prophets to validate themselves.

Prayer Requests

There are some special prayer needs from members participating in this bible study. Please take some time this week and pray for them. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Beth Moore Quotes

  • Yesterday’s failure can become tomorrow’s hero of faith.
  • Aside from Rabbi Jesus, no teacher masters teaching.
  • God will never call you to sacrifice your intimacy with Him on the alter of ministry.
  • Many lessons will be taught to you before they’re profitably taught through you.
  • I’m not sure which is more toxic: the criticism of people or their adulation.
  • Let’s quit trying to take people’s pulse to see if they love us.
  • We have a choice which fire lights our tongues (Holy Spirit of flesh).
  • You can be rescued by God from your Egypt and still be filled to the brim with bitterness.
  • Jealously takes root in the soil of insecurity.

For Next Week

Christmas Schedule

We’ll be reading up to week 5, discuss it a week from today and take a Christmas break.  There will be no lesson on Dec. 26. For those of you who started late or are falling behind, use the time to catch up on your reading. We’ll be discussing week 6 on January 2.

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
  2. Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
  3. Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
  4. Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 )
  5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She’s an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 32 Comments

  • Julie says:

    I know that I need to wage war on insecurity. GOd has created me to give and serve. But being a lover of self is when your own mind turns against yourself (insecurity). I know that I have overcome some bitterness and turned it to sweet. But I also know that the waters will again turn bitter and angry and I will need to call on God and ask for the miracle of sweet water. I know that only God can guide me through and cleanse me from the sin of jealousy. I was divorced in mid-November and my exhusband is already remarrying, and moving them into the house we built together. I pray that the Lord supplies me with passion and mercy. I want the “good life”. I want a life that saves me from myself. I am willing to yield and I want a life full of mercy and good friend. I sit today pondering the statement that Beth made in her video “Mercy morphs into depression when we take God’s responsibility instead of our possiblity.”

  • Jennifer D says:

    5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    On page 111 the bottom of the page were it says that God will never call you sacrifice your intimacy with Him on the altar of ministry.

  • carin says:

    I was hoping that I would be caught up with the break but Holiday week was busy!! BUT I am still here…

    Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism?
    Superficial faith~ There are so many things that I need to learn scripture wise. I realize that I am not always making decision on what the word says. Do I have answers because I know what the word says or being prompted by the holy spirit? Do I stop & think how would Jesus react? I am definitely lacking here…

    Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
    No clue!

    3.Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?

    Our culture is mass producing it because we are allowing the enemy to rein over us. From spending money to not helping others we (or I) just sometime get into the “this is how it is today” mode. To personally fight it is to renounce the enemy and study the word to realize that is not how God wants us to act or behave. If we focus on scripture we know that it is not right.
    My husband and I are trying desperately to pay off debt. If we cannot afford ordinary purchases then we don’t buy it. Our goal for 2012 is to use our paycheck wisely….Tithe, Save and live off the rest. The save part would be available and open for needs of others. Right now we feel that we are not free of this.

    4.Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that…

    Wisdom is knowing that I worry to much. It is not the spirit of the Lord and it is a sin.
    Understanding is knowing that I worry about something and it almost never happens. It was a waste of my energy and God always pulls through even if it is on the 11th hour.

    5.Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    Page 115 the reminder (which I need to put on a card and carry it with me) that the tongue can bring comfort and courage, or it can bring destruction and deafness. WE have the choice!!

  • Victoria says:

    Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
    I believe I am like Paul; good deeds are what I struggle with. I have become a homebody, keeping to myself and relationships can sometimes be difficult, which in turn makes it awkward for me to show love to my neighbor. It is getting better and easier, with the Holy Spirit working in me.

    Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
    I do; I don’t believe that I have ever seen one in person. But I believe that God has people planted in certain places on this earth, with messages that He prepared long ago, for them to pass on at certain times.

    Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
    Don’t be taken in with myself, with my accomplishments. Stay in His Word and practice humility every second of every day. Teach humility to my children, first by displaying it in my own life, and second by teaching it out of His Word to them.

    Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 )
    Wisdom knows that adultery is a sin and needs to be avoided at all cost.
    Understanding knows that adultery destroys lives.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    I am surprisingly enthralled that the book of James is truly getting into my business and let me just say, WOW!
    “The beautiful thing about new beginnings in Christ is that we’re one confession away from being able to say, “That’s the old me.” I LOVE that quote! My ending verse for 2011 is 2 Cor 5:17—“….old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new.” God is making me a new creation daily, refining me through His Word!
    And looking back at my highlights, I love the quote on pg 102 “Every satanic temptation to discount God’s supremacy comes from a demon who knows better.” Then the entire paragraph that follows and the page ends with “Let the demons tremble.” and I wrote HALLELUJAH!!!!!

    GOD IS SO GOOD YA’LL!

  • Jo says:

    I struggled with legalism for many years that many times I felt i was not a good christian. I am free from those toxics believes and I can say that Jesus set me free and enjoy now being saved.

    I finally catching up with my bible study, with the holidays, family and friends gathering I got behind.

    I do believe in modern prophesy but I test every word with Gods word. Nowadays they are so many prophets taking advantage of people that one should be careful.

    We should help others, put others necessities first.

    Wisdom helps me to know what I am doing wrong and understanding helps me to be a better person

    I have highlight the whole weeks of all the quotes and bible verses that impacted my life this week “II discovered true worship with Moses. I found freedom with Paul. I danced before God’s throne with David. And I’ve found Jesus through them all.

  • Amy S. says:

    My favorite moment from this week’s lesson was from Day 4 (p. 117). Beth talks about how we can be rescued by God from our Egypt and still be filled with bitterness. She goes on to talk about how all of us have reasons that we can find to be bitter; we’ve all been hurt, offended, and misused. No one in the world would blame us for being bitter. She says, “We can find plenty of people who’ll give us permission to keep that whirlpool of bitterness churned up within us, but we can only find One who can plunge beneath those waters and make them sweet.”

    This really speaks to me! And I love the verse she references (Matthew 12:34). “The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” I can know that if I’m speaking bitter words, it’s stemming from my heart . Let the plunging by the Holy Spirit go beneath those bitter waters and turn them sweet!

    • Amy, I over your wording on how you describe Matthew 12:34 “The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” When you said you know when you’re speaking bitter words, it’s stemming from my heart. Let the plunging by the Holy Spirit go beneath those bitter waters and turn them sweet! “Wow that was 2011 when you were in that study”. I love being in her studies, and always wanting to learn more. God bless you Amy!❤

  • Krystle says:

    Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
    At first I didn’t really understand what either of the terms meant, however, I think I sort of understand it and I think I struggle with the first, superficial faith. I believe in Jesus and in the Holy Family but I struggle with a few things: 1) Sometimes I find myself in doubt of what I’m reading and believing; 2) I struggle with professing my belief, whole heartedly, for fear of being ridiculed or being called names.

    Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
    Belief in prophets in modern times is difficult. Every time you see someone claiming to be a prophet you turn around and he has seduced people to a mass suicide. I, honestly, don’t believe in them. The only time I’ll believe it is when Jesus comes down.

    Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
    We can all “log off” for once. I have this problem. I have a cell phone, an iPod touch, an e-reader, remote controls that are controlling everything I have. I think we lose sight of what life is all about when we constantly logged on. Social media sights, like Facebook (which I have), Twitter (which I also have but don’t really use) and MySpace ( I used to have but don’t anymore) keep us connected all the time and keep us wanting more of what someone else has or has done. It is bad for us emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, and, yes, I’m speaking from experience.

    Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 )
    I used an example that I learned watching “Oprah’s Life Lessons” on her network and that was “Love doesn’t hurt”. My why, or understanding was that those who truly love you will bend over backwards, will love you enough when to say no, will support you and your decisions. Those who hurt you don’t love you. They hurt you to make themselves feel in control, powerful, and better about themselves. I dated someone who hurt me and later told me he truly did love me! LOVE DOESN’T HURT!

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    A favorite moment from this week’s lesson was the discussion of tongues and the fire it can set in the course of life both for good and for evil and also the discussion on bitterness! I’m still working through the bitterness of my own past and reading over these words was like salve over the wounds, it stung at first but then felt a little better!

  • Marietta says:

    1. Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism?
    I struggle more with superficial faith. I have lived many years of standing just barely inside the saving grace of God and not seeking a closer walk with Him and certainly not confessing my faith.
    2. Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
    I believe God is able to use anyone at any time as His prophet. The only test I know is to ask the Father and compare what they say to the Bible. If they speak Biblical truth, giving all glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit then I believe they are real.
    3. Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
    This is a very smokey mirror for me. I know that I have been taught by the world to “look out for myself” and I have been taught by God to “look out for others.” I have spent most of my life doing the first on purpose and the latter only as it was dumped into my lap. That is not God’s way. I like the words of Martin Luther at the end of Day 2 about how faith MUST be doing good things incessantly. I know a couple of people like that – who always seem to anticipate my needs and in a quiet, gentle way always just seem to be there with the answer before it is asked. THAT to me is the opposite of narcissism and that behavior is what I aspire to, with God’s help. It will mean a 180 degree shift in my being.
    5. I just know that I am going to need to go back and restudy this whole book of James. There is just so much that God is speaking to me about in this class. Though I may not be stating it correctly, I am humbled when I see the immense pride in me. Thank you, Lord, for this class and for showing me what I allow in my life that is offensive to you.

  • sharon says:

    I just love doing this study with all of you. I am amazed at how much I learned from beth moore study and from all of you. I get excited when things start changing again cause that means God is up to something in my life and my familys too. God Bless to all of you and thank you for share with all of us.

  • Tiffani says:

    I do struggle with being superficial and legalistic because I do not want to expose my true self to others. I find I want to be safe and I guard myself from criticism. One of the ways I protect myself is having rules. i really love rules because it brings a level of safety in my life. However, I know that being superficial and legalistic is just a false security because there is no safe place but in Jesus. Even though I have grown over the years it still crops up in my life.

  • Tiffani says:

    I have not posted for a while. I think God wants more for us. He desires for us to think of others and have compassion towards one another. Because he knows that it brings out the best in us. Our hearts fill with his love and grace and it draws us close to Him. if I am always thinking about myself than I miss God’s love in my life and others.

  • Jessica says:

    2) Do you believe in modern prophets?
    No, I do not believe in modern prophets. Prophets have been inspired by God and know His truth presented through the Bible.

    3) Our culture is mass-producing narcissists. To stop this, I can think of others and their needs before my own. Our culture is very self-absorbed, sending the “It’s all about me” message. It’s not about us, it’s all about God and what He wants to do through us!

  • caroll says:

    God has fully been working in my life.
    I have safely travelled and just last night returned from abroad. I have had success with my work and have am truly overcoming a very very dark season of which I am greatful for so so so so much especially these bible studies, great leadership and I fully love reading and learning from everyones weekly comments. Though I had to put my study off this week, I can now have the time catch up and will post soon in addition will resend my prior week posting as I wrote it out and evidently closed my computer before sending.

    So I look forward to my hot tea, quiet space and my readings 🙂

    the Comments: Wow you ladies are truly amazing and most inspiring.

  • Mindy says:

    1.Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
    Superficial faith… and I was comforted by Beth’s point about the Holy Spirit convicting and compeling us. I do have the Holy Spirit within, convicting me when something I do/say/think is off, and I’m so grateful.

  • Susan says:

    1.Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 ) Superficial faith – I don’t always live my faith. In the past I would volunteer for just about any church position that became available because there was a need and I thought that was what I was suppose to do. After burning out and stepping back for many years I learned that I had not asked for God’s guidance or direction in those decisions.
    2.Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real? No I don’t believe in modern prophets.
    3.Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this? To stop being part of the me generation and think of others first.
    4.Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 ) Wisdom knows what you should do versus what you want to do and understanding knows that I would have saved myself and my family pain & suffering.
    5.Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson. Pg 102 – We believe that we are loved and not despised, held and not foresaken, cherished and not rejected, enjoyed and not just endured.

  • Ann says:

    5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson:

    On page 115 of the workbook, Beth writes, “You see, the human tongue can be lit by either source: Heaven or hell.” Later on she asks us to write in one sentence our version of James’ point about the tongue in James 3:9-12. I wrote, “The tongue can be a healing balm or a blistering oil.” Has anything gotten us in more trouble than our own words?

  • Sally says:

    Maybe legalism?-I am always feeling like if I do more I will feel better.God will be more pleased with me. I feel guilty for not doing more sometimes.

    A true prophet most likely is detected by what they say and do in agreement with God’s word.

    When I find myself focusing on self,I can redirect my thoughts to praying for someone else,doing something to bless someone else. Show this example to my children,so they are always concious of this horrible word “narcisst”…I have to truly keep myself in check and be reminded that I have much to learn!

    Wisdom tells me to do what Jesus would do. Understanding tells me that His way is the only way!I need to be more wise in holding my tongue because if I say things out of anger the dominos fall in a bad way and I feel defeated and only can hurt everyone around me.

    My favorite moment was when I read Beth Moores quote…..”Jesus swept me off my feet by the gusty,warm breezes of sacred pages turning”…..love this heartfelt thought to ponder while reading his word.I want so much to grow and these words become more and more life to my being when I do seek Him more.

  • Annesta says:

    I’m a week behind but hope to catch up this week so I can share my thoughts here.

  • Nancy says:

    1. Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )

    I struggle with superficial faith. I just feel fake sometimes and it is not where I want to be. I know Jesus is in my life. He has done amazing things in my life and I have a great desire to get closer. I have been isolated over the last 6 months due to an illness in our family. Without the everyday personal contact with people at work and in general life I have felt stifled, but Beth’s session 5 , where she talks about “yielding to others.” Hit home. I loved this because really we can yield to others in all our daily contacts, in the grocery, in the car, in emails to friends. We can build on relationships we have, renew relationships that have been neglected. And work on new relationships when they are put before us. Yielding to others is a way to honor others and give God glory all through the day. Action !!

    2. Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?

    A prophet speaks the truth. They are real if they speak the truth. We have the Holy spirit and the scriptures to help us validate what a person says to be truth. Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    3. Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.”What can you do personally to fight this?
    This comes back to Beth’s “Yield to others” If we can do this we will develop more other-ness and less self-ness.

    4. Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 )

    What: Gossip is a serious sin and should be avoided in the hearing and the telling!
    Why: People are always hurt by gossip. It is an ugly and evil activity.

    5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    “True wisdom has gentleness about it.”

    and

    “Error on the side of mercy”

  • Emily M says:

    1. Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
    I would say I tend to struggle with superficial faith. I often lack good works to back up my faith.
    2. Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
    I’m not sure if I believe in modern prophets. I haven’t had enough experience with this to know!
    3. Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
    Give to others. Help others. Give time, money, a helping hand. Put others before self.
    4. Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences:
    wisdom knows what to do (and) …understanding knows why.
    5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    I liked the part about our tongues. “spewing” is definitely something I struggle with. I need to daily ask God to help control my tongue & give me words to speak that encourage others rather than destroy. I can so relate to family feuds having started all because of hurtful words thrown at another. My husband & his brother lash out at each other often. They think very differently, and therefore disagree a lot. Last week there hurtful words turned to anger, hate & bitterness. They aren’t speaking. I know this breaks their parents heart, especially with the holidays. Please pray for these two brothers to seek forgiveness, extend forgiveness, and love one another.

  • Rhonda says:

    1.Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
    I would have to say superficial faith. I find myself worrying and then sitting back and wondering when He is going to prove to me I shouldn’t be worrying. Then I feel ashamed and wonder what makes me think such thoughts. I know it is the Devil’s game but for some reason I fall into it a whole lot here lately. Praying is the only thing that takes away such thoughts.
    2.Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
    I have to say I don’t beleive in modern day prophets. I believe the day of prophecy is over, but I beleive we have some very good modern teachers that can make the scriptures come alive and seem like they are prophets. I think this is why people are so easily taken in.
    3.Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
    Stop putting myself first–ever.
    4.Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 )
    This is a tough one. To me wisdom is knowing the right thing to do, and understanding is knowing God still loves me if I fail.
    5.Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    I like that Beth says true wisdom has a gentleness about it. I never thought of it in that light, but it makes sense to me that if you are truly wise, you would have to be kind as you know this is the way to get what you need and what you want.

  • Angie says:

    1. Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105)

    I would say superficial faith because I have been more focused on me and my studying and learning the Word and not taking the time and opportunities to let what I study and learn work out in my daily life and contact with people.

    3. Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?

    Put others first. Period.

    4. Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123)

    Wisdom knows that obedience always brings blessing.
    Understanding knows that God has a plan for me and knows what step I need to take next for my best and for His will to be accomplished.

    5. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    Day One – “Do those we encounter in passing, in working, or in playing receive any direct benefit because we are Christians?”

  • Della Lee says:

    Q1 – I don’t think I struggle with legalism but I wonder if my faith is superficial. I know my relationship with God is not based on feelings, but I would like to feel thhe presence of the Holy Spirit in my life more. (like when I first accepted Jesus). I wonder if my response to the Bible and to the Pastor’s message is prefunctory or genuine.
    My pastor tells me that my doubts are God’s conviction that I need to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, and that many people never question the nature of their faith. He tells me to pray more and read the Bible. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God, he says.
    I am trying because I long for the comfort of knowing I am truly close to Himl.

  • Susan Lawrence says:

    One of the highlights for me came on page 103: “We end up barely making it into our spiritual adolescence before binding our own systematic theology books in our heads…Don’t be afraid Scripture is going to fall apart at the seams if one bit doesn’t seem to fit. God holds His own Word together.” We never stop growing! It’s as if we’re sitting in a car going up a hill in San Francisco. We have to exert energy in order to move – and even stay in the same place! The default will be to roll down the hill. We have to at the very least have our feet on the brakes to stay in one place or – better yet – push on the accelerator to climb the hill! So often we rely on where we’ve been and what we’ve been taught when God wants us to continually seek and know him. Adolescence is not the most secure time of life, so let’s not stay there and rest the entirety of our lives and theology on it!

  • Jennifer says:

    3. Narcissism, what a big word! It is so true that our culture is swimming in it and our children and families are so affected by it. I do think that because we move away from our families and are taught, by the culture, to value independence we are so rarely taught to care for eachother. Our grandmothers took care of others children when a family member or friend was sick, brought meals, cleaned their house, etc. That caretaking is hard to come by in our busy corporate lives. I do think that bringing our children up to look around them for God’s opportunities to serve others is one way to battle this. Also, to actively serve others with our children is also vital. God will pour out the opportunities to serve others and Him and will draw us closer to Him in the process.

    • Christine says:

      Good reminder Jennifer. When my first child was born by C-section, my grandmother came over and scrubbed my tile floors. I begged her not to, yet she got on her hands and knees and scrubbed them anyway. She said it was a gift to me. I’ll never forget her act of kindness and love.

  • Cindy H says:

    1)It seems I bounce back and forth between “am I doing enough as a Christian— to– I must do more for God and earn his love!” It is a battle that can paralyze me. So, I go to God and ask Him, “What should I do?”, God’s love and mercy has a way of unparalyzing me in order to give me the freedom to reach out to others.
    2) Yes, God sends us prophets, but we must “test” their words by the scriptures and by going to God. A true prophet is probably someone who is not very popular.
    3) There are those in our society who say, “I’m OK and you’re OK.” If I’m not hurting anyone else, then why not? But, our “feel good” society is one that is very deceiving and self-serving. This is a challenge for all Christians. Personally, teaching my grandchildren about their responsibilities as Christians and being an example to them is one way to fight this. We have to put GOD first.
    4) Wisdom knows that the words that come from my mouth need to be uplifting to God because the words that I speak tell people about my relationship to Him.
    5) I l loved what Beth wrote on p.112 about the joys of teaching. “I discovered true worship with Moses, I found my freedom with Paul. I danced before God’s throne with David. And I’ve found Jesus through them all.”

    • Rhonda says:

      I certainly agree with what you say in #3. In my younger years I always thought if I was not hurting someone else directly I should be able to do whatever I wanted. Only after years of living and mistakes, did I learn every action I made affected someone else, some how. Perhaps not directly like if I did something follish and got myself physically hurt, others might not feel physical pain, but they suffered because I was in pain just the same. I think I got so much smarter once I had children of my own!

      • Cindy H says:

        Oh yes, children have a way of teaching us these things. It will be interesting when we get to heaven to see how God interwove all of our relationships and actions.

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