Re:Verse passage –Luke 11:5-13 (day three)
Just before this parable, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. He gives them what we now know as the Lord’s prayer, and in the same breath, he begins this story of a man persistently asking for bread.
We shouldn’t be surprised when persistence is needed in our prayer life – Jesus lays it all out for us. It’s one of the first things he teaches his disciples about prayer. If we’re going to have a healthy, thriving prayer life, then we’re going to have to pray with persistence. Not because God is like the grumpy neighbor, moved to fulfill a request only out of annoyance, but because it creates godliness in us, it helps us overcome our lack of faith.
The Lord doesn’t tarry or lose track of time when answering our prayers – in fact, he’s always operating in perfect time. The more we become persistent in prayer, the more we can understand that. We can do this because whatever the outcome, we know that the One we pray to is faithful.
Re:Verse passage – James 5:1-6 (day three)
James just doesn’t let up, does he? He circles back to the topic of money here, with an admonishment echoing that of chapter 2. When Scripture repeats itself, it should cause us to perk up our ears.
Wealth dazzles. It pulls at the fleshly part of us that covets. It causes us to look at what is sparkling and turn our heads away from the injustice often lurking underneath. But the Lord’s eyes are focused. His ears are tuned to the cries of the exploited. He will not be fooled. We serve a God who is just, and He is willing to show us the way to act more justly.
Let’s face it, friends – many of us live with some amount of wealth, and James is calling us to go against the grain, using our wealth to pursue justice and godliness, not the flashy things of the world. Our awareness of this should cause us to lay it all humbly at the Lord’s feet. With his help, we can act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Re:Verse passage – James 4:13-17 (day three)
If we can be sure of anything from James, it’s that his words will humble us. We all have big dreams for ourselves, we make elaborate plans, we imagine how much bigger and better our life will be in the next 5, 10, 15 years. Often, these dreams aren’t bad, they might even be about serving the Lord. But James reminds us here that this is not where we should dwell. We should dream, yes, we should make hopeful plans – but with each thought, with each plan, we should mimic the words of Jesus in Matthew 26, “Yet not as I will, but as You will, Lord.”
James reminds us that our life is but a mist. We live and breathe in this life only by the Spirit. How humbling! Even our most well-laid plans hang on the mercy of God in this quick mist of a life. But this shouldn’t cause us to hang our heads or become stagnant, by no means! We know that this God we rely on is good. The Spirit by which we live and breathe is trustworthy. This humble way of living allows us to be free, it allows us to celebrate! A life relying on our God is full of joy. Humbly go to God with all you’ve got, friends, you’ll come out dancing.
Associate Minister for Single Adults