Friday, June 29, 2012

Every Good and Perfect Gift

So, Lee and I decided to study the book of James this summer. Now, Lee and I do bible study completely different. This can cause friction some times, but most of the time it's awesome because we each have a different perspective. As soon as we decided to do James I knew I wanted to do Beth Moore's James study, and thanks to my super fantastic BFF, I was able to get the book and even the videos. I love Beth Moore studies, and two weeks in, this one promises to live up to my high expectations. For this study she has it broken down into levels of participation. I'm doing Level 4 which means I watch the videos, do the homework, handwrite the entire book of James, and read the amazing extra articles (Level 5 is memorizing the entire book of James, which I decided not to do...yet). So far Lee is doing Level 1 with me, which is just watching the videos. His reactions to the girliness of it all is priceless, but he seems to be getting something out of it. He's also doing his own study of James.

I wanted to share one of the exercises that I did today. Today's passage was James 1:16-18. I do my study in the ESV so here's vs 17 in that translation: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." Most of us have heard this verse before and tend to blow past it. Just before this James talks about temptation and how God doesn't tempt us, but our own desires do, which leads to sin and death. All bad stuff right. Verse 16 is a turning point and says, "Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers." Bad things happen as a result of sin in the world and we tend to focus on those things. Sometimes we even tend to cast blame on God and get so bogged down in the awful things that we are deceived. There is good in our lives and all of it comes directly from the Lord. We should remember those blessings and the one who blessed us, which is what this exercise is about.

Take your present age and divide by 4: 26/4 = 6.5 (yeah, I'm a math person)
Divide your life into quarters and list blessings from each time.
Newborn to 6.5 years:
I was born into a wonderful loving family.

 6.5 to 13 years:
My family moved to Arkansas so I was able to see extended family more often. I became a Christian.

13 to 19.5 years:
I graduated from high school and attended the UofA on full scholarship. I made amazing friends at school and began to develop a true relationship with Christ. I met this guy named Lee.

19.5 to 23 years:
I started dating and eventually married that guy named Lee. I graduated from college (twice), and I now have the opportunity to go BACK to school and be a teacher.

These are just a few of the many blessings God has given me. I just think it's so neat to see how God has been giving me gifts throughout my entire life. He is constant and He doesn't change. Yes, there have been some hard times too. But those trials have made me into who I am and have created a steadfastness in me like it talks about in James 1:2-4. How about you? How has the Father of light blessed you throughout your life?

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