Welcome to online bible study as we discuss week six of James, Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. On day one we considered the idea of hoarded wealth paying for the trial against the hoarder. It reminds me of the husband who skims money from his weekly paycheck and makes deposits to a hidden bank account, unknown to his wife. When he loses his job, the hoarder is forced to live off the hidden money to provide for his family and his hidden wealth is used against him. Beth asks “Where is the line between saving and hoarding?” How much can the wife spend on her children and family, without crossing the line and displeasing God? I believe the difference is in the heart. Repent and confess that everything you own is His alone and to be used for God’s purpose, not yours. In the last days, she who has the most toys does not win… if she hoarded and gave nothing to others in need, or served herself and not the Kingdom. It’s time to stop pledging allegiance to the hope of prosperity and shed some “fear tears” in the name of the Lord, writes Beth.
We learned on the second day about the suffering of God’s faithful children. Beth makes this powerful statement: “The end He desires to bring about is never just for those involved. It’s also for those who hear. For those who see.” If you are in the midst of suffering, know there is a bigger picture than your fiery trial. Know that others will see God in you and through your actions and outcome. There is a bigger picture that this earthly world. It’s critical that we know Jesus in order to see and hear and sometimes, just to survive a Job challenge. In a cluttered world, God will be visible to those who believe.
On the third day of our study we examined vows and oaths from a spiritual perspective. When Beth shared the story of Dodie and the toenails, I cried my eyes out for her pain. Then I sent up prayers for both friends and praised God for their eternal friendship as sisters in Christ. I’ll never look at my toenails without thinking of Beth and her vow.
The last two days of this week’s study were powerful and intense and Beth “nailed it” with her teaching style. She summarized the nine lessons of James: be still, trust God, hold your tongue, be patient, count it all joy, submit, confess, rest in Christ and pray. She suggested these nine elements are the key on having a healthy soul, in addition to the three bonus points:
- Lose the victim mentality
- When you feel powerless, don’t let anyone tell you there’s nothing you can do
- LIVE LIFE WITH GOD
With that, I’m ready to replay the fireworks of New Years Eve…you nailed it Beth!
This week I read about vows… on a day when the world is making New Year resolutions. I read about asking church elders to pray when you are sick… on the same day a pastor of my church saw I was sick and posted a prayer on my Facebook page. I read about praying for yourself…when a month ago I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to “ask for what YOU need, not always for what others need.” If James, the brother of Jesus, doesn’t convict you to make some changes and see the world differently, then you need to pray over this and re-read the lessons beginning to end. James Mercy Triumphs is rich with knowledge. Absorb it like a sponge. Encourage others to push through the difficult language or complex format and dig for the meat….it’s there between page one and 213. It’s worth the spiritual warfare we went through to get here the past six weeks…and next week we’ll finish with the last chapter. God is good, always.
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Beth Moore Quotes
- Neither demonic harassment nor self-condemnation originate with God or bring Him honor.
- Satan is ecstatic when we make a vow we don’t keep.
- Relationships can never be stronger than the bond of trust between them.
- Helplessness is its own form of demoralization.
- Fellowshipping with Christ in our suffering guards it from purposelessness.
- Open your heart wide to the next call to prayer.
- confession silences the taunts of our accuser, makes our hearts clean, and makes our souls well.
For Next Week
- Read Week Seven in the workbook
- Listen to the Session Eight Audio or the Session Eight Video (optional)
- Check-in with your small group leader
- Register for the next online bible study
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 )
- On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?
- How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 )
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.