Welcome back to our third week of online bible study as we continue discussing James, Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. We’ve just finished reading week three and a favorite moment is when Beth writes “with the study of the book of James, you can either change or quit. Let’s not quit.” A few of you have already mentioned convicting moments from this study and how the lessons seem to touch you personally. Keep sharing your experiences and walk forward in faith as we discover more about the book of James.
Last week we studied joy amidst anguish. This week we looked at controlling anger and our voices, and spending time listening. We’re reminded to hear the bible and not just read the bible. This week I challenge you to listen to scripture. Find an audio bible, listen online, or if you’re using the audio CD’s for this study listen to the bonus CD where Beth Moore reads the book of James. You might even ask your husband or a friend to read it aloud to you. Challenge yourself to listen and hear the bible, not just read it. Here’s the Bible Gateway Audio Bible.
In scripture we know Jesus listened to the heart and not just to the words. He gave many examples of listening through the Spirit and when he left us, the Holy Spirit remained with us. We have the gift to listen to the hearts of our neighbors, our family members, our coworkers and our friends. If we’re too busy focused on our own hearts, on distracted with prejudices, the Spirit cannot do his work in us. Quieting our mouths, stilling our minds and listening to the Counselor gives is the wisdom to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Listening to James 1:27 I had a jaw-breaking moment with my bible. As I pondered the words, I thought….
- what if James was referring to spiritual orphans?
- what if James was referring to widows of the church?
- what if James was referring to the pure blood of Jesus?
If so, then for me the verse would mean:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after (spiritual) orphans and (church) widows in their distress and to keep (your heart) from being polluted by the world.
In this case, pure religion would be finding and caring for spiritual orphans as lost sheep and bringing them back to the Father. It would be caring for those who divorced religion and bringing them back to God. It would mean keeping your heart flowing with the blood of Jesus’ love for others so they could see God working inside you.
I’ve always looked at this verse as children without parents (orphans), wives without husbands (widows) and purity. Listening to the verse gave me a deeper meaning. I’m not suggesting you re-write the bible….however I.m showing you an example of how you can listen to the bible and apply a scripture verse to your situation or life. That’s the joy of bible study.
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
- True religion is all hands on deck and all heads out of the sand.
- Left to ourselves, we’re mud pies baking in the elements of preference and prejudice.
- At the end of the day, what impresses us dictates us.
- Because we look up, we’re compelled to look out.
- We’re not bound to ritual laws but we are bound to love.
- Faith and favoritism don’t mix.
For Next Week
- Read Week Four in the workbook
- Listen to the Session Five Audio or the Session Five Video (optional)
- Check-in with your small group leader
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- What kind of things spark feelings of anger in you?
- What are some ways you manifest devotion to Christ?
- How can you show love to your neighbor this month?
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.