Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ever-convicting epistle

We're doing the letter of James in Bible study this semester. I can remember joking with a friend last year about how I would have so joined the Martin Luther bandwagon in the early days of the reformation, avoiding (and perhaps even denying) the text. On the surface, because it is the Arminian banner and who wants to deal with theological controversy (even though the controversy is actually 100% contrived).

But in actuality, I'm coming to believe that my inclination to avoid James for devotionals or study comes from the shear conviction of almost every passage. I fall SO far short of his exhortations. As I'm reading Chapter 1 tonight, this passage gave me a huge jolt:
James 1:26 "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight
rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."
This kind of stuff is all thru James's letter. No wonder I tend to want to avoid him. This is serious stuff. And, you know, I'm not really qualified to teach this text. I must boldy throw myself down at the feet of Christ, the throne of Grace, and ask for His mercy. In obedience I serve, in spite of myself, despite my sin, shortcomings, failings, whatever you want to call it all. I submit my will to His and ask for His strength to do for me through me, what I am incapable of doing of myself. His grace super-abounds over and beyond my fallenness. Our fallenness. The world's fallenness. In Him, we live and move and have our being. All things from him, to him, for him. To Christ be the glory forever. Amen.

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