This year we're memorizing one promise from scripture a week. If you want to follow along with our verse cards you can find them HERE. We're also placing importance upon context and studying each verse as we go. We want to honor the original language, meaning, etc as we read so that we can accurately learn and avoid placing our own opinions upon God's words. I'm so happy you're here!
IF ANY OF YOU LACKS WISDOM, YOU SHOULD ASK GOD, WHO GIVES GENEROUSLY TO ALL WITHOUT FINDING FAULT, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU. · JAMES 1:5
This week in our memory verse we’ve got James, brother of Jesus, leader of the Jerusalem church, as our author! In this passage commentators believe that he is addressing Jewish Christians residing in house churches outside of Palestine. (Jewish Christians, meaning people who had come to follow Christ, who were from a Jewish cultural background).
At the time of this letter, these house churches were impoverished, and were experiencing conflict amongst themselves. It's in the most trying of circumstances that we see the truth of our hearts, isn’t it? James enters into their struggles of poverty, persecution, division and lack of grace-driven effort in their pursuits of Christ, by calling these believers up.
James calls them up – not out. Do you know of that difference? Can you think of times you have been called out versus called up?
I spent most of my life calling out and being called out. When I saw people doing things I didn’t agree with, I either harshly told them I didn’t agree, or gossiped. It was a bad habit that got me into a lot of trouble –a habit I can see the Lord still refining out of my heart.
I also was called out often. I felt humiliated by people who expressed disdain towards me because of how I was living. Social media can be a rough place for a high schooler without the Spirit of Christ, let me tell ya. There I was, harshly calling out and harshly being called out.
Back to James, though. ☺ He calls UP. He reminds these believers WHOSE they are, and therefore WHO they ought to be because of that- people who come to God with their needs, instead of relying on themselves. He uses words like beloved brothers, to speak in gentle earnestness with his church.
Specifically in our memory verse, James tells the believers that if they lack wisdom in handling these trials they are experiencing, all they need to do is ask God for discernment through prayer, and He will provide them with wisdom, generously! No matter who or how one asks God for help, James reminds these believers that the Lord will respond with wisdom in some way.
This may seem like a simple thing: “Need wisdom? Ask God.” But how often do we forget that IT IS that simple? The reality is that so often we just want to ‘do it ourselves’ so we don’t ask. I don’t know about you, but that never ends up well for me.
If we will only ask Him for help to come to Him more, maybe we would do so. If we would only ask Him for His wisdom more, maybe then our trials would not consume us – and we would see the Light of Jesus guiding us through the tunnel of our trials, with wisdom that surpasses our human understanding.
Lets ask Him to help us to ASK HIM for help, more often. Amen?