James: Day 13

Grace Day

by

Today's Text: Galatians 5:22-23

Take this day as an opportunity to catch up on your reading, pray, and rest in the presence of the Lord.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.
- Galatians 5:22-23

SRT-James-instagram13

  • I’m quite overwhelmed by all the responses. This really helps me grow.
    Sometimes it’s just hard to grasp what a ‘relationship with God’ means. He won’t sit here next to me on the sofa, he won’t drink the tea I made him, he won’t give me a hug when I cry…
    Yet deep down I know he’s there, but my bond with him not always that strong oe easily felt. I have to search him though.
    And I should think for a moment each day about his provision.
    Well, let me finish for today with sharing a quote from Augustine then: trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence.
    Something which is easier said than done but this is my prayer for tonight for myself and all of you in this community who need it.

  • Songbird, I think what you have not heard yet, is that God promises to be right by your side EVERY day ( good or bad). And, if you choose to listen to /follow God, he promises to bless you. These promises are what help me do the things He is asking of me that I would not choose for myself.

  • What a great reminder. I worked in a Christian preschool and we taught the children this

  • churchmouse

    So grateful to everyone at SRT and who participates in this community. The studies are so well done and any problem I’ve had with the mobile app is always addressed so promptly. Your attention to detail and beauty is very much appreciated. I have taken my SRT Bible and study guide to a local coffee shop and inevitably someone will comment on what I’m doing and ask to see the book. They marvel at the artwork and photos. The study guide has opened the door to share about the mission of SRT. I hand out cards with the website on them in the hopes of enlarging the Kingdom. Local missionary work lol Just want, on this grace day, to say thank you. You help me go deep in the Word and reach out to others. It’s all good.

    • Veronica

      Churchmouse, you are a vital part of this community. You always speak with such wisdoms and encouragement – I know I look forward to your comments every day. Grateful for you and the work you are doing in your hometown.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank YOU, churchmouse! We are so grateful to have you in this community. You love so well and always have such beautiful wisdom and insight. Thank you for this encouragement today!

      – Stormye

  • Songbird’s post is thought provoking and brought back to me questions that I always had about Christianity. My life has been rich with love and acceptance. I have been through dark times with the loss of my parents and brother but never truly experienced the relationship that I saw in those that had a close walk with God. A life changing experience opened my eyes to see (and feel) a relationship with God. The peace and joy that surpass earthly understanding. No matter what the situation he is beside you. You are never alone. The purpose is that no matter the circumstance, he holds you in his hand.

  • @SRT: did you prepare this study in autumn or winter? :D
    I realize that your photos for the daily verses are a bit gloomy and chilly these days. Today there´s that dark window with raindrops and yesterday there was the girl wearing a warm pullover in autumn colors. Actually I like to post your verses on Facebook, but these days they transport a mood that doesn´t match the seasonal sunny weather and I didn´t feel free to post them. Perhaps you could choose your photos with the season in mind they are meant for? :) Actually this is my only complaint – I really appreciate the work you put into this site and love the artwork in general. :))

  • There’s a question I’ve pondered over a lot and which has remained with me again after yesterday’s study. When we say we have to trust the Lord (in that he keeps his promises), what exactly do we trust in except that we may live an everlasting life?
    I mean, this is of course something HUGE, but is this all we live for? After all God hasn’t promised prosperity, happiness, love etc. in this life. I see enough people living with God but forever struggling with disease, loneliness, poverty, depression….
    Can we really only trust God in the VERY long run? Could it mean that patience is demanded from us until the day He returns?
    And if that is the case, is heaven all that we live for here on earth? Is our primary goal here really just to reach heaven and have others reach it? A friend of mine, a theologian often emphasises that, contrary to what many Christians think is that we don’t live just to go to heaven. We live to live on this earth, old and new.
    But what REALLY is the purpose? And in what REALLY can we trust God’s promises?
    I know there are several answers I myself would give to this question if someone would pose me. Yet I’m curious to hear other’s thoughts on this.

    • Cortsa

      I believe the Bible says we are here todo the good works that God prepared for us long ago, Eph 2:10, and I would image those good works would be sharing the gospel- whether that is just planting seeds, bringing someone one step closer to a relationship with Christ, or coming along someone as they give their life fully to Christ. As for it being in Heaven or a new earth. Idk. But I do know, I want to be with God, wherever it is. I don’t want to be separated from him like I should be, because of my rebellion.

    • Pam

      Good morning! Here are my thoughts: God’s original intent was not that we live in a broken, fallen world marking time until we got to heaven. It was for us to live in the perfect world that He created for us. God created us in a perfect world for us to be in a perfect relationship with Him. When sin entered, that all changed. When sin entered, it brought the things that we all struggle with – sickness, loneliness, poverty, depression and so much more. But God made a way for us to live in this world as it is now – He sent His Son to redeem us from the darkness. So, the promises that I cling to now are the promises that help me overcome the trials I go through until I meet Him face to face. I have seen Him at work in my life over and over again, and I am always amazed. I cannot imagine life on this earth without Him. I have experienced much heartache, but I have also experienced great joy because my Savior walks with me through each day. Great question, Songbird – I look forward to seeing all of the comments here! Have a beautiful weekend!

    • Bobbie

      Yes, we can trust God…not only in the long run but also in the here and now. I know this because I have lived it and He has proven Himself over and over.
      The Scriptures promise us eternal life but but Jesus also said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” One translation calls it abundant! Now abundant in our culture usually means material abundance…but I have found the abundance to be strength, hope, joy (even in suffering), peace for the journey.
      My life’s journey has been pretty rocky at times. I have walked some dark roads but God has always directed my path as I have trusted Him (Proverbs 3:5-6)
      So, while we are here, we share the good news of our Jesus. We offer our sacrifice of praise! **If life was always good/smooth, it wouldn’t be a SACRIFICE of praise.** We glorify Him because He has turned our “mourning into dancing ” (Jeremiah 31:13). We put our trust in Him because He is able to do “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think” ( Ephesians 3:20).
      Yes, we can REALLY trust God’s promises but as James teaches us, our trust requires that we act in faith. “Seek first His kingdom and ALL these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

    • Marti

      God does reward us as we live for Him in this broken world. He loves to bless His people. His blessings take many forms: finances, health, an excellent marriage to someone who will be evenly yoked with us, etc. Trials are a way of deepening our faith. That is when we must trust that He is working everything for our good, even if we can’t yet see it. I see so much that God has done for me when I look back over the rough patches in my life. What I have been learning lately is that each day, we must ask God for His provision. He will give us all that we need for that day. As for the going to Heaven part (this is actually my favorite part), the Bible says…or more accurately, Jesus said (Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35) that both Heaven and earth will pass away. He will bring His kingdom down here, to an earth with no corruption; a completely healed earth as it was when it was first created. So, yes, in a way we do live to live on this earth, but we must go through the trials of this old earth first. I trust God’s promises because He can be trusted. He ALWAYS fulfills his promises, but He does so in His time. I hope this helped a little bit (I’m still learning). God bless.

    • songbird

      Thanks for the responses so far. It definitely helps reading your witnesses.
      Well, but when we talk about promises, what really can I expect when I go through trials. In my gloomy days, I sometimes think: yes, better days will come, but as I have gone through life, there were always worse days as well. I sometimes feel as though I can put as much trust that there will be more hard times as I can trust that there will be better times…

      The only thing I know is that at the very, very end of all this, there will be everlasting life. But when bible verses talk about God’s promises and how he fulfilled them, it’s usually about actual things in this life on earth. And nowhere did God promise me happiness. So what does he promise?

      • Martha

        That He will never leave us or forsake us if we believe in Him, Jesus promised us the Holly Spirit, and God and Jesus did tell us that we will suffer. We will suffer for the sake of the Gospel just like Jesus did. He promised a way back to Him through the gift of His son.
        The memory verse for today talks about Joy. We may not have happiness however even in our suffering we can and should experience joy, a deeper more satisfying state than happiness. I could go on and on! When I was a newish believer I started listing all the promises of God, starting in Genesis. The list was so long! It was a way that the Holy Spirit taught me about who God is and what His promises mean to me. Over the years of reading and studying scripture my understanding of His promises has deepened and have begun to see them in a more eternal way, not just temporal.
        Our purpose on this earth is to glorify Him and we do good works to serve the Church body and to show others that this is an extension of our Faith. We speak and demonstrate the Gospel. We mature into our Faith which can mean a deeper more satisfying relationship with God our Father, His Son our Savior, and the Holy Spirit who is our teacher. We put away things like jealous, strife, envy, gossip, and lust. We instead exhibit and develop the fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.
        This is just a quick response…I did not include all the scripture I referenced. This is just some of the things I have learned over the years, I hope and pray you find it helpful and know that I am praying for you!
        Peace, (1 Peter 1:1)
        Martha

      • Christina

        First of all, I love your questions, songbird! Thank you for posing them! I believe God has promised us trouble. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God desires us to live beautiful lives on this earth. But what is beauty? Is it perfect health? Hope for better times? Or is the beauty in the fact that we trust God in ALL things? We aren’t looking for a better situation. We are looking to Him as the Sustainer and Comfort and Fulfillment of life, even on this earth. I believe we have been placed here to love and glorify God, so that His greatness is known, not because of our circumstances (although, yes, He gifts us with good things and good circumstances. Life is not all hardship and pain), and we trust the Spirit in us to lift our eyes to God, no matter what is happening around us. We live life by the Spirit that points the world around us to our Maker. And we do hope for life after this one here on the old earth. That life will be more glorious than seeing Pikes Peak, or the Grand Canyon, or the ocean for the first time, but it will be like that all the time. That wonder and awe will never end. That doesn’t always translate in our finite minds here on this earth. But to me, Jesus indicated that if we have our heaven (all the good stuff) here on earth, that is all we have. This heaven. This imperfect version of the awesome after. So yes, we can hope for better days while expecting just as many (if not more) hard days. But our hope is ultimately in gaining the presence of God Himself at the end of days lived well in long-suffering and chasing hard after Him. We trust Him through His Spirit to guide our lives to live well for His glory. And we trust that we will gain Him in the end. Such an exciting prospect!

    • Cecelia Enns Schulz

      I think we live to be in intimacy with God. To KNOW him. To become LIKE him. To be filled with all the fullness of God. As for his promises, I believe the biggest thing is that if we truly, truly know him, we won’t be overwhelmed or out of sorts when we don’t see his answers (healing, financial blessings, etc) because what we SEE shouldn’t (and won’t) determine what we KNOW. The bible says God is good. That he will never leave us or forsake us, that he forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases. We won’t even question our experiences because we will read the Bible and take it at face value. Despite anything to the contrary. And there will be contrary as we try to navigate a fallen world and walk in our true authority as children of the King.

    • churchmouse

      What a thoughtful post, Songbird. Perhaps this will help : The Westminster Catechism poses the question : What is the chief end of man? The answer : to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I am selfish and tend to see my life through my lens. He however owns the telescope. Therein lies the struggle. I have been placed on this earth not for my purpose or my pleasure but for His. I am not to stand before Him with my hands out saying “Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee” (though that is my selfish tendency). I am to bow before Him in honor and submission. He is indeed a giving God and His Word certainly tells me what He will provide to sustain me while I traverse this earth. But that is not to be my focus. I’m not to be the center of the world nor should I expect it to be completely satisfying or fulfilling. This world is not His original plan (man corrupted it by sin) but He has graciously provided for me to find enjoyment in it and through my circumstances. I’m amazed at all He does provide – the daily list of blessings is long – when I’m so undeserving. A grateful sinner saved by grace. Songbird, your very breath is a gift from Him as is mine. Everything we receive is bonus. If I’m constantly looking for more, I miss what is right in my hand. Let us enjoy His provision for today – it is surely there – and rejoice that His ultimate provision, eternal life, awaits.

      • songbird

        Surely I’m guilty to the gimme gimme gimme attitude… I often realise that sometimes I feel I have the right to be happy. And I don’t….

      • Kylee

        Churchmouse, your fingers type words that bring heaven right down to earth. Yes my next breath is a gift from God; the one after that is not guaranteed. I thank God today for this community, especially for YOU!!!

      • Nancy

        “I am selfish and tend to see my life through my lens. He however owns the telescope.” Love this! Brings everything into perspective for me. Thank you Churchmouse.

    • Emily B.

      In regards to whether Heaven is all that we live for on earth, my old pastor used to emphasize that Christians are “Kingdom people.” This world is NOT our home; we know our true home is in Heaven with God. That being said, I think we miss out on some of the joy of living life on earth if we solely focus on getting to Heaven some day. God desires to give His children good gifts, and how awesome that we get to experience those gifts during our time on earth. I know some of the SRT devotions have talked about the tension we live in (as Kingdom people) during our time on earth, but I don’t think that means we ignore our purpose here. I hope that makes sense!

      • songbird

        It does make sense. When I read ecclesiastes, it makes also total sense. On the one hand how things are in vain yet on the other how we are called to enjoy life, even the earthly things such as food and drink.

  • Good morning sisters . absolutely been loving this study and I’m sad to see it end soon . Have a blessed weekend

Further Reading...