Wonder with Me : James Chapter 2 (Favoritism Forbidden, Faith and Deeds)

New day, new way! Adding bible references (via links) in case you don't have a physical bible on the go, and I'll be exploring new layouts too! Excitingggg!! 

Time stamp : 6:55AM (horay for progress! I'm gunning for 5ams!) 

Let's start? 

It's important to seek wisdom before reading the bible, to hear His word and not ours. 

Prayer for wisdom : Father of the Heavenly lights, our creator and promise-keeping God, we come to you today to ask for your wisdom as we start this journey of seeking you, knowing you, and loving you more. You are a generous giver Lord, and just as you have given us life - you have also given us Your Son, our Savior, author and perfecter of our faith. We pray your Holy Spirit takes over, gives us clarity of mind to understand your Word, and convicts us to obey the Truth, and make it a Way of Life. We ask all these in Jesus' mighty name, AMEN. 

Read the Scripture

No book hopping or skipping. Highlight the striking verses, you can even underline / encircle words that are meaningful to you! 

Let's write our observations 

Go ahead and write yours first before reading the next paragraph = ) The bible is so vast that no two guides are alike! But for this chapter, perhaps you could write down  : 

  • Your discoveries about God (His Names, His Character, His Ways) 
  • Blessings / Promises to note 
  • Warnings / Consequences 
  • Instructions / Commands given 
If you're done, you can take advantage of the printable / downloadable devo I created below. I made that with all my heart and I hope it adds a dose of wonder to your quiet time with the Lord =) 

Modern - Day Application  

If we've observed so much blessings and promises in chapter one, it's quite the opposite here in chapter two! Definitely piercing AND convicting, isn't it? This time I'll try summarizing in bullets, but before that, you can answer these reflection questions first : 

1. How are my relationships within the family? How do I treat my spouse / children, my parents & siblings? Who has hurt me the most and what is the attitude of my heart towards them? 

2. Do I have a social / physical / financial criteria for choosing who to help or show good graces to?
 
3. How many times have I disobeyed traffic rules & regulations, LGU policies (ie garbage recycling / permits), or even the pressing reminders related to the COVID risk-prevention? 

4. What am I doing to achieve my short and long term goals and ultimate dreams? 


FAITH WITHOUT DEEDS IS DEAD. USELESS. DEAD! 

This was painstakingly reiterated in chapter two and I'm saying it again : Faith without deeds is useless, it is dead! Why, isn't it also the same as loving without deeds? or dreams without plans of action? or wanting to lose weight with no action? Simply put, it's claiming something yet our actions show otherwise.

This chapter convicted me so much so that looking back now, there was an evident transformation since then that revolved around my relationships within my family. It opened that door of reconciliation, and revival. It didn't happen out of effort or even love. OH HEAVENS NO! I was still hurting, I was still angry, I was still triggered. BUT what pierced me the most is how all of my efforts to know the Lord and walk in His ways would all be useless if my own family is still divided. I couldn't "claim" to love God, YET still harbor resentments towards the people that hurt me most. I couldn't "claim" to know Him, YET unforgiving. I couldn't "claim" to know His commands and instruction, YET I am quick to be angry/irritated especially when provoked or triggered, and even allow my words to inflict pain. In the same light, I can't keep saying "I want to lose weight" if my food choices result otherwise!:))) <ok, so see how I'm really taking it seriously this time?!hehe) Oh and...  I can't keep saying "I really really want to fulfill God's purpose for my life" if the place I've been circling around for quite some time now is nowhere near what He's been calling me to do. And so, after my surrender last October, the Way of Life based on Truth was revealed.

A LAWBREAKER IS A LAWBREAKER. 

Clear as day in 2:10!! This made me feel sooo guilty of the times I thought I was doing ok as long I don't do the thou shall not's in the 10 commandments. Boy oh boy was I wrong! This relates so much to the first point where faith without deeds is useless, and dead. In this chapter, favoritism is a sin and that was an eye-oepener to how the bible is soooo vast and deep, convicting and piercing too! Is favoritism in the 10 commandments? No. But it's a "specific" and practical example of how we do not love our neighbor as ourselves. 

Discrimination is such a relevant topic today - we see healthworkers, people with disability, mental illness, racial / social differences, who are being discriminated daily around the world! Privileges and opportunities don't belong to same class, and there are always decisions based on prejudice in the workplace or even in government offices!!! So yes, we may think we're doing okay (based on our own judgment and understanding) but that's exactly why we need to be more dependent on the Lord - His Word is our daily heart-check! 

You see, we are His children, created in His image and likeness. When we look at the mirror, we see ourselves. But when we intently look into His word, and act on it, we become His reflection to the world. As my dgroup leader would say, sometimes we are the bibles other people can read. That's why it's even more crucial to be aligned with His heart... 

C O N C L U S I O N 

The first chapter was really like a first love kind of thing, where we probably felt so giddy and excited to start a new journey with the Lord... or it's the getting to know you stage because it's the first time you'll really be reading the bible. In any case, please keep wondering with meeee until we finish chapter 5! It will be worth it, I promise! But for now, after reading chapter one, was it really sweeter the second time around in chapter two? Ha, I'd say it still is! It's sweet because He corrects us, it's still sweet because His word is removing the weeds in the garden of our hearts! 

We have to remember that that aside from the main roles we have in life (first, His child. next is being sons/daughters to our parents, then husbands/wives and parents to our children/future children), we are also citizens in the country we live in and we are employees / students subject to authorities. It's a break one and break all kind of thing in the bible, but just like worldly policies and sanctions that have warnings and consequences depending on severity, God also assures us of His mercy.... that is always new every morning. And His amazing grace, saving grace... that makes mercy triumph over judgment. 


Praying for you in this journey of becoming.... and I'm very proud of you for being here for day two! Keep going, I'll walk with you <3 

Love and wonder dust for you today! :* 
thewonderhuman 


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