All Posts By

Rebekah Munn

James Chapter 4

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James 4:8a
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

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“Draw near to God” holds images of worship when the people of God would come up to the temple to worship Him (Isa 29:14-15; 58:2), but also the call to return to God in a life devoted to him (Hos 12:6). What is significant is God’s drawing near us. This is not suggesting God is distanced from us, rather when we strengthen our relationship with Him, we can see His presence with increased clarity each day no matter the day or situation.

Apply //
How do we draw near to God? Like any relationship it is time, we can read/listen to the bible, pray, meet together both one on one, and as a community in Church and talk about where you are with God. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends how your relationship with God is going, we are doing this together and God has given us each other for encouragement. Ask yourself “where can I be more mindful of God in my life”?

Pray//
Thank you God you desire relationship with me, and you have put me in this family of believers. Help me seek you each day in whatever I do, remembering you are near me. Help me in my struggles, and help me encourage others who may be struggling. Thank you You are a good God and your character is love.

 

 

James Chapter 3

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 James 3: 9-10
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My Brothers, these things ought not to be so.

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The hardest creature to tame is the one that lies behind our teeth. When James talks of the tongue he speaks of our words and the power they hold. I recently hurt someone dear to me with the words I spoke. They were not intended to be hurtful by any stretch, but they were for laughs rather than love and said without consideration and yes I now regret them. James knows our words have the potential for praise and curse and challenges us to question what we are saying and the heart behind our words.

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Set yourself a challenge to think of the words you are saying even for just a day to start with. With your words ask, “What am I saying” and, “why am I saying this?” This also extends to what we write on social media, just because we can say or write something does not mean we should.

Pray//
God help me to be mindful of the words I speak, Holy Spirit teach me how to speak in a way that is loving and thoughtful.

James Chapter 2

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 James 2:18
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

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It is the grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ ALONE that justifies us before God, not our works (Romans 21-24, Ephesians 2:8). James is not contradicting Paul; he is putting practicality to our faith. We cannot earn our place in God’s family, through faith in the life death and resurrection of Jesus we are children of God. The way we act or things we do, are not to earn favour or to secure our spot in heaven, but a celebration of what God has already done for us, an overflowing of thanks for a life saved from eternal death and a witness to the God we trust in all areas of our life.

Apply //
It can be hard to trust God in all areas of our life, but when we do it is a powerful witness to the grace, mercy and love of God. Is there an area in your life you feel like God is asking you to trust him? Is there something you feel like God has asked you to do? Pick one thing and prayerfully seek God in this area, ask Him to teach you how to walk in faith in this area of your life.

Pray//
Thank you, God for the salvation that is in Christ alone. I pray when I do things for you I remember it is not to look good, to earn your love, or to pretend I have it all together, but because you first loved me and that amazes me every day.

James Chapter 1

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James 1:19-20
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Explore //
To be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger is not an easy thing and requires a conscious effort. James is not saying we won’t get angry, or we cannot talk, he is placing God’s way above our quick draw emotional rants. We have emotions but we need not be controlled by them. How many times has a situation turned ugly because of misunderstandings between parties who have not listened properly? Proverbs often places wisdom with restraint and understanding (Proverbs 17:27) and this can be achieved with the help of God.

Apply //
We are called to be listeners and cautious with our words. Take a moment and note when you feel your emotions taking over, ask yourself “why am I feeling this way?” or “what am I really angry about?” It may be a change of habit for you, or in some cases you may need to seek help to find strategies. At all times though it is with the help of God, ask the Holy Spirit to help you in this journey.

Pray//
God help me to be aware of when my emotions are getting the better of me. Help me to hear what the other person is saying. Thank you You have the strength for me to change my habits, thank you You are there to give me hope that I can change. I place you before my emotions, and trust you in my circumstances.

2 Timothy Chapter 4

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2 Tim 4:11
Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.

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Mark has had an interesting relationship with Paul. In Acts 15:36-41 there is an account of a strong disagreement between Paul and Barnabas regarding the reliability of Mark. So passionate was the argument that it divided the group. Yet in 2 Tim we see Paul asking for Mark and recognising him as a “useful” person for the cause of the gospel.

Apply //
You may be in a season when you feel like you are disappointing someone. You may have even recently let someone down. Mark disappointed Paul, he did fail in his task at the time, and he may have not been ready at that time, yet that did not disqualify his future. Mark did not shut himself down because of failure, but looks to have grown from the experience. We all fail at some stage; this does not mean we are a failure, or that we can’t try again later. The grace of God spreads further than our shortcomings and we can trust “God is faithful” to stand back up, take a breath, thank God, and take one step at a time.

Pray//
Lord help me to see your grace in my failure, help me to see your love in the disappointment. I know I am not perfect, but thank you I am yours. Help me to be an encourager like Barnabas knowing we all make mistakes. Thank you God for your faithfulness, You have a plan for my life and you can work miracles in all our lives.

2 Timothy Chapter 3

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2 Tim 3:16-17

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the person of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

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God’s children are encouraged to keep the word of God close (Psalm 119:105, John 7:38). The bible is more than a book; it is the story of salvation in which we are a part of. In scriptures we see humanity succeed and fail, we learn of the heart of God towards ourselves and others, and we are able to draw encouragement, hope and understanding from them.

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I don’t use my iPhone to its full potential simply because I don’t know it very well. The same can be said of scripture. It can be hard to read at first, yet when you invest time, the bible can open up to do all that Paul talks of in 2 Tim 3. REAP is a great start, well done! Reading scripture is an active decision we need to make, but we can also invite the Holy Spirit to teach us and to bring to life what the bible is saying and how to apply it to our life.

Pray//
Lord show me your love in the scriptures, help me to understand them, and bring them to mind during my day so I may have the wisdom to apply them in my life.

2 Timothy Chapter 2

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2Tim 2:1
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

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Paul sees himself as Timothy’s father, and as a loving father he points Timothy to Jesus. The grace of Jesus is that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us so we might be in relationship with God. We are also given the Holy Spirit to help us know who God is, and help us have the strength to live a life that is not always easy. Paul knows a life lived for God can be hard, and knows it is by God’s strength and grace he has been able to persevere. Paul does not point to how amazing he is, or how amazing Timothy has grown, but how incredible beyond compare God is.

Apply //
You might be struggling, life can be hard but you don’t have to do it alone. Having God doesn’t mean everything will be sunshine and cupcakes, but it does mean you can take your worries, your tears, your anger and frustration to God and pray for His help. Today pray to God, tell Him whatever may be burdening you, be honest and ask Him to fill you with the strength found in the grace of Christ.

Pray//
God you are a good God, help me to give you my worries and cares, help me to trust you in all my circumstances, and fill me with your strength. I know you see me, and know what is happening, thank you for your love and care towards me. Thank you God for being my God.