Many of us don’t enjoy change. We enjoy routines and over time these routines create grooves in the framework of our lives. These grooves carve out habits and slowly become our accepted way of interacting with the world around us. The sum of these “grooves” is who we become. When a person takes inventory of their life there are qualities of who we have become that we want to change. For instance maybe we want to learn a new instrument or run a marathon. We experience the urge to change, to BECOME DIFFERENT. The first step to becoming someone who runs a marathon is to go for a run. The first step to becoming someone who has learned the guitar is to play a guitar. These initial steps are what set us up on the “road to becoming” someone we want to be. Many of us get stuck because we never take the “first step” on the road to becoming. In this series, we turn to the book of James to find commands of NEW “grooves” in the life of a Christ Follower. “Do not merely hear the Word but also DO what it says,” or “believers in Jesus must not show favoritism” are NEW habits that James declares a “first step” on the “road to becoming.” You might dread the process on the road to becoming, as you experience change, but remind yourself of WHO you are becoming.
January 3: Hear and Now
Most of us are prone to hear but hearing does not move us to action. James encourages us to not only hear but to put into action what we hear from the Gospel of Christ.
January 10: Finding Worth In Everyone
James writes, “My brothers and sisters, you are believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. So treat everyone the same.” Every person you meet and see has value and is created by a God that loves them with His whole heart. Treat people as those bearing the image of God.
January 17: Gaining Control
The words that come out of our mouth are powerful: for good and for evil. James uses some great word pictures to capture the incredible ability our words have to direct, strengthen, and destroy lives around us. How is your control when it comes to your mouth?
January 24: What You Need Today
One of the biggest challenges on the “road to becoming” is the promise of tomorrow. We can recognize things we want to become different and then convince ourselves that we will begin “tomorrow.” We plan and strategize about our futures and if we aren’t careful we can miss out on what God is doing in our “today.” And when you miss out on your “today” you can end up with a future that wasn’t what you had hoped.
January 31: In The Waiting Room
One of the hardest things about change is the “process.” Being patient is something most of us don’t do very well. The time for habits to change and new results to take hold can feel like an eternity. Most of us have learned that this “waiting” is not worth it. But for the few that are willing to endure, to persevere, there is a very powerful lesson to be learned. Both about ourselves and about God.
February 7: When We Pray
Prayer is difficult – because sometimes our motives are selfish or our prayers have gone unanswered. The truth is, in prayer we have an opportunity to experience God’s presence and to have a conversation with Him. Prayer changes our lives because conversation with God changes us.