July 3

Friday's Follow-up Verses

James 1:2-8

Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 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. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

[a] James 1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verses 16 and 19; and in 2:1, 5, 14; 3:10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19.

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Pondering Point

As a Christian, are you ever concerned that you don't necessarily know how to live for God, how to live as a disciple, or how to serve in God’s harvest-field? If this is the case, take your concern to God in prayer. If you are not concerned, why is that? Is it because you already practice the disciple’s life or perhaps that you settled into your life without considering what God desires of you? James says “if you lack wisdom, ask God who gives generously” (James 1:5). Here is how Eugene Peterson phrases these verses in The Message,

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves
to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when
you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.
People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves.
Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that
way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

Come and ask God using the prayer prompt that follows. But ask with an honest intent to be a committed-to-God follower of Jesus. Peterson envisions that God loves for people to seek Him out for wisdom in order to follow Him (as opposed to trying to operate without His insights and influence).

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Ask God to give you wisdom about whatever is on your mind and heart today. Remind Him and yourself that you come as a follower – then plan to follow His plan. Conclude in Jesus’ name.