Take 5 (February 17-21, 2014)

take5

Caleb Korth • Contemporary Worship Director

James

Monday: James 1:19

This week we will be looking at 5 life lessons, one from each chapter, from the book of James. 

We live in a high-speed internet society where instant gratification is king.  We want what we want when we want it.  We look for shortest lines at the bank and grocery store so we can get in and out as fast as possible.  In the midst of all of this, James encourages a fast paced life when it comes to specific area of listening.  We can frequently find ourselves immersed in day to day life being busy with the wrong things.  Listening is a good thing to be occupied with.  Not only that, but James tells us that we need to slow way down when it comes to verbal responses and becoming angry.  How many times have we said things that later we are ashamed of?  How many times have we become angry with those we love over something so small and unimportant?

For Today: Consider the challenge in this verse and commit to living it!

Tuesday: James 2:8-13

Favorites.  We all have them.  Whether it’s our favorite pizza topping, TV station, video game, or musical style, there are specific things that we enjoy above others.  Now, when it comes to people, this mindset of favorites needs to be done away with.  In order to avoid favoritism, verse 8 challenges us to love our neighbor like we would love and care for ourselves.  Also note that there is no clause stating that we are to treat others based on how they treat us. 

For Today: Ask God to give you strength to love the difficult people in your life.

Wednesday: James 3:5-12

The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871 is considered to be the worst fire in American history.  It is often overshadowed by the Great Chicago Fire that started the same day.  The tragedy destroyed 1.5 million acres, caused millions of dollars in damage, and killed between 1,200 and 2,400 people

(www.peshtigofire.info).  In today’s reading we are challenged by the devastation that our tongue can bring.  James compares the tongue to a fire.  It is such a small member of the body and seemingly harmless, but it can cause horrible damage to ourselves and others.  The tongue is a powerful tool that we can use to bring joy, healing, and encouragement to the body of Christ. 

For Today: Honor God with your tongue.

Thursday: James 4:1-4

Many of us are familiar with the phrase, “Best Friends Forever” or “BFF.” Here’s the thing with BFF, you can only have one best friend.  Today the passage get’s very personal and in our face.  Verse 4 says that we cannot be friends with the world and with God.  It’s one or the other.  He goes on to call his audience “adulterous people.” They were committing spiritual adultery because they had become so close to the world.  By being friends of the world they were making themselves enemies of God.  The choice before us today is this: God or world. 

For Today: What changes need to be made in order for God to be your best friend?

Friday: James 5:13-18

Prayer is an obvious theme in today’s passage.  It is a theme that our church family has been challenged with in recent days.  It is the method by which we communicate to our heavenly Father.  And it is our responsibility as brothers and sisters in Christ to lift up one another in prayer before God’s throne.  How might God be challenging you to pray today?  Is it continuing a rich prayer lifestyle, remaining faithful to our Prayer Surge commitments, or maybe it’s starting a vibrant prayer life?

For Today: Take time to share your heart with God.