James- Day 3

Devotion for Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.-James 1:6-8

The context of this verse is talking about the person who is asking for wisdom.  He says to ask in faith, nothing wavering.  The idea here is that you are asking in complete confidence, knowing that what you are asking God can answer, and believing that He will answer.  When you are asking for wisdom, James has already said that you’ll get it.  You can have confidence in that kind of a prayer.
James also makes this statement- “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  When you ask like– “I don’t really know if I want it”, or “I’m not sure if God will give it, but I know I need it….Ok God, I guess I would like some wisdom…”  This is not the way to ask.  This is not faith- this is doubt!  You can have confidence in God.
James is not saying that it is wrong to have questions for God, or even to have doubts.  A single-minded person takes those real questions to the One who can answer them- God.  Are you going through something difficult?  Today, ask God for wisdom confidently.  He will answer your request!

James- Day 2

Devotion for Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. -James 1:5

I’m amazed at how practical the book of James is.  He tells us in this verse to ask for wisdom.  When we are going through “divers temptations” or various trials (remember yesterday?) we need wisdom to know what decisions to make.  I need wisdom even in the normal day to day decisions I make, and so that much more when I’m going through difficult circumstances!  James tells us to ask God for wisdom, and then he makes the statement that God gives wisdom liberally or generously.
Wisdom is the ability to correctly and efferently apply knowledge and judgment to your life’s circumstances.  Talk about valuable.  What’s amazing is that James says that the only thing holding you back from attaining wisdom is asking God for it.

Have you ever asked God for wisdom?  If you haven’t today is a great day to ask for it.  You need it, and he’ll give it to you generously if you ask sincerely (more on that tomorrow).
If you have asked for wisdom before, ask for wisdom specifically in the various arena’s of your life.  “God, I need wisdom with my parents.”  “God, I need wisdom with that person at work/school.” You get the idea.  This should be a prayer that you pray all the time!

James- Day 1

Devotion for Monday, August 29th, 2011

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing

James tells his reader to count it as joy when we fall into “divers temptations” (various trials).  That sounds crazy right.  Be joyful about the fact that I’m going through difficult circumstances?  That seems a little weird.  But James gives a good reason for this statement.  He says that when you go through trials, it exercises your faith and the result is patience.  When we go through difficult circumstances, it can help us learn how to endure and trust in God to get us through it.  The more we do that, the more able we are to handle what we go through.  Patience works in us so that we can be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.  This is another way of saying that we’ll be complete!  Our character will grow to be what God wants us to be.

I think this song explains this principle pretty well…
Check out this video:

Sometimes we think of difficult circumstances as whole seasons of life, and they certain can be that.  But we go through things that we may not like on a regular basis.  Today, when you get frustrated, aggravated, hurt, or offended remember to “count it joy” and think about how your circumstance can help you trust God more.

Devo- Sunday Summary

“Aren’t you being a little preachy?”
Many Christian teens may never ever realize it, but Biblical preaching and teaching can have a profound impact in our spiritual lives. God has chosen the proclamation of His Word to make a difference in our lives.

It’s kind of like the difference between looking in a mirror and looking at a picture of ourselves. We look in the mirror every day, and that is a perspective of our image that we see a lot. But then sometimes we see a picture that someone else has taken of us, and it’s at a different angle. It can be eye opening…

That’s what preaching does…God uses His Word to be applied to our lives in ways we may never think about. It’s important to put yourself under good, godly preaching.

So today, what did you learn at Sonshine? How can it apply?