Wednesday, February 5, 2014

40 Day Retreat with Jesus: Day 3 and 4

Monday and Tuesday are actually my husband's weekend, so instead of interrupting our family time for blogging, I opted to do this assignment wrapped in to one today, my husband's Monday. The passages for today are:

James 1:13-18
James 1:19-27

Rather than typing word-for-word the verses out of the compass Bible (Using The Voice translation), I chose to just delve in to the discussion portion and my reflections.

In the book of James, the Compass Bible explains that the following letter is just a note to Christians to "practice what they preach". James speaks of temptation and that God Himself is not capable of being tempted nor tempting us...God doesn't want to see us fail. He wants to see us succeed and live in his light, but by nature we are sinners, so we are easily tempted and at times deceived by our temptation (where it comes from). James also warns that we allow sin enter in to our lives when we follow a temptation or indulge in starts almost like a tiny seed and then the temptation breeds sin (1:15). What is the best way to avoid temptation? Clearly to live in the Word and understand God and the way temptation and sin go hand-in-hand. 

James follows this by giving the Christian on how to overcome temptation, by being slow to anger and to hold our tongues, as well as be mindful of who and what we surround ourselves with. 

I believe that there are certain people and activities that are not conducive to the lifestyle one wants to live. There is so much truth in what James is saying about being careful about your surroundings and your activities, as it only takes one small idea implanted in one's head, that eventually sprouts and grows, that can lead the way to some serious sin. It's scary to think how easily influenced I have been in the past based on what the people around me believe or do. On a greater level, how many Christians condone sin because it's the cultural norm?