October 2015

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A man met God and asked, “What is a million years to you?” “Like a second,” God answered. “What is ten million dollars to you?” was the next question. “Like a dime,” came the answer. “Well then,” the man continued, “Can I borrow a dime?” God responded, “Just a second.” My Bible study for October is the book of James. Today we were considering chapter 1:9-12 and the way James turns what we perceive as wealth on its head. “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position,” (vs 9-10a).

As believers, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. So even if we’re as poor as church mice we should rejoice in our wealth. If we are wealthy, in the world`s eyes, it is then that we should beware. James again, “because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.” (vs 10b-11). Have you ever watched some of the nature programmes, especially those about some of the most inhospitable places of the world, and seen how the most beautiful blossoms appear momentarily, the sun comes up and within hours they are gone. That is what James is saying here. The riches of the world are transient but the blessings of being “in Christ” are eternal. If we are blessed with riches, don`t depend on them, but use them for the good of others. If we`re not blessed with riches, in the world`s eyes, thank Him for how He has blessed you.

Even you`re feeling really tested because of your circumstances James has some very comforting words for us. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (vs 12). With a prize like that there is no wonder that James began the chapter with these words, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (vs 2-4). Or as Paul put it, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Phil 4:11-12)

           Every blessing be yours in Christ Jesus.            John & Hilary

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