journey through James (2)

As we go through our upcoming fall quarter Sunday morning adult Bible class study of the the letter of James at MoSt Church, we’ll do a church-wide “slow read” of this letter, a verse or two each day. Most, if not all, of my weekday devotionals here during this study (Sept. 11 – Nov. 27) will come not only from James, but specifically from the verse(s) we’re focused on in our daily reading. Following is a complete reading schedule for our Journey through James.

Sept. 11 – James 1:1
Sept. 12 – James 1:2
Sept. 13 – James 1:3-4
Sept. 14 – James 1:5
Sept. 15 – James 1:6-8
Sept. 16 – James 1:9
Sept. 17 – James 1:10-11
Sept. 18 – James 1:12
Sept. 19 – James 1:13
Sept. 20 – James 1:14-15
Sept. 21 – James 1:16-17
Sept. 22 – James 1:18
Sept. 23 – James 1:19
Sept. 24 – James 1:20
Sept. 25 – James 1:21
Sept. 26 – James 1:22
Sept. 27 – James 1:23-24
Sept. 28 – James 1:25
Sept. 29 – James 1:26
Sept. 30 – James 1:27
Oct. 1 – James 2:1
Oct. 2 – James 2:2-4
Oct. 3 – James 2:5
Oct. 4 – James 2:6-7
Oct. 5 – James 2:8
Oct. 6 – James 2:9
Oct 7 – James 2:10-11
Oct. 8 – James 2:12-13
Oct. 9 – James 2:14
Oct. 10 – James 2:15-17
Oct. 11 – James 2:18
Oct. 12 – James 2:19
Oct. 13 – James 2:20
Oct. 14 – James 2:21-22
Oct. 15 – James 2:23-24
Oct. 16 – James 2:25-26
Oct. 17 – James 3:1
Oct. 18 – James 3:2-3
Oct. 19 – James 3:4-5a
Oct. 20 – James 3:5b-6
Oct. 21 – James 3:7-8
Oct. 22 – James 3:9-10
Oct. 23 – James 3:11-12
Oct. 24 – James 3:13
Oct. 25 – James 3:14-15
Oct. 26 – James 3:16
Oct. 27 – James 3:17
Oct. 28 – James 3:18
Oct. 29 – James 4:1
Oct. 30 – James 4:2-3
Oct. 31 – James 4:4-5a
Nov. 1 – James 4:5b
Nov. 2 – James 4:6
Nov. 3 – James 4:7
Nov. 4 – James 4:8a
Nov. 5 – James 4:8b
Nov. 6 – James 4:9-10
Nov. 7 – James 4:11
Nov. 8 – James 4:12
Nov. 9 – James 4:13-15
Nov. 10 – James 4:16
Nov. 11 – James 4:17
Nov. 12 – James 5:1-3a
Nov. 13 – James 5:3b-4
Nov. 14 – James 5:5-6
Nov. 15 – James 5:7a
Nov. 16 – James 5:7b-8
Nov. 17 – James 5:9
Nov. 18 – James 5:10
Nov. 19 – James 5:11
Nov. 20 – James 5:12
Nov. 21 – James 5:13a
Nov. 22 – James 5:13b
Nov. 23 – James 5:14-15
Nov. 24 – James 5:16
Nov. 25 – James 5:17-18
Nov. 26 – James 5:19-20

If you’re looking for a good place to view these texts online, click on “Bibles” in the menu line above and you’ll be given a variety of choices.
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prayers (4)

temptation

When a Christian has chosen to live for God and for others, the devil is not pleased. At certain times the din of temptation, drowned out for awhile by the song of love, returns more strident than ever.

God allows this trial and sometimes is even deaf to the appeals of his child, in order to test him and to bring him to greater trust. Only when the Christian expects nothing of himself and everything of God can he be at peace.

One must be very little to be carried by God.

“So he took the ship, and his disciples followed him. And suddenly a great storm arose on the sea, but he lay asleep. And his disciples came and roused him, crying, ‘Lord, save us, we are sinking.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you faint-hearted, men of little faith?’ Then he rose up, and checked the winds, and the sea, and there was deep calm.” (Matthew 8:23-26)

“Believe me, unless you become like little children again, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

I’m at the end of my rope, Lord.
I am shattered,
I am broken.
Since this morning I have been struggling to escape temptation, which, now wary, now persuasive, now tender, now sensuous, dances before me like a seductive girl at a fair.
I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know where to go.
It spies on me, follows me, engulfs me.
When I leave a room I find it seated and waiting for me in the next.
When I seize a newspaper, there it is, hidden in the words of some innocuous article.
I go out, and see it smiling at me on an unknown face.
I turn away and look at the wall, and it leaps at me from a poster.
I return to work, to find it dozing on my files, and when I gather my papers, it wakes up.
In despair, I take my poor head in my hands, I shut my eyes, to see nothing.
But I discover that it is more lively than ever, comfortably settled within me.
For it has broken my door open, it has slipped into my body, my veins,
to the very tips of my fingers.
It has seeped into the crevices of my memory
And sings into the ear of my imagination.
It plays on my nerves as on the strings of a guitar.
I no longer know where I stand, Lord.
I no longer know whether or not I want this sin that beckons to me.
I no longer know whether I pursue it or am pursued.
I am dizzy, and the void draws me the way a chasm draws the rash mountaineer who can no longer either advance or retreat.
Lord, Lord, help me.

*

Son, I am here.
I haven’t left you.
How weak your faith is!

You are too proud.
You still rely on yourself.
If you want to surmount all temptations, without falling or weakening, calm and serene,
You must surrender yourself to me.
You must realize that you are neither big enough nor strong enough;
You must let yourself be guided like a child,
My little child.

Come, give me your hand, and do not fear.
If there is more, I will carry you in my arms.
But you must be very, very little,
For the Father carries only little children.

Prayers by Michael Quoist (Sheed & Word, Inc., 1963); pp.131-33