Friday, January 11, 2008

513 - Moving Faith

Oh Lord, you have given me some really great thoughts this morning. I have been looking at the life of James, Jesus' brother. This is the brother that did not believe he was Messiah until after the resurrection. Oh how many people do I know that just need more proof or they are just waiting for a little better time to follow Christ. James was "lucky" in that it didn't get too late for him, he was still able to "know" the Lord Jesus as his Savior before he died. This is another person I like to call that was Up Close and Personal with the Lord and changed. His transformation did not come till much later in life, but it did happen.

I am encouraged that I have seen the Lord be so faithful to those that truly did know Him at one time or knew about Him and came back to KNOW Him. I am so convinced that there is no way to lose my salvation - or anyone to lose their salvation. That is really not the issue or an issue. The real key is did you truly ever know Him at all? Salvation is not part of a lay-away plan and we can come back and get a little bit at a more convenient time. When we truly come to know Him it is done, sealed, and forgiven! Praise you Lord - thank you!!

So I look at James and am just amazed. This dude spent many, many days and nights with Jesus but did not buy it. Oh how I feel like that at times. Not only am I one to not buy into someone at times - their sincerity - but have been treated the same way. Someone doesn't understand me, someone doesn't buy into my heart, someone doubts my motivations or whatnot. But Jesus was perfect - there were no contradictions for James to argue with. Maybe it was he just thought he would have to be perfect too? Maybe it was that he thought he could just keep the letter of the law and be fine - he didn't need his big brother. Maybe he was just not ready to walk that serious and suffer persecution. Maybe he was already mad at his brother for bringing so much attention to the family and their private lives. Maybe just maybe he even overheard his parents talking about even their doubts. I most likely think they had not doubts - I am just kind of speculating here - but you how we get when we are just laying in the bed talking things through with your spouse. Lots of stuff comes out... Who knows, but James did not believe Jesus Christ was the Messiah until after the resurrection!!

I love to see a new believer just go on fire for the Lord. I kind of feel like that is what happen to James. He was not just in Jesus family, but he was all in His business too. SO even though he didn't believe for quite some time - if Jesus dies at 33, then James could have been well into his 20's before he believed and accepted - once he did come to know the Lord, it was a radical change. The things I love the most was that he wrote the book of James.

The book of James is one of the most practical books in the Bible, to me. It is a book of instruction for the most part. How to deal when trials come and temptation sets in. How to deal with having faith and then doing something with it. How to deal with favoritism. How to deal with working your faith, not working out your faith, but putting your faith to work. How to control the tongue!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow!!! How to deal with giving it all to the Lord, surrendering your life, having patience in suffering, and having an eternal perspective! He must have something all those years of living with Christ that made a huge difference to him even though he didn't buy in at first.

I have to think about my own life. My kids are finding their faith right now. My Tucker is saved, but is trying to figure out what he knows to be truth. Emmajoy is a believer and take everything with such a child like faith. I know her day will come too. Sarahjane is wanting to understand, but can't sit down long enough to really care. Elleigh is too young. But they all are watching Clay and I too see what we do about certain situations, how we express our faith, and how we react to their faith. It is so different for someone just looking in to judge whether one is doing a "good" job of displaying a faith that someone just has got to have. Will my kids see a faith they have just got to have? Will they see a faith that did more than just talk? Will they see a faith that did more than just sit on the sidelines?

That is the thing i love the most about the book of James. James saw Jesus doing - he saw his faith that was express in action. Remember him saying in this book that faith without works is dead. James must have never seen Jesus dead in His walk. I know that seems obvious, but how many times to my kids see a dead faith. James must have seen a faith that was willing to go the distance - death!! What is it like in your house I know the Lord is asking? James knew his brother was the real deal, but it was like he had to see how far he would go, death, before he really believed. I bet he was so disappointed to have wasted all that time of not believing.

Lord, when people really get inside my home and heart do they still see a faith worth dieing for? When I allow people up close and personal in my life do they something that is real and contagious? Lord, am I the type of person you can bring people to me knowing that they will encounter Christ through me? Oh Lord, I know the answer is no at times - nor often that I want to admit. But Lord, help me to be more expressive of my faith. Help me to be real and authentic. Help me to have a faith that my kids will say - I have just got to have a faith in the Lord Jesus like my momma! Thank yo Jesus for hearing my prayers! Thank you for knowing my heart. Thank you for forgiveness as I fail so often. Thank you for my kids asking questions and really seeking what all this is about. Lord, bring to them passion that can not be equaled. Lord, set them on fire at this early age to know you and to want to share you with others. Give to me wisdom to know their bent and how to "water" that for growth. Lord, help clay and I to display a working faith and one that never sits back to let everyone else do it!! I want to be in the game!! I want to be to your go to girl! I want to be faithful!!

I got a potential opportunity of speaking at a True Love Waits deal in WEST Tennessee. (Fran, Teresa, all ya'll - it could be fun.) Oh how i would love to go to that!!! Lord, may the timing and calendar work out. My March is already so busy!! I love you Father - off to go running and weigh in!! ugh!!! double ugh!!

8 comments:

Nicki said...

James is one of my favorite books of the bible.....there is SO MUCH wisdom in those words! And what a great reminder that anyone of any age can catch the fire and run with it!!

Hope things go well with running and weigh in....Kris made me watch some youtube video on running a marathon......he thought is would "inspire me"......it did not. =) Did you go to ww last night?

Fran said...

The book of James was one of the first books I studied....and it was so timely....how to control thy out of control mouth! :)

And, you better let me know if you come to West TN. I'm coming to pray with you and for you.

Have a great day~
Fran

Anonymous said...

Great post, Leigh! wait til you have a full house of teenagers, they will keep you accountable, and call you on any fake faith in a New York minute!!! So excited to hear about the True Love waits!!!!..is in Jackson? Memphis? e-mail me with the details. Would love to see you!
love,
Teresa Cocke
Braden, TN

Toknowhim said...

Leigh,

I never did make contact with you again about getting your info to the ladies in my Church for possible events in the future. Did you figure out how you wanted to get me the info? Thanks and I will check back here later...

CrownLaidDown said...

Have a marvelous weekend full of Praise---full of Him!

Leigh Gray said...

Fran - I have not heard anything today, but i promise to elt you know. It is in McKenzie - not too far from you. It is for 5th -12th graders and their paretns. I have asked the Lord to allow me to do this, but there is only 1 saturday in March that I could do. So chances are slim, but we shall see what He has ordained int he mext couple of days!

love you!

Leigh Gray said...

Hey "to know him"! Just email me - cletus104 at gmail dot come and we can talk further. Just need your addres to send you a bio and sample message.

Thank you thank you thank you again!!

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Hey, girlie! I LOVE the book of James!!! I joke that it is a great "bathroom" book- you can take it in with you and finish the whole thing. (I have been know to lock myself in to just read this book! :) )

How AWESOME about True Love Waits! I will be praying that all works out!

Love you!!!!!!