It’s been awhile since I mentioned this, but with today’s Song of the Day, I might as well bring it back up. If you have never been baptized, or it’s been a lifetime since you were baptized as a child, make this year the year you are taken under the water. Drown yourself in the wonder until you are filled with Christ’s love.
4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
7Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:4-10)
Most of these verses make perfect sense and are words we have heard before: being a friend with the world separates you from God; God opposes the proud but lifts up the humble; submit yourselves to God; resist the devil; come near to God and He will come near to you. That all should sound a little familiar. But then James instructs his audience to “grieve, mourn and wail;” and to “change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” Well that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. It seems a bit contradictory, since we are supposed to be joyful and happy in our new life in Christ. When we lay our old life down, the one that is tied to the world, we don’t have to do it in mourning. You should gladly let that old life go, knowing with confidence that when God lifts you up, you will be filled with a joy you have never known, a happiness unlike any the world could ever show you. You may experience some level of grief but not due to you leaving the old life behind, but rather grief that it took you this long to find your new life in Christ. So even if you were happy being a part of the world, be prepared to find a new level of joy. Even if you were full of laughter, that never has to end. Use your laughter to spread the gospel to the rest of the world.
Reading plan: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Deeper reading plan: Joel 2:1-11
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray for peace and common sense to infect the minds of Americans. Pray for civility and calm and for Christians to be a beacon of hope and consistency for all those who may face increased anxiety in these next two weeks. Pray for revival that is permanent and world changing.
Fitness challenge: Day 47-47 reps:
- Hand-release Push-up
- Jumping squat
- Leg lift
Saturday run: 4 miles for time (keep tracking your stats)Serve Day: Wherever you can serve, make sure you are doing so safely.