When God began to speak to my heart about memorizing the book of James, I was very skeptical. I don't have a hard time memorizing scripture, but at the same time 5 chapters, which totaled 108 verses, seemed liked a very daunting task. One that I didn't feel up to. One that I had just about talked myself out of doing. But God had other plans.
As He began to continue nudging my heart to do this, I realized that He probably had something to teach me through this memory work. In fact, I was pretty sure He had something to show me. Because that's just how my God works. Always teaching if we are willing to be taught!
As I started with James 1 and spent the month of February on those 27 verses, the whole book of James started coming alive to me. I began to see the teaching of James in a whole new light and I began to look at James in a whole new way. These scriptures were penned by the half-brother of Jesus! He grew up in the same household as my Savior! His Words were certainly God-breathed and inspired. By the time I started with James 2, I was enthralled with the person of James and with his book. As I wound up the month of March with the 26th verse in chapter 2, I was hooked. I couldn't wait to dig into James chapter 3 and begin to see what God was going to reveal to me through those scriptures.
Verse 1 of Chapter 3 starts with a bang. A huge bang..
"Not many of you should become teachers,
my fellow believers, because you know
that we who teach will be judged more strictly"
Whew... was He talking about me? Someone who teaches a ladies class on Sunday nights? Oh, yes. He was most definitely talking about me. And it just pierced my heart with conviction and with a reverent fear of my God.
When I teach, I had better make sure that NOTHING I say contradicts the Word of God. When I teach, I better make sure that EVERYTHING I say is straight from the pages of the Holy Scriptures. I need to guard my mind from the enemy and make sure that I am saturating it heavily in the mighty and powerful WORD of God so that nothing in me comes forth, but only that which is of HIM.
As the power of this statement hit my spirit, it just brought the tears with it. I realized that when He gives us the gift of teaching, it comes with a price. One that means we need to make sure that we KNOW what we are teaching. We need to make sure we KNOW the ONE we are teaching about. We need to make sure that we are wholly lined up in Him so that we can impart what the Holy Spirit desires to say through us.
I put my whole heart into teaching my class because I love the Word of God so much! But I see that I need to make sure that I spend even more time on my face and in prayer asking my precious Father to give me what He would have me to bring to those precious women I lead. I treasure the Word immensely, but I see that I need to treasure it even more than that. It has to be life to me. It has to be the very breath that I breathe. It has to be the main thing that I eat and I drink. I have to hunger and thirst for it continually.
I am so thankful that God has called me at this time to hide His Word deep into my heart. As I continue to memorize the amazing book of James, I challenge each of you to do to the same. It will open your eyes to so much that the Lord desires for us to learn. It will be a convicting Word as well as a restoring Word and also an encouraging Word. It is awesome!
I will close this with one of the verses I am on today.....This pierced deep, but it has caused me to begin to look more closely at my tongue and the things that I say... Help me, Lord.
"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil amongthat parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, setsthe whole course of one's life on fire, and isitself set on fire by hell"James 3:6
God, I thank you for the power of your Word. Thank you for allowing it to penetrate deep as conviction and yet be a soothing balm to my soul. You are my life and my breath and I love you with all that I am and all that I can be and all that I have. You are my Savior and my God. I will praise you and serve you all the days of my life.