Have you ever been sad when you reach the last page of a good book?
Do you find yourself rereading the last few words several times thinking........."But what next, what now?"
I remember last year when my high school classes were reading Hunger Games, that's how we felt when we reached the end of Katniss' journey.
You bond with the characters and you bond with the storyline so deeply that the it's hard to believe they can just stop existing and moving through life with the simple non-climatic words,
That's how I feel this morning as I finish the daily workbook sessions in my James Bible study.
Finishing the intense study of a book of the Bible is so different than finishing a work of fiction, though.
The Bible has the power to change us from the inside out, and this morning I'm reflecting on just what the book of James means to me.
I have grown to love this book so much, and honestly, it may be the most life-changing book I've ever read in the Bible.
Faith that does not doubt and faith that moves us to good works
Patience - even in suffering
Slow to anger
Quick to listen
The right priorities
Compassion for the sick and the poor
A tame tongue
I still have so far to go, but thankfully I know which way I need to be heading........
James has changed me and he changed the world around him significantly while he was alive.
He was a powerful leader in the New Testament church after Jesus died.
When James was killed because of his belief that Jesus was the Son of God, the church struggled greatly.
Within eight years after his death, the temple was destroyed and Peter was also killed for his faith.
Beth Moore ends the workbook with the question,
"What happens next for us as we end our study of James' teachings?
Now that he won't have the daily influence on our lives that he has had for the past few months."
Thankfully, I still have several video sessions to watch in Sunday school, so I'm not totally saying, "Goodbye," to the study,
but I still feel convicted enough to ask the question,
"What is next for me?"
I know myself well enough to know that I need "the next" study.
I need the daily influence of God's Word to keep me in tune with His desires for my life, His will for me.
So, I'm not going to bed tonight without combing through my bookshelf to find a workbook to start tomorrow morning.
I need something that causes me to dig deeply into God's Word,
because the deeper I dig, the more I discover about the One I love most.
And the more I discover about Him, the more I learn about how I am suppose to live.
I can't make it on my own.
In my chronological Bible yesterday I read a verse from Judges 21:25 that really struck me,
In those days Israel had no king;
everyone did as they saw fit.
I need a king to guide me daily.
I need a book that changes me from the inside out.
So, I'm thankful this morning for the Bible and for every book in it.........
If I could challenge you this morning with one thought, it would be this.
Give God the chance to change you.
He longs to be your king....not to rule over you, but to lead you in a life more abundant than words can express.
Are you wondering how to give God this chance?
Start by opening a Bible and asking God to speak through His Word.
I'm not sure what I'll be choosing next for my morning quiet time, but I'll let you know tomorrow.
Maybe we can study together!
I love you all so much!
My Heart is continually thankful for you and forever transformed by His Words.