Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm Stuck In Memorizing But Not In Applying It

If you noticed my verses at the top haven't changed for a few days it's because I'm having trouble memorizing this portion in my quest to memorize the book of James of the Bible. I am doing Beth Moore's Bible study on James and she had a good explanation of this passage.

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
--James 1:9-11 (KJV)

I didn't really understand exactly what was going on with these verses but she explained that James (the 1/2 brother of Jesus) was Pastor for Jews in Jerusalem and many were poverty stricken because of persecution of the believers. Many had their land seized. (This was all new to me!) Anyway, the "brother of low degree" is the one who is in poverty that should rejoice in knowing that he will be exalted in heaven. The rich should be willing to give to the poor, knowing that their possessions will pass away and won't do him any good in heaven anyhow.

Remembering the poor was one of the things the pillars of the early church, James, Cephas a/k/a Peter and John told Paul to do when they met with him in Galatians 2:9-10:
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.--Galatians 2:9-10

This month, we are helping the poor through KIVA by donating 50 cents per legitimate comment on all our blogs and thanks to Abby's popular posts, it looks like this will be the biggest donation we have made yet from blogging. If you are not familiar with KIVA, it lists many needy people who are requesting loans for different needs and you can make loans to them for as little as $25. There is no guarantee you will be paid back, but all that I have made are being paid back and I know of several others who have had the same experience. Once they start paying back, you can use that same money to reloan to others. I encourage you to look into this. I feel it will ensure that I'll still be able to actively give generously to the poor even after I retire just by reloaning the same money over and over again. The difficult part is choosing who to help; there are so many poor around the world.

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Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

I've always liked the book of James...short and to the point...for me, anyways ;) :) How is your memorization coming along this week? I think that's great that you're trying to memorize the entire book :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

CATachresis said...

What a very innovative idea KIVA is! I wonder how many loans don't get repaid? Rhetorical question lol.

Isn't it also in James where it defines what true religion is? Good luck with the memorising :)

Rebecca Mecomber said...

The "early" Christians had their share of problems, too, didn't they? In Acts, remember how some of the Greek widows were being ignored and not getting their daily food like the Jewish widows were? It's a good example that being a Christian doesn't automatically make you perfect nor complete-- it's something we all make decisions about every day.

I'm going to try that KIVA as soon as I get some cash. Things are tight right now but I'm sure my situation is not as bad as some folks in other countries. It's a good program.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I memorized James 1 from the Phillips translation a few years ago. I try to review every so often, but I'm not sure I could do it all without going over it. Keep it up! You'll get it.

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