Spring hasn’t even sprung and I’m so hungry for something new.
I’m ready for a new day, a new song, a new landscape out my kitchen window. While we know that new isn’t always better, I think we were made for the knowledge of something to come, something waiting just around the corner.
We live in eternity, you see, but we can’t see it and we can’t hold it in our hands. So, we live with eternity as an idea, a place saved for later. We call it heaven and we tuck it away for deathbeds and difficult days. We imagine golden gates and gemstones and a giant mansion of many rooms that hold pints upon pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. (Ok, maybe that’s just my daydream.)
While that may be a sliver of eternity, it’s not the real deal, and I’m tired of settling for the pretty picture when I can have the real thing. How about you?
Eternity is now. Eternity is God with us, placing His Spirit inside of us, and that Spirit flowing out like a mighty river that can not be stopped up.
Jesus’ brother, James, knew a little bit about Eternity walking around the earth right in front of him. He ate food with the Son of God. He played games with the Son of God. And like the disciples, he walked away from the Son of God in His darkest hours. I wonder if that is why walking with the Son of God, walking in the Eternal Life that we are offered, today, this day, is so important to James, and written all over the pages of his book.
James is worried about a little thing called congruence. He’s worried about whether we’re living Eternity now, or whether we’re living one way and saving eternity for later.
The reverse – often our daily struggle – is incongruence.
Incongruence happens when we say we love God, but ignore our neighbor who is struggling with cancer, with addiction, with any number of very present needs.
Incongruence is when we go to church, but push aside making disciples for the ever present to-do list of the day.
Incongruence happens when I can not, for the life of me, get it together to put my husband’s needs before my own and give him the best parts of me on a daily basis.
I am incredibly incongruent. We all are, but the book of James teaches us that as we grow up into Christ, as we acknowledge and remember the eternity we have been offered today, we will become more and more congruent in every tomorrow.
Congruence is that blessed thing we seek when we understand what we value and put it into action rather than push it under the couch. Congruence is when we know Who our God is and how He changes everything, makes everything new.
When faith becomes life, rather than a part of our life.
Who’s hungry for that?
Oh, I am. We’ll never be perfect, friends. Chief of sinners though we be. Jesus died so we can live in eternity, though, rather than guilt ridden and incongruent. This is the work of the book of James. We’ll look at what we’ve been given, and all the good in the gifts we never even knew were sitting on our front door step, from a God who loves us so very much.
Join us for New.
Join us for Congruent.
Join us for Good Gifts.
This is a six week study. Find all the posts on the blog here by searching for “Good Gifts.”
There are short 10-15 minute study posts 4 days a week. You can find video lessons on the I Love My Shepherd YouTube Channel.
This study will make it’s way to the print version in 2020. See more in the Studies Available drop down menu.