Growing Contentment and Generosity – Day 27, May 14
This is a 4-week topical study on growing contentment and generosity in our hearts (click on the Reading Plan tab on the website for a list of the scriptures by day). The word “content” means not needing more, and the word “generous” means open-handed giving. As we look at what the Bible has to say about wealth and riches, it is my prayer that we would open our hands’ grip just a little bit more on the stuff of this world and grow generosity in its place. During this study, I hope you will share your stories of how God provides in our comments section on the website, as a testimony and encouragement to our readers to take these baby steps in the direction of God and just see what happens.
Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that are two SOAPs from our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
James 1:2-18 – Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Desire for God | Rebecca Hoyt
Verse 14 – But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Desire describes a strong, deep-seated longing for anything – good or bad. My Bible notes when that desire grows out of control, however, and becomes a governing habit, the bent toward sinning takes charge.
In January, I have good intentions of sticking to our budget, and it lasts until May when I’m enticed by all the fun stuff I want to do with my kids in the summer, and slowly I’m using the credit card more and more. I need to consistently keep myself in check on what we can and cannot afford to do.
Dear Lord, please help to keep my desire for You above all and not be enticed by stuff of this world. Please help me to daily be in prayer about not spending what I don’t have.
What I Need and So Much More | Dyea Rowland
Though James wrote this sometime before 100 AD, it still applies to us today. It appears that James was writing to the 12 tribes who were scattered among the nations. They’d lost their homes; were in foreign lands; moreover, I’m sure the people were not very welcoming to the new-comers. This passage heeds great instruction of how to persevere through the hard times and even temptation. It tells us that we need to pray in faith, be humble in all circumstances, do not be proud, nor give into sin.
I have what I consider “inconveniences” every day, but You want me to go deeper – if I was forced to leave my home, or lose my livelihood (experiencing financial hardship is hard), would I be able to say that You are all I need and that You are the only One who can give me so much more? I only pray my answer would be yes. Don’t let me be deceived nor believe that I am not content, especially in You.
Father, You are what I need and so much more. I want to persevere in whatever comes my way, by heeding those instructions of praying to You in faith; humbling myself in Your presence; and not being prideful with all the riches that You continue to bless me with. Please, continue to mature me; make and keep me content; let me be generous and of a stable mind. In Your faithful name, I love You…Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.