Study Notes on James 3:17-18

“But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace.” James 3:17-18 TPT

Godly wisdom promotes life and love. Its ways are pure because God is pure. Sowing seeds from a peaceful grounding in this wisdom will bring settledness. Drawing direction from above allows a natural pause that must go past my initial emotions to reach the unwavering plumb line of God. There is peace in the pausing that fosters a better chance of sowing good seeds in response, rather than the unintended hypocrisy of selfish words spoken from prideful reactions based on initial assumptions.

Blowing off steam never brings resolution. Sure, I may feel better when I spit out all the ways someone has done me wrong, but what are the effects? An ego boost when someone validates me? Is that what I am really after? No. I want peace. Truly. I feel better when I am peaceful. Life feels more solid and my existence seems more one with creation. I want more harmony with the people in my world. I am faced with opportunities every day to be more of a peacemaker. And to be honest, I haven’t sown enough peace in the seeds I am tossing around. I get caught up in the actions of others and how they affect my day. I know there is a wiser way to seek solutions, for justice, and to bring light where there is darkness. I must be careful not to fuel the darkness, but cover the opposition with more gentle kindness. If I am called to clear the temple of the money changers, I will be ready. In the meantime, I need to heed the call to sow for growing more peace.

Lord, I want to be a peacemaker. Help me to be an unwavering picture of Your wisdom in my life. Forgive me for sowing discontent and not peace. I am grateful for opportunities to try again. Help me remember to draw from Your wisdom above and not myself. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Study Notes on James 1:9-11

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their position [as a Christian, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God], and the rich [person ought to glory] in being humbled [by being shown their human frailty], because like the [wild] flower of the grass they will pass away. For the sun comes up with a scorching heat and parches the grass; its flower falls off and its beauty fades away. Even so will the rich [person] wither and die in the midst of their pursuits. James 1:9-11 (taken from multiple translations)

Jesus is the great equalizer. The riches of His Kingdom are available to all who accept. From wisdom and doubting in the previous verses to rich or poor, our circumstances change, but God never does. The beauty in life will fade but is no less beautiful. The low and difficult times are hard, but the promise of an abundant, everlasting Kingdom is so much more!

The last part of verse 11 caught true in my heart; fading away in the midst of my pursuits is not how I want my life to go. In the midst means in the middle. I don’t want the pursuit of anything to take the place of experiencing the riches of what God gives. When I pursue Jesus, there is an intimate and powerful satisfaction that feels like a dream coming true. That feeling of desire being fulfilled is like an epic and victorious scene in a movie where a long awaited breakthrough was needed. Nothing in this world has ever made me feel that way. When He moves in my life, there is no doubt that God is in it. So, I must keep enough empty space in my life to have room for what He wants to give. In the same way, when I am brought low, I want to be like the woman who honored Jesus by washing His feet with her tears. By not staying low I would miss this beautiful opportunity. I want to walk in the low places with eyes to see others there, with humility and a servant’s heart.

Lord, take my pride and refine me. Take my cravings and fill me. Remove anything in my life that is in the way of Your purpose. Help me to make more room in my heart and my life for You. I am grateful for the beauty and also the pain. In my afflictions I am closer to You. Thank You for the hope and promise of a forever Kingdom with You. I am looking forward to seeing all things made new. In Jesus’ name, amen.


To be filled with goodness

There must be space

Pour out the heavy

Let filling await

Bask in the feeling

Lighter and free

Stand still in the moment

To breathe and just be

Allow awe and wonder

Guide your next move

Awake to your dreams

You’ve go nothing to prove

Unshackle your heart

From the coldness of fear

Re-ponder your purpose

Once vision is cleared

Time may tick slowly

While standing in place

But peaceful in knowing

I am filling with grace.