This blog comes to you from the people at
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.
Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Subscribe to our blog. Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.
Spiritual Formation and James 102511
Many people are concerned in these times about spiritual formation, which I loosely define as undertaking practices and disciplines in order to develop or form one’s spiritual life; to grow spiritual or to grow closer to a superior or supreme being even if it’s an impersonal being.
Many people shy away or stray away from Christianity because they feel it is not a religion concerned with spiritual formation and growth, but speaking from personal experience the Christian life, and Jesus have presented more growth and more spiritual challenges than one could ever imagine (and more than I ever saw in any other spiritual tradition).
The problem with one’s spiritual formation is that it can become selfish, and self-directed so that it is self-directed. James turns this on its head!
All this selfish growth and selfish spiritual formation dies when we die, and what is left is the spiritual formation that came from working in service, helping the church to thrive, (and by church I mean the ‘community of Christ’).
Spiritual formation, and faith can be very empty and selfish if we do not serve one another.
Pray: Lord, help me to be of small service to my family, community and the earth. Help me to see you, Lord in the young and old that need my help, the hungry, and the homeless. Help me to care for the earth as you care for me and my family.
Pray for Peace
41Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise.
42Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me, for I trust in your word.
43Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your ordinances.
44I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.
45I shall walk at liberty, for I have sought your precepts.
46I will also speak of your decrees before kings, and shall not be put to shame;
47I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them.
48I revere your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
10I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I had done the first time. And once again the Lord listened to me. The Lord was unwilling to destroy you. 11The Lord said to me, “Get up, go on your journey at the head of the people, that they may go in and occupy the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
12So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. 14Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, 15yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. 16Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. 17For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, 18who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. 19You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. 21He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. 22Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.
29Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. 31But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face; 34but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off, until he came out; and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining; and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Related articles presented without endorsement
- Why We Love Creeds – By Three Guys Who Shouldn’t (mgpcpastor.com)
- The Life of Moses: Biblical Character (chaplaingary.wordpress.com)
- Red Letter Exodus 31-40 (thespokenword1.wordpress.com)
- The Promised Land: Taking the long view; scripture for Oct. 23 (plymouthspirit.wordpress.com)
- God and War in the Old Testament (ariadnetypedasermon.wordpress.com)
- Exodus, a Rebellious People and a Patiently Forgiving God (66in66.wordpress.com)
- The Removal of the Veil (goldenbible.wordpress.com)
- A quest for holiness? (brokenheartedboldness.wordpress.com)
- Feel The Red Sea Rush (joycedevivre.wordpress.com)