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Well hello all!
First of all, it's absolutely Tuesday, but I'm calling it Monday Musings regardless.
Second of all, we may have realised that my Instagram is not working at the moment. Basically I realised on Saturday that I'd been locked out and I'm really sure if and when I will get it back.
Anyway, I have had the most amazing day today! I have been really pressing into God and his word. I've been reading Exodus and am really loving it. It's crazy how you can read a book of the Bible and then read it again and notice something totally different. On that, I wanted to share a few ways that you can spend time with God aside from just praying.
Of course, prayer is super important (a literal conversation between you and your Heavenly Father - amazing) but there are also other ways to connect with God so I thought I would chat about them. Just before I dive into them I wanted to quickly mention my new fave habit I've added into my morning: Prayer walks. Every morning Luca and I will go on a walk. For half of my walk, I don’t listen to anything, I just pray and chat to God about everything on my heart and mind. The other half of the walk, I will either listen to worship and meditate on the words or listen to a sermon. I love this time filling my cup and setting myself up for the day. There’s something so peaceful about being outside with God in the mornings.
Reading the Bible
If you are not reading your Bible daily - YOU NEED TO START. Look, it doesn't have to be a super crazy deep devotional and it doesn't have to be 2 hours long, but make time. If you have time to watch Instagram stories for 5 minutes, you 5 minutes to read the Bible. When I don't read my Bible in the morning, I am genuinely a way less patient person (just ask Brenton lol). You can read it on the free Bible app, but I would highly suggest reading an actual book because a) it is way less distracting and b) you can take notes and underline things! YouVersion Bible App and MessengerX app are amazing for Bible studies and daily devotionals. Everyone is different with how they love spending time in the word. For me, I love starting with prayer to set my heart and mind up to read and be open to receiving and hearing. I then journal - I write down my prayer requests, my praise points and anything on my mind. It’s like a brain dump for me. I love to choose a Book in the Bible (sometimes I’ll randomly choose, sometimes I’ll feel God put something on my heart) and read it. I’ll then journal about what I have learnt and any reflections.
I like reading the Bible and journalling at the same time. I love writing down my thoughts, my prayers and anything I find interesting that I have been reading or anything that stands out to me. I don't follow any prompts, but I'm sure there are some online.
Find artists that you love! Some of my favourites are: Maverick City Music, Hillsong UNITED, Montell Fish, Mosaic MSC, Brandon Lake and Local Sound. The Mosaic MSC album “This Is How I Thank The Lord” has been playing on repeat in our home.
Remember: God wants you to show up exactly as you are. You don't have to pull yourself together or have it all together before showing up to talk to God. He will meet you exactly where you are at. We are all broken people, we all have sin in our life but God is willing to meet us in our brokenness. Don't worry about showing up as 'perfect' or putting on a facade. God knows our hearts and thoughts anyway.
Patience and Endurance
7 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.
The Power of Prayer
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
Restore Wandering Believers
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
Good morning and welcome to the last week! I was going to do 2 more weeks but I wanted to cover both topics today because I feel like they go well together. The first passage talks about how this life will bring trials and suffering, but we need to have patience as we endure it. We need to trust God in these seasons. The second passage speaks about prayer. I feel like we take prayer for granted so often. We forget about the powerful weapon that prayer is. James speaks about praying in all seasons (happy, sick, suffering hardships). This is a great reminder that we shouldn't pray only when we need something. I pray in the mornings and when I go to bed but something that I started a few years ago is thanking God before every meal or snack that I ate throughout the day. It helps me remember to give thanks and be grateful for all that He has provided me with and I'm doing it multiple times a day! It only takes 2 seconds but really helps redirect my thoughts to be thankful and pause for a moment to honour Him. Life can get so busy and chaotic but taking those few moments really helps me slow down and focus on what is truly important. I hope this study has blessed you and you have been able to grow in your faith and relationship with God. If you wanted a new devotional, the free Bible app has some amazing bible studies and devotionals! Have a beautiful week x
Warning to the Rich
5 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed innocent people,[a] who do not resist you.
Good morning! This is our third-last bit of passage until we have completed the book of James. I feel like it's gone so quickly! Now, I know this passage can be taken out of context. James isn't saying here that you "can't have money". He is speaking to those who have had self-indulgent actions. He is speaking to those whose motives are to indulge in only themselves, without giving to others. He addresses the wealthy landowners back in the day and denounces them for their materialistic accumulation of wealth and for their actions which led to the death of innocent and righteous people. We can see that James speaks about materialistic items and riches that people have and how they are stewarding them. Every single thing that are material riches will be lost forever, we can't take it to Heaven. James isn't saying "don't work hard and save money" that would be unwise. But we need to remember that we are blessed by God with what he have. Our jobs, money, and the materialistic items we buy all come from God and his provision. We should be generous and good stewards of our money. We should help those who are in need and give generously.