Aaron Summers

Posts Tagged ‘James’

7 Prayers of a Wise Heart

In Gospel Living on February 16, 2017 at 11:28 am

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  1. Lord, purify my mind, my heart, my voice, and my hands. May you bring innocence to my life once again.  Make me holy and right in your sight.  Cause my mind to wander into your presence.  Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.
  2. Lord, free me from anxiety. In the mess in which I live, help me see your path to peace.  Help me to lay my burdens at your feet and then leave it there.  I cannot always fix what is around me, but I can let you fix my heart during the storms.  Create in me a calm heart, O Lord.
  3. Lord, free me from legalism and the hurt it causes others. Help me to see others as you do.  Help me to know the situation before casting judgment and spewing criticism.  Help me be gentle, not lenient, in my dealings with others.  Create in me a considerate heart, O Lord.
  4. Lord, adjust my mind to be open to you. Help me to be willing to listen to your Word and adjust myself to its demands.  Help me to be submissive to your ways and not my own.  Create in me a compliant heart, O Lord.
  5. Lord, may I produce the good, good fruit of mercy to those in need. Help me to see the need.  Help me to meet the need.  Help me to be kind.  Let my actions show concern, even if I don’t feel they deserve it.  Create in me a compassionate heart, O Lord.
  6. Lord, free my judgements from prejudice. Help me to live out the truth that you created all mankind and we are all equally guilty of sin and in need of a Savior.  Help me to see beyond the outside and sense the heart of a person.  Help me to shed the hypocrisy I have clothed my life with by allowing the culture to drive my belief and behavior.  Create in me a consistent heart, O Lord.
  7. Lord, let my life be an open book for all to read and see your great love and life. May I be sincere in my words and deeds.  Help me to be authentic.  Help me be genuine.  As you call me to love, laugh, and live may it be real.  Remove all the fake from my life.  May it be burned off as dross from silver to reach purity once again.  Create in me a committed heart, O Lord.

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:17-18

3 Questions to Ask in Your Group

In Leadership, Volunteers on March 3, 2015 at 8:36 am

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Joel was called upon to teach his class and he struggled with what to say.  He had a lesson provided by the book but he had never taught before.  He didn’t want to just read it because he knew he would hate that if he was in the class when someone else did it.  He didn’t want to say something wrong.  He didn’t want to make a mistake.  What he was feeling is a normal amount of pressure. The Bible tells us that teachers will be judged more harshly than others.

The next time you get in a bind ask these 3 questions.  The next time someone wants to bring up a Scripture passage ask these 3 questions.  These 3 questions get at the root of any Bible story.  The next time you are asked to teach a class and there is no lesson book or guide ask these 3 questions.

Question #1       What do we learn about God in this passage?

You can actually ask three versions of this questions.  I believe in a triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  So, you could ask what you learn about God, or Jesus, or the Spirit.  The heart of this question is to get the group thinking about God.  We all enter class thinking about a LOT of things unrelated to God.  Once the discussion gets going during study time this is a great opening question after the story/scripture is taught.  Move the hearts of your people toward God.

Question #2       What do we learn about ourselves in the passage?

Scripture has an uncanny way of piercing the internal areas of our lives, those private thoughts and actions.  Because God wants an intimate relationship with us, His Word lays us open so that all can be seen.  This type of intimacy breeds integrity, authenticity, and honesty.  Asking your group to share what this reveals about humanity, namely, themselves, creates bonds of friendship and family in your group.  However, it also helps us remember that reading and studying scripture is not solely academic.  We need to allow scripture to penetrate our mood swings, our anxieties, and our pride.

Question #3       What are we going to do about what we have learned?

If we just learn about God and His Word if fall short.  If we just have a support group feel where everyone shares we fall short.  Putting what we learn into practice is a vital component of any lesson.  Allow time in your group for this important question.  We must take God’s Word and put it into action.  Encourage your people to think personally.  Of course, there are those moments when the passage speaks to the group.  The group as a unit needs to act.  Yet, that group has individuals and each need to take responsible action.

These 3 questions are not the only things you can ask your group, but they do create a stir of discussion.  Some may wonder if this is “deep” enough for a group setting.  If your people walked away from class or study group with the knowledge of God and His Word, a greater awareness of themselves from God’s view, and the encouragement to act, they would be equipped for their walk with Christ.

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