As I told it in A Watery Grave, I had to start with a new Bible some time back. The Book that is gone from me had so many things that seemed to matter so much: notes from loved ones, dried flowers, pictures. But what I might have missed the most, at least for a while, were my highlights and personal notes about the Scriptures themselves.
It was so much easier when I could just flip quickly through my pages and come to precisely the verse I wanted ~ because I'd already done the work. The highlighting, the underlining work, that is.
But this Book is organic and its work is never done. It lives and breathes and has the power to speak something different to us each time we read it. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
As I have been reading the book of James again, it's difficult to imagine that I hadn't highlighted all of James in my previous Bible. However, while it's all so penetrating and I could as easily highlight the whole thing, particularly as I've come to the "faith without works" passage, there are but two words that have pierced me this morning.
Don't ya know?
That's how I've known the verse all these years...'Don't ya know that faith without works is dead?' (my paraphrase.)
But that's not what it says.
That's certainly not what it said to me this morning.
James 2:20 says,
"But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (NKJ)
Don't ya want to know?
Don't ya want to seek until you find it?
Don't ya want to work until you grasp it?
Obviously, I could have written an entire treatise about the message and meaning of "faith without works," but, before I can understand any of what He's saying to me, I have to want to understand.
Thank You, Lord, for speaking to me this morning. I pray that I will always want to hear You. And I pray the same for any who read these words.