Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Have you ever had a good piece of meat that’s been marinated for a little while? I think some of the best ribs are the ones where the meat just falls off the bone. The ribs that have taken all day to marinate. This makes me think about marinating in the juices of God’s Word. What would my life be like if I marinated daily in God’s Word? Would His Word seep from my being? Would people taste and see that the Lord is good?
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Psalm 34:8)
So what does it look like to truly marinate in the Word of God? Well, I think this means taking time to read a passage more than once. Like this week, I have asked you to read James 1 every day. Take time to marinate in it and see how the Lord wants to add some flavor to your life.
Here are some things to look for when you are marinating in the Word…
1. Who wrote the passage?
James, the half-brother of Jesus. James had at first rejected Jesus as the Messiah (John 7:5). Later, he believed and became a leader of the Jerusalem church. He died for this belief as a martyr in A.D. 62.
2. Who was James writing to?
James wrote to the Jewish Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. It is likely that these Jewish Christians were dispersed because of the persecution they were under by Herod Agrippa I.
3. Why was the book of James written?
James wrote to the Jewish believers to encourage them to live a vibrant faith. He addresses many of the struggles they faced in that day. These struggles are very similar to our own.
4. What can I learn from this?
This is a question only you can answer. Read through James 1 and see how God wants to encourage you. Is there a passage of Scripture that stands out to you? What is God revealing about His character? How does this challenge you?
I hope this gives you some clarity on James 1. I pray it makes it easier to see where James was coming from and make it a little bit more relatable to your life. May God continue to strengthen you with His Word. Remember this… reading the Bible isn’t about seeing how much you can read, finishing a reading plan, or winning some kind of contest. It’s about taking time to understand it, so that you can live it out. How will James 1 affect your life? Will the Word of God add flavor to your life?
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6)
Take some time to marinate in James 1 today. Find out what God has for you. Let’s look at it a little more tomorrow!
Dear Father God, I pray that you would reveal what you have for us in Your Word. I pray that you will transform our patterns of thinking, as we dig deep into the meaning of Your Word. May our lives be filled with flavor, as we marinate in the juices of Your Word!
Here are some books that can help you understand God’s Word better…
The Essential Bible Companion ~ This is a good book for those of you who want to learn the who, what, and when in the books of the Bible. There are only two pages written on each book, so it’s an easy read. But it will definitely give you more insight into the book of the Bible that you are reading.
Bible Maps and Charts ~ This is a great book if you would like to learn where things happened. This is a great book for people who are interested in the history of the Bible.
The MacArthur Bible Handbook ~ This book gives a little more insight into each book of the Bible. If you want to dig a little deeper, this is a great book.
Slowly Marinating in the Word,