Your Morning Coffee 09/19/2022
Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father give purpose to our pain today, as he has in all of our believing days. Father, your love for us is strong! But it is hard for us to understand some days. Especially on hard-days. Help us to see your clever, precious love in our pain, Father. You make tools of our suffering, turning us ever more into the likeness of your son, our savior, Jesus. Weep with us Father! Cry out with us in our grief! And then work in us through him, he who dwells within us, the Spirit. Sanctify us. Transform us. Make us more like Jesus. And if you happened not to use our pain and suffering to do this wondrous thing, I would beg you to. In Jesus's name I thank you Father, for giving purpose to my pain. Make to me your purposes known, that they might forever more become my own.
Your Morning Song: "I Know" by Big Daddy Weave
Your Monday Morning Sermon Recap: James 1:1-4
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James was the half brother of Jesus and a deeply influential leader of the church in Jerusalem. But how does he introduce himself? Servant. Not just servant, but the Greek, doulos, means bond-servant. That is one who is owned and controlled by. So James does not claim to be Jesus's brother, or a bold leader of God's church. He claims to be claimed. He claims to be owned, by God, by Jesus. And if someone like James, similar to many other great men of the church, claims to be claimed, to be lowly, to not to be great, but graced, who are we to claim different for and of ourselves?
And this is the secret to joy, specifically this joy, here in these verses. Trials refers to anything that might tempt us to act or respond like someone who isn't a bond-servant of Jesus. And we are broken people living in a broken world. It isn't too much of an overreach to suggest that perhaps our every heartbeat and breath is trial/temptation enough to exalt ourselves and deny God.
Welp. That sounds more hopeless than joy-full.
But what happens when we respond to trials with faithfulness? What happens when we entrust our whole selves to God amidst our sufferings?
The pain that seems itself a cruel, daily end, becomes a process that produces in us a precious eternal fruit. Perseverance. God responds to our entrusting ourselves to him and grows us, supports us, sustains us.
We, as The Claimed by Christ, become more like Christ.
How valuable is Christ-like-ness to you? How daily, desperately dependent are you on Jesus? Is he enough, is his character and desires grown in us enough, to give us joy?
We too easily and too often forget our purpose as God's children. We are to become more like Jesus.
Let us be a people who weep when we should weep, knowing that our grief, our struggles, our suffering, all occur atop our joy, Jesus. Let his claim on us transform us into forever from the inside out in every way.
How sweet it is that God gives purpose to our pain,
molding us into he who lived and died and lives