Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY

Bethany Blog

Bethany Blog

Check out Sunday's Messages and Devotionals from Pastor Paul Couch!

Summer Reading - August 8

Proverbs 2 & James 1

How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  (James 1:5-8) I struggle with doubts.  I struggle to believe.  At times I think I believe, but what I say reveals the truth: “God I can’t do that.”  At times I say I believe but my actions reveal my lack of faith: “God’s word is all I need.”…but I don’t actually hold fast to it every day.  I am a man of doubts.  

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

“Of his own will he [God] brought us forth by the word of truth.” (James 1:18) Who I am is not on me to create.  It is on God and he has done it.  For He is the giver of every good and perfect gift.  He wants to give me good things, the greatest of which is Jesus.  And Jesus died for all my sins, so that when I confess even my doubts to Him, He forgives me.  

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “And because of him [God], you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”  When Proverbs 2 talks about how great wisdom is, it is talking about Jesus.  Jesus is wisdom.  Make your ear attentive to Jesus (2:2), for the LORD gives Jesus (2:6), for Jesus will enter your heart (2:10), Jesus delivers you from the way of evil (2:12).  And in James as well; if you lack Jesus ask God and He will give generously (1:5).  So I ask God the Father for Jesus to forgive me and heal me.  And the answer is given: “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  I am forgiven.   

How is God calling me to respond to His word today?

Christ who has done all this for me now calls me to keep a watch over how I speak (James 1:26) and to care for those who are in need around me (James 1:27).  May I love people around me with the words I speak, especially by telling them the word of truth which is able to bring them new life.