Hey friend! Welcome to episode 11 of the Tending your Soul Podcast and welcome to my backyard garden where the gate squeaks and a green lizard sun bathes nearby. Here God invites us to join Him in His Word in order to tend truth into the soil of our hearts.
We are unfolding the book of James using my TEND method, which is a simple, acronym that guides us through a verse or 2 so as to slow us down and allow us to really lean in to the truth there and begin to walk it out in our own life.
If you missed any of the episodes in the book of James, I invite you to go back and listen to those episodes, starting with episode 8.
Today we are going to tend through James 1:9-11. So let’s begin with the first letter in TEND which stands for take time to pray.
Lord, thank you for calling us aside for these few moments from the noise of this world and the distractions of our own heart. Would you speak today through your word and give us ears to hear and eyes to see? Amen.
Now let’s move to the next letter in our guide of TEND and that’s E for Examine the Scripture. So let’s slow down and lean into the Word of God, word for word.
James 1:9-11 says:
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
There’s an interesting comparision being made in these verses isn’t there? A contrast between the lowly brother, the one who is poor. Verses the rich man. And we see the comparison to the flower of the grass.
It is nearly summer time as I record this and though many flowers filled the bushes and grass around my house in spring, the increased heat is causing those beautiful flowers to fall off and give way to the greenery of the leaves around them. And as the sun gets hotter on this area, my husband has taken to watering our yard like it’s his job! Early evening rolls around and my man can be found outside watching in approval as the grass soaks in the refreshment from the sprinklers. IF he misses even a day, the grass immediately starts to turn brown because the heat of the season is just too much for our young grass.
This is the comparison we find here in James.
He is saying that all of this is fading, like my grass in summer!
He is pointing out that the lowly can boast in God bc it doesn’t matter how little you have physically or materially in this life, God will meet you there.
And the rich man need not boast in all that he does have but also he ought instead boast I God, the only one who will not fade away.
James is surely calling to mind the truth of Isaiah 40:7-8 that he, as a jewish man would know very well. Isaiah 40:7-8 says: the grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
The contrast of our temporary poverty or our temporary riches verses the permanence of God is sharp here. We are to call this to mind continually.
So as we move to N in TEND, we notice the lessons here we do see the eternal character of God is clear when compared to the fading flower of the field that mankind is.
Also we can see the lesson that what we are clinging to in this world is ultimately going to fade.
We can also see that we are not to compare ourselves one to another, the poor to the rich or the rich to the poor, but rather we all ought to boast instead in God Himself, the only one worthy.
As we turn this lesson into a questions for the letter D and DO what it says, we can ask ourselves then, what areas of my own life am I living in comparison to others, boasting in my material haves or have nots?
And where am I clinging to that which is not permanent?
Oh it is so easy to compare to others, isn’t it? We can SEE them, not Him! And boy don’t we see them so often? Scrolling through social media and watching any movie or show these days and we see what others have and we don’t or vice versa. When really God is saying LOOK AT ME, not them!
So where are you looking this week, friend? Are your eyes on those around you or on the Lord?
And even more, are you finding yourself clinging to or boasting in the worldly things or the eternal things? Isn’t it so easy to cling to what we see over what we know?
Let’s ask God to help us name that which we are clinging to or boasting in and to help us release them to Him so we might better cling to that which really matters in eternity.
Father, open our hands from gripping the temporal things. Lord, thank you that you guide us to boast in what actually matters. Help our hearts fully boast in you as 1 Corinthians 1:31 says “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For your glory. Amen.
Thank you for joining me this week in tending your soul by the Word, friend. If you are looking to cultivate greater intimacy with God through His Word, I invite you to go to my website Marieldavenport.com and download the free guide, Tools for Tending your Soul. I know it will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.
Also if you desire to keep tending your soul throughout the week, You may want to get your own copy of the Tending by the Word Journal available now on Amazon.
And until next time, keep tending your soul by the Word.