God, I Can't, But You Can [James 1, TNIV]

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like. But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continue in it--not forgetting what they have heard but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James, Jesus' brother, wrote this powerful little letter. His words can pop your religious bubble of pride with one reading. However, it can lead you to the altar of performance or legalism if you are not mindful that your performance is not what God wants. The difference between performance or legalistic religiosity and grace is a prayer. And the prayer goes like this, "God, I can't, but you can." May you utter this prayer often throughout your days and see the abundant overflow of God's power in your life.

Beth Warlick, 10/14/2008