There is a richness to much of the text in Chapter 5 of the book of James, and it brings to mind the reason Jesus gave up His place with the Father and chose to step into the mess and chaos of this world. He is the living and breathing testimony to the compassion and mercy we so desperately need.

It intrigues me to view Jesus through words in books like James; ones that refer to Him, but may not necessarily seem at first glance to reflect Him as directly as the Gospels.

For example, the passage admonishing followers not to grumble against each other, lest we be judged. “The Judge is standing at the door!” verse nine declares. During His time in this world, Jesus was that Judge standing at the door, and in the synagogues, and on the dusty streets of Galilee and Nazareth and throughout Judea, and in the homes of sinners.

Even so, Jesus, as the One who should judge and can judge and will judge, He did not judge against His brothers. Nor did He grumble against them. Indeed, He did not refrain from letting His words convict the hearts of men, or challenging their motives, but His motivation was to redeem and not to condemn. He pursued relationships and hearts and He loved unconditionally.

I don’t believe I can say the same of me.

Yet Jesus beckons to me. He calls me over the chaos of life to come ever closer to Him. He invites me to follow Him and to learn from Him. And my heart cries, “Yes!” I look to Him to make me whole and to forgive me. Every time I falter and every time I grumble. Because that is why He came.

I am why He came.

My prayer on this first day of Lent is to unleash the power of my prayers and watch the wonderful results those earnest and heartfelt prayers produce as I seek Him first each day. Not just by my words, but through my actions and with my heart.

What is your prayer for today? For these next 40 days?


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