The Good You Ought To Do

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Guidance - James 4:17 - The Good You Ought To Do - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Guidance – James 4:17 – The Good You Ought To Do – Growing As Disciples

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 4:17 (NIV)

Make A Commitment

I’ve noticed something about you. What’s that? You have these crazy arguments or debates with yourself. Sometimes you even include me in on them.  Arguments and debates, what kind of arguments and debates? I’m not sure what you mean? You know those conversations you have with yourself about something you don’t want to do? Like what? Can you give me some examples? Is nothing coming to your mind? I wouldn’t say that. I would just like you to give me some examples that come to your mind. Are you sure? Not really, but I won’t say no now. Please go ahead, I’m listening.

Let’s say it’s Sunday morning. You were up late Saturday night. You’re very tired. In your mind, you deserve rest because you’ve had a very hard week. Under no circumstances do you want to get out of bed. Is this sounding a little familiar to you? Yes, it is. So, a conversation begins in your mind about the idea of getting out of bed and going to church. You’re trying to sell yourself on the merits of staying in bed. After much conversation, you convince yourself that it is my will for you to stay in bed. Has this ever happened to you?  You know that it has. There is a problem with your conclusion. What’s that? It is not my will that you stay in bed instead of assembling together with other believers to worship me. Does it shock you to hear me say this to you? No, not at all. So, you know that it is my will for you to come together with other believers to worship me? Yes, I do.  How is it possible for you to have a conversation with yourself that leads you to thinking and doing otherwise? I’m not sure. I must have thought that these were special circumstances that overruled your desire to have me in worship on that Sunday morning. How does that sound to you as you say that to me now? It sounds incredibly weak and pathetic. I’m glad that you are willing to admit that.

This is part of a much larger problem. It is? Yes, it is. I’m not going to overwhelm you with examples but you have these conversations with yourself quite frequently. Do you know where the conclusions to these conversations usually end up?  I think so, but please tell me. These conversations most often end up with you concluding your decision based on what is most comfortable to you. I was afraid you might say that. It’s true, isn’t it? Yes, it is. Let me ask you a question. Go ahead. How willing are you to be uncomfortable as you serve me? That’s a hard question. I can only answer it by saying that I’m sorry. Forgive me for placing my own comfort above doing what I know you want me to do for you. You are forgiven.

I don’t want to leave our conversation at this point. I want you to know how pleased I am with your love and service to me. You are? Yes, I am. I know that you want to be used by me. You want to bear abundant fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Yes, I do, above all else. I have heard that prayer of your heart and I will answer it. You will? Yes, beyond what you could ask for or even imagine. But there is one thing I want you to do. What’s that? Stop having these conversations with yourself when you already know what I’m asking you to do for me. Make a commitment now, to just do what I have asked of you. Yes, Lord, I will.

Lord, you will get no argument out of me. I want to know and do your will. I want to do all the good you want me to do for you. I know that this will cost my time, talents and resources. Use all I am, all I have and I hope to be for your kingdom and glory. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Guidance – James 4-17 – The Good You Ought To Do – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

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By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com

Knows The Good

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide - Character - James 4:17 - Knows The Good - Growing As Disciples

Discipleship Devotional Study Guide – Character – James 4:17 – Knows The Good – Growing As Disciples

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. James 4:17 (NIV)

Know It All

What do you know? What do I know about what? What do you know about doing good? I know that I am not a very good judge of knowing what good I should go and do. Why do you say that? Well, first of all, it was you who said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing”. Yes, I did say that. When I have dreamed up my own plans and gone and did what I wanted to do, my efforts have accomplished nothing of lasting and eternal value. So, I have experienced the truth of what you have said. That’s why I would say that I am not a good judge of knowing the good that I should go and do. In fact, thinking that I “know it all” has often caused me to fail to do what you have asked me to do for you. In the busyness of my own efforts I have not stopped to listen to your directions. I have not received your guidance. I have not followed your instructions. Instead, I have failed to do what I knew I should have gone and done and I have also done what I should not have gone and done. What does that sound like to you? You mean not doing what I should and doing what I should not? Yes, what does that sound like to you? It sounds to me like a pretty good definition of sin. That’s right. 

What lies just behind not doing what you should and doing what you should not? I’m not sure what you mean. What motivates or guides your desire to not do what you should and doing what you should not? I think I know where you are headed with your question. You do? Yes, is there a greater sin than not doing what I should and doing what I should not? You could think of where we are headed in that way. What would you call a greater sin or the sin that motivates every sin? Pride seems like the greater sin. Pride is the sin that seems to motivate all sin. How so? Pride would try to tell me that I don’t need to listen to your directions, receive your guidance or follow your instructions. Pride would try to tell me that I don’t need you to guide my life. Pride would try to have me say that I can go and do what I want, when and where I want. Pride would reject the idea that there is nothing I should or shouldn’t do. Pride would try to place me in charge of deciding what is right and what is wrong. Pride would try to have me on a path walking away from you. That’s true. 

I started by asking you, “what do you know?” Now, I will continue by asking you, “what do you want?” I will start by telling you what I don’t want. I don’t want to live a pride filled life that leads me away from you. I want to live humbly before you so that I will listen to your directions, receive your guidance and follow your instructions. I want to do all that you ask of me. I will rely on you to help me to know and do your will. That will be very good.

Lord, often times, I have dreamed up my own plans and goals without asking for your guidance. I have not relied on your help. I have done what I should not have done. I have not done what I should have done. Forgive me. Help me to know and do your will. Amen

For today’s complete 4 page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide click here:

Character – James 4-17 – Knows The Good – 4 Page Discipleship Devotional Study Guide

Please consider sharing these devotionals with others through the social media you use.

Individual users may save the Discipleship Devotional Study Guide to their desktop for private use. All the blanks in the study guides are fields that allow typed responses. To use the fields on the study guide you may need to open the guide with a free version of adobe reader.

By Jon Ulrich © All rights reserved                   Copying not permitted                      www.GrowingAsDisciples.com