November 2/James 1

One could probably title the Book of James: Time to Grow Up! Spiritual maturity is probably one of the greatest needs in the Church today. As Warren Wiersbe says, “Too many churches are playpens for babies instead of workshops for adults.”

Verse 1 > This James is the half-brother of Jesus. He should know about spiritual maturity because even though he grew up with Jesus physically he really didn’t believe that Jesus was the son of God until after Jesus’ resurrection.

Mark 3:31–35 (NLT) — 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. 32 There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” 33 Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 34 Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 35 Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

1 Corinthians 15:7 (NLT) — 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.

Once he did believer he was more than all talk he was all in! He became the leader of the Jerusalem church. He held the church together in spite of major persecution by the Jewish people who did not believe in Jesus and the Romans. Plus the new church was transitioning from the temple with its priests and sacrifices as the way to have right standing with God to believing that belief in Jesus’ one time sacrifice was sufficient for right standing with God. This guy had an extremely tough job. They said that he prayed so much kneeling on his knees that they became as hard as a camel’s knees. In fact his nick name was “Camel knees”! James was a humble man. He didn’t identify himself as the brother of Jesus he simply said that he was a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is all the recognition James needed; unlike some who need to be recognized for everything they do or they pout. They claim to be servants but than when they are treated like a servants they grumble and complain.

We have no record in the Bible, but tradition tells us that James was martyred in A.D. 62. The story is that the Pharisees in Jerusalem so hated James’ testimony for Christ that they had him cast down from the temple and then beaten to death with clubs. The story also relates that James died, as did his Savior, praying for his murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” James grew up to become a deeply spiritual man.
James was writing to the Christians that had been scattered abroad because of the persecution going on in Jerusalem. The word scattered has the idea of a farmer in that time scattering seed over his land. So this means that God used the persecution to plant his people in areas where they could witness for Jesus and reap a harvest of souls. For us today this means that God has us planted where we are to be witnesses for Jesus so that souls can be harvested for God’s kingdom. Our lives are not wasted we are our Lord’s precious seed!
Verses 2-4 > trouble is good disguised as bad!
Verses 5-8 > in your time of trouble do you believe God will answer and provide or don’t you? See Hebrews 11:6.
Verse 9 > It is honoring to be in the troubling position of poverty where your trust needs to be in The Lord. Their boast is that they know The Lord. When you have Jesus you have everything.
Verses 10-11 > God has allowed times of trouble to test the faith of the well to do. Will they trust in their wealth or will they trust in God. Will they be joyful or will they complain? The humble person will trust in The Lord. If they lose their riches will they still rejoice in The Lord?
 Verses 12-18> God does not put into the heart of a person a direct desire to sin. God is a God of light. There is no darkness or evil in Him! That is why he cannot tempt us to do wrong. It is not in His nature. The blood of Jesus made us holy, clean, so why would he tempt us to do wrong? That would be like God throwing mud at us and the scolding us for getting dirty! God is always light there isn’t even a hint of a shadow in Him.

Verses 19-25 > As I let the word of God find a home in my heart and as I begin to obey that word; I find out that the power in that word causes be to listen more than talk and it calms me down where I tended to get angry and upset. The word also makes me realize that anger never led to righteousness and it certainly didn’t please the Lord.

Psalm 119:11 (NLT) — 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

John 17:17 (NLT) — 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

Verses 26-27 > Instead of criticizing orphans and widows and putting them down with your tongue; speak well of them and encourage them by helping them. Don’t use your tongue to make excuses on why you can’t help out. Religion in it’s true definition has substance to it, it isn’t just  mere talk but it is action.
Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    When James talks about looking into the perfect law I believe he means the 2 greatest commandments as stated by Jesus and lived out by Jesus. If you love God and love man you are living the perfect law.