Bible Reading: James 1
I love the book of James!
Over the next five days, you’ll almost feel like you’re sitting across the table with that your very practical friend, who would look you in the eye and ask you the hard questions.
You know that friend that asks you ‘how are you?’ and then actually waits for an answer. The friend who will not take a religious cover up as an answer. Don’t just tell me ‘we bless God’, tell me whether or not you’ve eaten. The friend who would confront you when she noticed you catching an extra glance at the guy leading worship in church. The friend who would tell you lack wisdom when you behave like it.
James is that practical a friend.
God’s word is very wholistic. I believe that the Holy Spirit really inspired every one of the writers in different ways to bring together a complete and robust package for us and it’s important that we receive it all as God’s inspired word. It’s like when your dad has just spanked you and your mum seems to be the softer and understanding parent. But then, as you grow older, you find that they were all the while working in harmony, not in disparity, and together parenting you.
My encouragement is that as we read through these chapters, we really allow the Holy Spirit to put our hearts in the spotlight and examine and challenge us.
In our reading today, James largely admonishes us not to live in religious denial when it comes to the practical situations of life, but rather take responsibility for where we are.
- Don’t live in denial of trials and challenges- take advantage of them to become a better person (v 2-4)
- Don’t deny your lack of wisdom- ask God to give you wisdom. That’s sharp, James! (v 5-8)
- Don’t be in denial of your social status- rather put it in the right perspective (v 9-11)
- Don’t be in denial of temptations- rather embrace the right perspective to them (v 12- 18)
- Don’t be in denial about your lack of emotional control. Take charge of it. James basically says ‘your anger cannot boil yam’ (v 19-20)
- Don’t be in denial or create cover ups for your failure to act on God’s word. Strive to be a doer (v 21-27)
James loudly challenges us to refuse to be Christians that are just sold out to some Sunday morning emotional hype. Let’s bring our Christianity home. Let’s bring our faith to bear on the practical details of our Monday to Saturday, and not just Sunday.
May we indeed be full-weight Monday morning Christians, all year round!
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls …But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
James 1:21, 25 NLT