JAMES, A SERVANT
The Testing Of Your Faith
James introduces himself as a servant of God and the Lord Christ. This introduction seems simple enough, but it is important to note that James is the half-brother of Jesus. They have the same mother, and they grew up in the same home, so James was witness to many things, but he did not always believe that Jesus was the Christ (John 7:5). Something changed, and now in humility, he declares his half-brother to be his Lord as he writes to those in the Dispersion. Paul mentions James in Galatians, identifying him as an apostle and the Lord's brother. James addresses those who have been displaced, so it is fitting that he begins by admonishing them to find joy in trials. This does not mean that believers should pretend that the sufferings of this life are not real or painful. James' point is to remember that various trials and the tests of your faith are used by God to produce steadfastness which ultimately leads to being complete. Joy can be found in the midst of suffering and God can use anything including suffering to bring about completion. The testing of faith is not to see if one has faith, it is used prove genuine faith and refine it.
Wisdom And Faith
God gives wisdom generously to those who ask him for it in faith. It is important to pray in faith. Faith takes God at his word and believes that God will do what he has promised to do. This means that n trials, the Christian needs wisdom to know how best to please God. They must pray and not doubt driven back and forth by their emotions and circumstances. God does not change, and his word stands forever. Those who driven and tossed by every wind of doubt should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Some fail to ask God for wisdom, and some fail to believe that God will give wisdom to those who ask. The person of faith must ask and believe knowing that God is faithful to his word and his promises. Enduring trials bring with it the crown of life.
James warns believers not to blame God for temptation in their lives. God does not entice them to sin. The progression of sin begins with the heart and its sinful desires. Sinful desires move to sin, and sin ends in death. Every good and perfect gift comes from the unchanging God. God cannot change, and the word of truth declares the truth about God, and it is the scripture which able to make one wise unto salvation.
Be Doers Of The Word
Every child of God should be quick to listen, but slow to speak, and even slower still to get angry. The anger of man will not produce the righteousness of God. One must put away sin and come to God's word by recognizing its authority and submitting to it. God’s Word is like a mirror that clearly reflects the condition of the one who looks into it. God’s Word is like a law that provides freedom. A right response to God’s Word involves both outward activity and inward control. The tongue betrays whether or not one's religion is of worth and whether or not they are doing what the word says. Ministry to orphans and widows was the outward activity while separation from the world was evidence of inner control. However, an unbridled tongue is a sure sign of false religion.
Things To Consider:
- Why do you think it so significant that the half brother of Jesus calls himself a servant of Jesus?
- How can you find joy during trials?
- How often do you ask God for wisdom? Why is that?
- Why does it matter that God does not tempt us?
- Why is the word of truth essential?
- Are you quick to listen?
- Are you slow to speak and slow to anger?
- Why is obedience important?
- What does obedience say to Jesus?
- What does obedience indicate about one's faith?