James 1: 1 – 4
Count it all joy when you fall into trials…knowing this test of faith can produce patience and endurance, so that you can become perfect and complete. Do you really believe this? Or do you let your feelings and worries take over? Faith is believing God’s Word so that it changes you! Faith is not a method to get God to do something or change Him or change His mind!
The “Faith Movement” method of increasing personal faith to better move and influence God is false teaching. Hudson Taylor said, “We do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God.” Depending on my own great faith is pride. Thinking my faith is too weak is defeatism. Both are deception. Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith in my great Savior!
God never changes. Faith changes us, in what we think and what we do! Our Father is highly interested in growing us up to be like Him! We live by our faith, trust, and confidence in Him which leads us to obediently follow Him.
James 1: 5-8
Do you need wisdom? Go to ask God who gives it liberally! But you must ask having faith and trust in God and His Word so that you plan to do what He says. Corrie ten Boom said, “If we want to experience the guidance of God in our lives, we must accept one condition – obedience to Him.”
Obedience….that is how faith and works go together. If you are double minded…so you ask for wisdom from God, but then also contemplate other sources or do not do what God says, then how can you expect to receive anything from God? Following the world and God is not a stable focused foundation.
James 1: 9-11
Let the lowly person realize honor in that Jesus lifts them up! Let the rich person realize true honor in humbling themselves to Jesus, realizing this life and their own riches are temporary, and all people need to be humble before Jesus, rich or poor or inbetween.
James 1: 12-16
Happy and envied is the person who is patient and stands against trials and temptations! They stand faithfully in what God says is right instead of caving in. Standing and doing God’s way gives the victory! God cannot be tempted by evil and He tempts no one! People are tempted to draw away from God by their own evil desires. If you accept evil thoughts and feelings, they will grow and lead you to sin, which leads to destruction and death. Don’t be misled!
James 1 : 17-18
Every good, perfect, free, large, and full gift is from our Heavenly Father! His gifts are always light with no darkness. His greatest gift is, that of His free will, through His Son Jesus, He made us His sons and daughters, separated from evil and dedicated to Him!
James 1: 19-20
Get this….be a quick ready listener, slow to speak, and slow to take offense or get angry. Anger does not promote the righteousness God wants. Try living like this. It is more difficult than you might think.
James 1: 21
Get rid of and stay away from all uncleanness and rampant worldly wickedness. In a humble spirit, welcome and receive God’s Word. His Word implanted and rooted in your heart contains the power to save your soul (mind, emotions, will, personality, character). Do you believe this enough to really take the time and conviction to do it?
James 1: 22-25
Do not merely listen to God’s Word, but do and obey it. Listening but not doing is only deceiving yourself. The reasoning that only listening is enought, is contrary to Truth. That attitude causes a person to forget what they heard. A heedless listener is not a follower of Jesus and His Word. Persevering in learning God’s Word and doing it obediently and faithfully will bring true and good blessings.
James 1: 26
Today, many people have no problem expressing their opinions or saying whatever pops in their head. Read the warning in this verse. If anyone thinsk they are a follower of Jesus because they diligently observe expernal religious duties, but they do not control what they say, they are deluding their own heart! Remember that the mouth speaks what is really in the heart (Matthew 12: 34). That person’s religious service is worthless.
James 1: 27
Pure worship of God through outward expression is to visit and help the truly afflicted and needy, especially those who have no one else to help. Pure worship of God is also in keeping oneself clean and uncontaminated from the world.