Simple Thoughts Without Theology: The Book of James

I'm updating several old posts over the next month or so. While reading through some, I found my thoughts on the book of James when I studied it. I shared those thoughts way back when I shared a weekly Fruitful Friday post of what I learned that week.  When I read what I shared all those years ago, I knew I had to bring them up again. The thoughts are just that, simple. No theology, just thoughts from a simple gal trying to learn more from God's word. If you're like me, then you know sometimes it's just the simple thoughts you need to hear from others.

Simple Thoughts Without Theology: James 1

Simple Thoughts Without Theology

James 1:1-2   James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 

This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) This verse is  easy to say and a song that is easy to sing, when you are living on the mountain top. But what about the valley I may face?  “Count it all joy” when ye fall into divers temptations~ That’s a big pill to swallow. Trying to have joy when our lives are in the middle of problems ~ it’s not easy. But knowing that I am a child of the King who will never leave me stranded in the middle of a mess, does make it a little easier to face those trials/testings . My God is in control on the days when I’m at the mountain top and He is still there when I'm in the valley. It is easier to face those kind of days knowing that He is right beside me.

James 1:3-4  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.But let patience have perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

In most things, I am a pretty patient person. I’ve been taught to never pray for patience because my faith is going to be tried some way. Having FAITH is a whole different story for me. This is something that I pray for daily. We face obstacles and people in our lives that will destroy our faith, it can be very discouraging. Because of this, I pray that I am not one of those who will destroy the faith of someone else. I want to be the one who encourages faith. Our family has gone through a lot over the past 5 years. No matter what, God has seen us through. Our needs have been met, we have not been left needing things. We have a vehicle to drive, a roof over our heads, clothes and shoes on our feet, and food on the table. What more do you really need? Most of the things that this world has to offer will come and go and some will be completely forgotten about. But God is always there to help me through.

James 1:5-6  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 

I love knowing that the Lord is not going to say, "Why can't you get this stuff through your head?" when I keep going to him for the same thing. Thankfully, we can go to Him and ask for wisdom and know that He is going to give it over and over.

James 1:7-8  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

I want to be stable in my heart and mind. I want stability in my personal world around my family. If I don’t have faith that God will answer my prayers, why should I even ask? What is the point? God doesn’t have to do anything for me, but He wants to. He wants me to have faith in Him, knowing that He is going to answer my prayers whether the answer is what I want or not. I am so thankful for a God who loves me and wants to supply my needs and wants.

James 1:10-11 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 

We are all the same in God’s eyes, no one is better than the other. It does not matter if we have all the money and power in the world or not, we are all going to have times that are tough but we are also going to have times when life is good. We need to remember what we are going through~ good or bad, it is only for a time.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

These trials that we are going through are temporary. In the end we are going to be able to hold our heads high and know that we came out on top ~ with the help of the Lord.

James 1:13-14   Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

It is my responsibility to stay close to God. When He is not near, that is my doing. I am the one who moved away from Him. The Lord does not tempt but he allows the opportunity to arise. It is my choice to either fall into the middle of a mess or to run as fast as I can to regain that closeness with the Lord.

James 1:15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

It's not a sin to be tempted. It's a sin to act on the temptation. Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph. Instead of acting on it, he fled from it.(Genesis 39:7-12) If we commit a sin, it didn't just happen. There had to be previous thoughts regarding the sin.(Mark 7:21-23) And of course, if we act on the sin, there will be repercussions.

James 1:16-17 Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

I serve a God that is constant. What He says ~ goes. When He tells me His is going to do something, He doesn't change His mind~ He does it. Unfortunately, I do not always stick to what I say or plan on doing. I need to be more like Him ~ unchanging.

James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

This verse is a connecting verse and needs to be read with the past four or five verses. God created many beautiful things throughout the universe. Things that we are able to see, touch and love. But of all these things, we (humans) are the only creation that God purposely gave a soul to.We were created in His image. He wants us to be able to spend eternity with Him. We should give Him all the Glory and Honor that is due Him.

James 1:19-20  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Be a listening person. Whether it be for God, a spouse, child or friend. Listening is a way of showing our love and being submissive to God and our husbands. We have two ears for hearing and one mouth for speaking; we should be listening two times more than speaking.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness are the things that are standing in the way of us hearing what the Lord has to say. Meekness is a spirit of compliance. ~ Ready to obey. The only way for us to succeed as a Christian is for us to put away these sins, repent and have an obedient spirit.

James 1:22-24 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

The reflection in a mirror only shows the outward appearance of a person. We can fool everyone around us, but we can't fool God. He knows whether or not we are really trying to live a Christian life, even if those around us can't see the true us.

James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 Are you listening? I've asked that question many times to former students and even my son. Has God had to ask me that question? Probably so. I know what it is like to see my son hear but not truly listen because he has not done something, that was instructed of him. It really bothers me, so I know that it really bothers the Lord when I do it to Him. I want to please the Lord, I want to be a doer, not just a hearer.

James 1: 26-27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Oh, be careful little tongue what you say, for the Father up above, is looking down in love. My words are to be Christ honoring at all times. As a Christian, I have people waiting and watching for me to let my tongue slip, so they can point a finger. How embarrassing that is when it happens!

 I hope you'll join me next week as I continue to share more Simple Thoughts Without Theology from James chapter 2.

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