Wednesday, April 02, 2014

#40daybible Day 28 (James)

Wednesday's reading is the book of James.
  • James is full of wisdom, truly the Proverbs of the New Testament.
  • It starts with words relating to trials and temptations. For example, remember that trials have a positive benefit. They help us develop patience. And God is more than willing to give us wisdom to face our trials if we are really interested in his help.
  • But don't chalk up temptations to God. God doesn't try to get people to do evil. People sin when they give in to their own sinful desires.
  • The rest of James 1 and 2 have to do with being "doers" and not just believers. James has no time for people who believe all the right things but don't help others in need. Faith without works is dead.
  • Here's the text that made Luther hesitant to translate James into German: "A person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone."
  • Most of James 3 is amazingly powerful stuff on the tongue, "a restless evil," "full of deadly poison"!
  • Throughout James, we have earthly wisdom contrasted with the wisdom from above
  • James is somewhat harsh on the wealthy he has in mind. They are the ones dragging believers into court. They oppress those who work for them while they live lavishly. They make plans without bringing God into the equation. By implication, they are friends with the world who are going to be destroyed while on their business trips.
  • So those oppressed and those suffering need to be patient until the Lord returns. All need to submit to God and resist the Devil.
The book ends with a great task for a believer:
  • James 5:19-20: "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

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