Archive for the ‘James’ Category


James 5:13-16
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

In all of the aspects of the Christian faith, this is one area that has always made me feel comfortable. I may not be wise to speak well, not wealthy to give much, not influential to cause change but I serve a God who listens to our prayers and just being able to pray for others makes me feel more fulfilled in my walk with the Lord. Are we then called to pray for others or is there more to it? What does God want from us today? (more…)

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James 4:4-10
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

I have recently started gardening as our home has a little patch of lawn and some space for a few plants. The first day I noticed the garden, it was a mess with dry grass all over, dead plants and wilted flowers. My first job was to weed and it seemed to take forever because the garden was not cared for and after an hour of back-breaking work, I found that I had taken the big weeds out but had lots of small weeds to clean up and had no energy left. If we compare our lives before Christ to a garden, wouldn’t it look as bad, if not worse with no care, fully clogged with the weeds of sin and left forgotten? Is there any connection to what God is speaking to us today in the James 4 and do you find some of the words used rather harsh? (more…)


James 3:9-12
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Have you realized that we generally speak in the way of the land that we live in because we are influenced by it. After having lived in many cities around the world, I have noticed that I tend to start speaking like the locals and use expressions that they use and think like them. It is amazing how adaptable the human mind is but it is also amazing how our spoken word can have such a dramatic effect on the world! Such is the power of the tongue that it can give life and cause death in a moment. The analogy used in this chapter of large ships being directed by rudders a fraction of their size puts our tongues in perspective. However, we know all of this and we generally don’t use our tongue for damage and so what is the point God is trying to make to us here?

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James 2:1-4, 12-13
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?… Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

God speaks very simply at times and today’s passage seems like one of those messages. How hard is it to understand favoritism? We’ve been there and done it and I hope you don’t disagree because we all have at some point and still do. It is evident in the places we live, at restaurants we dine at, in shopping malls, offices, schools, trains, planes, etc. People with more resources are always more privileged because they have more versus people with less. We have been victims or oppressors and so this is a reality we live with. Rather than causing a stir, wouldn’t it be more peaceable for us to gently ‘deal’ with this issue because the victims always understand their place as do the ‘wealthy’ in expectation. Would there not be more blessing and less friction to go this route?

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James 1:2-4, 12-15
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James was Jesus’ younger brother and wrote the first epistle of the new testament. Of the many topics in today’s chapter, trials caught my eye as it is a reality we live with and it is what shakes our faith and tests us. In the last few weeks, my family and I have been enduring a lot because of moving homes, additional work assignments and other commitments. This has put a strain on our relationship, brought stress in abundance and caused us to behave in ways we would not consider normal. It is natural to wonder why God would throw all this in our face at the same time and put us through such a trying time and then God speaks through His word saying that we should consider it pure joy to face trials! What is God saying to us today and what is the point if our faith is going to cause us to only suffer? (more…)