James 1

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (5)

Thank God He gives us wisdom! I lean heavily on this verse, because I am constantly in over my head. He is wise and He is our teacher. He wants to share this with us. 

Chapter one is a sort of preview to the topics covered in the upcoming chapters. It seems disjointed, but everything eventually weaves together. 

James has traditionally been a controversial book, because it seems like a “works-based-Salvation” is preached. I think James is just asking people to test their actions to see if their consistent with truth.

Our faith will be evidenced in our conduct. The way we walk demonstrates our opinion of the path. Am I hesitant because it seems sketchy? Am I stopped because I’m unsure of where it leads? Am I running because I want to get it over with, or reach the destination as soon as possible? Am I stopping to smell the roses?

My understand of God will be evidenced in the way I live my life. Am I slow to obey His word because I’m not sure I can trust Him? Am I disobedient because I don’t believe in the benefits of obedience or the severity of consequences? Am I rushing through life, head down, zeroed in on eternal life in heaven? Am I engaging with the Kingdom of Heaven that exists here and now?

James will push our buttons and shove Biblical application into parts of our lives we’d like to keep “secular” or “separate” from faith. Money, time, favorites, speech… if we don’t, he calls us a guy who sees his reflection (good, bad, ugly) and is unphased. 

We will see all these ideas develop over the next few days, so I won’t go deep right now. It’s a preview, after all.

But I do want to highlight the quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. I’ve fallen in love with this verse this year. It is my new philosophy of ministry. I’m a woman of many words and finally, at the age of 32, I’ve discovered the incredible benefits of listening (longer and harder than I think necessary) before offering up my talkative opinion.

So with that, what principal stood out to you today?

-Bethany 

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