Insights on Today's Reading
It is commonly believed that the Epistle of James was the first of the letters written by the Apostles. This author, James, is also believed to be the half-brother to Jesus, his name being mentioned in Matthew 13:55. He was also the man who would become a leader in the Jerusalem church. The Book of James is sometimes referred to as "The Proverbs of the New Testament." You'll understand why as you read and see many of the "proverbs" mentioned in this book.
James 1 - James wrote to the Jewish believers who had been scattered throughout the world because of their faith in Jesus as their Messiah. He encourage them to look at suffering as a means of maturity. That's what the word "perfect" means in verse 4. But James also warns about temptations as a snare and our human lust as a trigger to cause harm if we yield to our lust and succumb to the temptations, verses 13-16. James also emphasizes the need to "do" what the word of God says, not just hear it, verse 22.
James 2 - Christians should treat every believer with love and respect because that is how God treats us. James also gives us a clear picture of how fast people can become a sinner. Verse 10 simply says that violating one law makes you a law-breaker. One sin is all it takes to become a sinner. From verses 14-26, James makes clear how a believer is "justified by works" when that believer's works come from a life of faith in Christ. James is emphasizing how a believer is seen as a justified Christian in the eyes of the world. Men cannot see your heart. They can see your works.
James 3 - Being a teacher places a burden of responsibility on the teacher to practice what they teach. Words alone without obedience leads to hypocrisy. James warns about the effect of our words. We should be consistent in speaking blessing to mankind as we speak blessing to God. The "wisdom that comes from above" verse 17, far exceeds the worldly "wisdom" that comes from a self-centered life.
James 4 - Loving the ways of the world will never please God, verse 4. That's a good reason why many believers love for the things of the world hinders their prayer requests from being granted. James gives a practical approach to making plans for our future. Only God knows what will happen and what He wants to happen in a believer's life. The closing verse reminds us that seeing something "good" to do requires our response to "do it" verse 17!
James 5 - Riches in a person's life can cause corruption. Having a lot of wealth doesn't mean a person has a lot of wisdom. James encourages patience, verse 7. He also encourages real prayer when difficulties come, verses 16,17. James closes his letter with a good word for "soul-winners."
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288