I’ve been digging into James lately. And let me tell you, I was blown away by the first 18 verses and I just knew it was going to be good. Truth is, I’ve been reading it for a few weeks and I’m not past 2:13, because there is just so much good stuff in there.
A few things I’ve noticed:
1:2 “Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble comes your way, consider it an oppurtunity for great joy.”
I’ve been described as an optimistic person (except for with the Braves lately), so it was nice to read this. And I can easily apply it to the health problems with my dad.
-Do not divide loyalty.
1:6 “But when you ask him [for wisdom and guidance], be sure your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”
Wow, strong image. If your loyalty is in the world too, the world is just going to toss you around. I can easily see the consequence, yet it’s still a concept that I struggle with. I also think this verse relates to motives behind actions. Why do I ask God or seek God in some certian situations? What are my thoughts behind them?
-Just do it!
1:22-25 “22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
Don’t just listen to God’s word, do it! This relates back to something I learned while in New Orleans: “Go after it” was a quote we used often. Don’t complain, but act on it. Nehemiah didn’t just complain about the broken wall, he prayed about it, acted on it, and began to fix it. Listening and talking alone can get us nowhere.
-Care for those in need.
1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
Refuse to let the world currupt you. Don’t divide your loyalty.