The letter of James isA STORY ABOUT ACHURCH LEADER INJERUSALEM WRITING TOBELIEVERS WHO WERESCATTERED ALL OVERTHE WORLD AND WHONEEDED REVELATIONFROM HEAVEN TO HELPTHEM SERVE JESUSWHERE THEY LIVED.
A MESSAGE FROM JAMESAS AN OPERATING THEATRE IS… …TO A MEDICAL STUDENT
A MESSAGE FROM JAMES AS A BUILDING SITE IS…… …TO AN APPRENTICE CARPENTER
A MESSAGE FROM JAMES AS THE FOOTY GAME IS…… …TO A TRAINING SESSION
A MESSAGE FROM JAMES SO HARDSHIPS AND CHALLENGES …FOR FOLLOWERS OF JESUS ARE ……
1From James, a servant of God and of the LordJesus Christ to the twelve tribes of thedispersion. Greetings.2Consider it a thing of great value my brotherswhen you encounter various kinds of hardships3 just because you know that the testing of yourfaith will produce perseverance 4and whenperseverance has completed its work in you, youwill be completely mature lacking nothing.
5Ifanyone is unsure of what to do he should askGod for wisdom with the assurance that Godwill freely give it to him without thought ofreproach – it will simply be given to him.6Remember that he must ask in faith withoutdoubting God’s promise. When someonedoubts they are like a wave of the sea beingdriven and tossed by the wind. 7The only thingsuch people can be guaranteed is that they willcertainly not receive anything from the Lord.8These kind of persons are double minded andunstable in all their ways.
9Those who are considered to have low status inthe society should boast in their newfoundstatus in Christ 10and the person who is rich andhas such status should boast about hisnewfound humility. Human status will fadeaway as quickly as the beauty of the flowers in afield. 11The sun rises with its burning heat. Theplants become dried up and the flower petalsfall to the ground and its beauty is gone. Thepursuit of status and wealth will come and go inexactly the same way.
12Itis a great blessing for a people to endurehardship because when they have stood the testthey will receive the crown of life promised tothose who love God. 13It is also important for aperson to realize that such tests don’t comefrom God. God is not intimidated by evil nordoes he directly test anyone. 14A person istested as a consequence of being drawn away byhis own evil desires. 15These desires give birthto disobedience which, if it continues to have itsway will lead to death.
16Idon’t want you to be misled my brothers.17Every gift that is good and perfecting gift isfrom above, coming down from the Father oflights. He never changes or veers from the way.18He brings us to the destiny he has planned forus by means of the word of truth so that we canbe a kind of first fruit among other people. END OF THE STORY SO FAR
BECAUSE OF THIS ! ! !19Because of this, beloved brothers everyoneshould be quick to hear, slow to speak and slowto get angry. 20Human anger never producesthe righteousness of God. …..because of what ??
1. Because hardships and trials happen to people who are following a sovereign God who is totally good.2. Because you need wisdom from heaven to know what to do when this happens so that it will produce maturity and not bitterness.3. Because God always provides this wisdom to everyone who asks with faith.4. Because sometimes it looks as though wealthy people don’t get bashed up as much as poor people.5. Because God doesn’t cause it. He does want to redeem it.
19Because of this, belovedbrothers everyone shouldbe quick to hear, slow tospeak and slow to getangry. 20Human angernever produces therighteousness of God.
21So let us set asideeverything that is rotten orwicked and with humility letus embrace the messagefrom God that has beenplanted within us. It is theonly thing capable ofproducing redemption forour souls. 22And make surethat you are doers of thatmessage and not peoplewho listen and do nothingresulting in self-deception.
23If anyone listens to themessage from God butdoes not implement it heis like a person who looksat his face in the mirror24and sees what he isreally like but thenimmediately goes awayand forgets what he saw.
25On the other hand,when someone looks intothe perfecting andliberating word and thenimplements it – and doesnot forget but gets itworking in his life - such aperson will be blessed inwhat he does.
AND ANYWAY….26Anyone who claims tobe spiritual but doesn’tcontrol his tongue isdeceiving his own heart.Such spirituality isworthless.
27Spiritualitythat is pureand sincere in the sight ofGod the Father is to visitorphans and widows intheir hardships and tokeep from beingcompromised by the waysof this world.
WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS• We start pouring out our complaints in all the wrong places.• We become the prisoner of our anger and allow it to shape our attitudes, words and actions.• We justify the ugly stuff that rises up and allow resentment and bitterness to remain.• We don’t DO even the things we KNOW God has said.• We TALK [rationalize and justify our attitudes and actions] rather than allowing our actions to shape our attitudes
WHEN WE COULD BE1. Listening (to God) FIRST2. Saying what you feel SECOND3. Letting ANGER subside FIRST4. Getting rid of everything UGLY that rises up FIRST5. Making sure you JUST DO what God says FIRST6. Plan the ACTIONS that will transform your words and attitudes.