No Partiality, Please : James 2:1-13


My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or  “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that He promised to those who love Him? But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court? Is it not they who blaspheme the noble Name that was invoked over you? However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it. For He who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not kill.” Even if you do not commit adultery but kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom. For the judgement is merciless to the one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement.    James 2:1-13 

James now commands us, through the Holy Spirit, to show no partiality. Not to prefer the rich man over the poor man, almost sensing the evil motive present in our hearts. “If I’m nice to this rich guy, maybe he’ll be nice to me in return.” James reminds them of their oppressors. They are the rich, who haul them off to court and blaspheme God’s name!   Continue reading

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Conference on Men and Abortion


Vicki Thorn of Project Rachael has asked that we spread the word about an upcoming conference on men and abortion, with a special focus on healing men from the trauma of abortion. The abortive father is so often the lone forgotten figure so often overlooked in this tragedy. Men scarred by abortion include boyfriends, husbands, uncles, siblings, grandfathers and any man who would have been close to the aborted child. Often men are cruelly cut out of the picture with no voice or no “choice” even when it is their own child being killed, supposedly because this is a “women’s issue,” as if men don’t feel, love or grieve.If you or a man you know is suffering due to a past abortion please pass along this information. Even if they can’t attend they will know that they are not abandoned to their pain, that there is help available.

For more information go here: http://www.menandabortion.info/

God bless you, and please pray for the forgotten fathers and the the success of this conference.

Doers And Not Hearers Only : James 1:19-27


Know this my dear brothers; everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.    James 1:19-27

In this last part of the first chapter of James’ letter, he gives us a list of a few dos and don’ts again concerning perseverance. And, as we read this section, let us keep the parable of the sower in mind (Matt.13:3-9).   Continue reading

The Crown of Life: James 1:12-18


Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that He promised to those who love Him. No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and He Himself tempts no one. Rather each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.   James 1: 12-18

Last week, we studied and learned that “the joy that should accompany our various trials, is the joy that comes from knowing our faith is being tested. Tested to produce perseverance.”

Let us look now, at what this perseverance accomplishes.   Continue reading

A Different Perspective: James 1:1-11


James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings. Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways. The brother in lowly circumstances should take pride in his high standing, and the rich one in his lowliness, for he will pass away “like a flower of the field.” For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.    James 1: 1-11

 

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials.

Perspective. Usually, one of the last things we ask for and, the first thing we need for understanding. How many of us have uttered those words, “How can I have joy in my trials?!” I have certainly screamed it at the top of my lungs in the past. Because, like most people, I ascribed to a  “sound-bite theology.”   Continue reading

A Study in the Book of James


This will be our next study. The first post will be Wednesday afternoon, or Thursday.

God bless you all.