For a while God has put a desire in me to really pay attention to the book of James. I have always appreciated the plainness of speech in this book. Everything that is said is straightforward. There are no questions as to the meaning of the words.
So, for my morning devotions I decided to pay more attention in this book. I simply wanted to slow down, write down, and muse. I am so glad I did!
Since everything in this book is so clear and straight to the point, it was very easy to write down notes. I also saw that as I slowly read through a chapter, wrote down the points God showed to me, and mused upon them, that either that very day or soon after that day I was putting to use what He taught me. He would bring about situations that called for me applying the knowledge and wisdom He had given to me in that chapter. Was I ever grateful for listening to Him!
These notes are just that: notes. Of course, I did not seek to go outside God’s clearly expressed will. I did not seek to make His words fit into my ideology. I simply wrote down as I read what He had already said. These are the things I learned, as I read each chapter of this wonderful book:
1.) Don’t grow weary as I am being tried for my faith. Know that the trying of my faith brings patience.
2.) Don’t waver in my belief. Go to God in prayer boldly. If I ask in unbelief, I’ll receive naught. If I ask in belief, I’ll receive according to His will.
3.) Stay humble. Never allow riches to breed pride.
4.) Never am I tempted of God. I am tempted when I am drawn away by my own lusts. When lust conceives, it brings forth sin.
5.) Every good and perfect gift is of God.
6.) Due to belonging to God, I need to be: slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to wrath.
7.) Be a doer of the word, not only a hearer.
8.) Bridle the tongue, visit the orphans and widows, and stay unspotted from the world.
1.) Do not be a respecter of persons in the faith; the wealthy are not better than the poor; there is no one better than another.
2.) If I offend in one point of the law, I am guilty of all.
3.) God gives judgment without mercy upon those who have judged without mercy.
4.) Faith is seen as alive by the works that come out of it. If I don’t do anything with my faith, it is considered dead.
5.) Faith is dead without works, just as the body without the spirit is dead.
1.) Be not many masters, because we in many things offend all.
2.) Only a perfect man is able to bridle the whole body and not offend in speech.
3.) The tongue no one can tame, and it can cause great trouble! All other creatures are able to be tamed by man. The tongue is full of deadly poison. Out of it I bless God and curse man. It is not to be so with the children of God.
4.) If I am wise, I need to live according to meekness of wisdom. I am not to live according to bitterness, envy, and strife. Wherever those things are is every evil work.
5.) God’s wisdom is peaceable, gentle, easily-intreated, merciful, and without hypocrisy.
6.) If I make peace, I will sow in peace the fruit of righteousness.
1.) Fightings and wars come amongst church members due to our lusts.
2.) If I ask upon my lusts, I will receive naught.
3.) Friendship with the world makes me at enmity with God.
4.) God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Therefore, I need to go humbly before God, submit myself to Him, and the devil will flee from me. God will cleanse me when I have a contrite heart. God will lift up the lowly.
5.) I am not to speak evil or condemn my brethren in Christ. Only God is the one to condemn.
6.) I am not to boast or trust in tomorrow. I am to trust in the Lord.
7.) If I know to do good, and don’t do it, it is sin.
1.) Men that gain and maintain their riches by fraud are warned of the coming judgment of God. They are warned that the wealth they love so much will soon be gone.
2.) Christians are given words of comfort in the midst of persecution and tribulation. I am told that Christ is soon coming, therefore be patient!
3.) I am to be patient; not hold grudges; stablish my heart; learn from the examples of the prophets of old; not to swear by anything, just give a clear “yes,” or “no” answer; pray when afflicted; sing when happy; receive prayer when I am sick; and to confess my faults to my brethren.
4.) Christians are to be encouraged to know that when they have converted a sinner, that they have saved that sinner from hell.
Quite a bit did I learn from reading that little book! God sure is good at packing a lot of information in condensed formats! It was such a blessing for me. I pray it will be so for you, too!