Scripture: James 1-5. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
James was a man of God and had great advice to share. As we begin reading in this short Book of James, we learn that this Book begins with a letter from James, outlining some general characteristics of living as a Christian. James wrote to Jewish Christians who had been scattered from persecution. In his letter, James speaks about genuine religion – trials and temptations, listening and doing; genuine faith – favoritism forbidden, faith and deeds, taming the tongue; genuine wisdom – submission to God, boasting about tomorrow, warning to rich oppressors, patience in suffering, and the prayer of faith. Follow along as we read James 1-5!
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
There are so many great lessons in this smaller Book of the Bible. James tells us that when we go through hardships, we can turn them into times of learning. When we go through rough times in life, it teaches us to persevere. Whenever we go through struggles in this life, we should look at them as opportunities for growth. God wants to mature and mold us into the people He intended us to be. God is with us through everything, and we must be patient, putting our complete trust and faith in Him alone. We can always ask God for wisdom and guidance, and He will supply what we need. True wealth is not measured by how much money we have; we find true wealth by developing our spiritual life. When we generously give to those in need, that makes God happy. We are to treat others just as Jesus would. James put an emphasis on the results of having faith in our Heavenly Father – a changed life. When we have true faith, we are choosing to commit our whole self to God. And when we show constant obedience to our Heavenly Father, it demonstrates that our faith in Him is genuine. God works at changing us from the inside out. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help purify our hearts, giving us self-control and better attitudes. Our tongues can get us into trouble. We must strive to tame our words. God knows our needs, and He will provide for us. We must work faithfully in the here and now to build God’s kingdom. Jesus will one day return, and what a wonderful day that will be…full of complete joy and peace! Only God knows when that time is; however, we should live like Jesus is coming back today!
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Thank You for the Book of James, and the lessons that come from each chapter. Father, we know that we are sinners, and we ask for Your forgiveness. Please help us to always follow Your ways for us, obeying and praising You through all circumstances in our lives. Please help us to love and obey You wholeheartedly. Please help us to love our enemies and to forgive those who have hurt us, as well. Please be with those who have rejected You, and help them to return to You, Father, before judgement. Help us to treat others with kindness, and help us to show the same traits to others as You do, following Your example. Help us to trust in Your care and provision in each of our lives. Even though we do not always get what we want in life, we know that You know what is best for us. Please help us to draw near to You, and please protect us from giving in to the pressures of this fallen world. We want to live Godly lives. When we face struggles in this life, Father, please help us to call upon You. Help us also to be more compassionate toward others who are struggling in this evil world, as well. Help us to be Your hands and feet in this world, and guide us in the right paths for our lives. Help us to trust in Your timing for our lives, and help us not to grow impatient. We thank You for Your son Jesus who died to free us from the slavery of our sins. Thank You for the unique gifts and talents that You give to each one of us; help us to work in unity with others to accomplish Your plan. Thank You for the promise of one day living in eternity with You. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.