Sunday, August 21, 2011

JAMES!!!!


Scripture--James 1-James 3
We aren't really sure who wrote James.  Tradition tells us that it was James, the brother of Jesus, but there's no evidence to this.  Its a book that Martin Luther called an Epistle of Straw, because it walked a fine line of potential works righteousness.  I think a close reading of James says the exact opposite!  I think a close reading talks more about love and grace than about works!  What do you think?


Observation:  Let me be completely honest.  I love James.  Adore James.  Think this book is amazing.  I teach it every chance I get.  I read it often.  I love it.

And honestly, James 1-3 has way too many good points!

Like, "Count it all joy when you come upon the time of the trial!" (1:2) or "Every Good and perfect gift comes from above" (1:17) or "Just like a lifeless body, so faith without action is dead!" (2:26) or the whole taming the tongue conversation in Chapter 3!  

But what struck me this time was 1:13-15 and the question of whether or not God tempts us!  

Application:  We hear it often--God is just testing you.  God is just tempting you.  I'm not so sure I believe that God does that.  This scripture is clear--we are tempted on our own.  We are the ones who make the choices.  Its the evil that does it to us.  I wonder how much more we could do if we could stand up to temptation.  The temptation to think evil thoughts.  To do evil things.  To eat more than we ought.  Or drink in excess.  To lie when its convenient.  To use our power to manipulate.  To say mean things to ourselves or others.  Let us stand up to our cravings.  Let us do what we can to be better.  Let us love others more and resist evil! 

Prayer:  God, help us stand up to temptation.  Help us resist evil.  Help us love you more than the things of this world.  Help us O Lord.  Hear our cries!  Amen.

Blessings!
Pastor Emily 

August 22--James 4-1 Peter 1
August 23--1 Peter 2-1 Peter 5
August 24--2 Peter 1-2 Peter 3
August 25--1 John 1-1 John 3
August 26--1 John 4-1 John 5
August 27--2 John-3 John, Jude
August 28--Revelation 1- Revelation 3
August 29--Revelation 4-Revelation 6
August 30--Revelation 7-Revelation 9
August 31--Revelation 10-Revelation 12
September 1--Revelation 13-Revelation 15
September 2--Revelation 16-Revelation 18
September 3--Revelation 19-Revelation 22

3 comments:

Mary said...

It's easy to blame someone else. We couldn't help it. It's just the way we are. We can't do anything about it. It's not our fault!
God knows we are tempted. Jesus experienced temptation while here on earth. But we need to take responsibility for our own sinful thoughts, words and deeds.
God help me stand firm against temptation. Let me choose the right actions, the right words, the better thoughts. Only with Your help can I resist temptation.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Just completed a post on this very subject that will appear in Friday's Daily Devotions. :)

Lindsay said...

Playing catch up here... James 3:13-18 hit me right in the face. Having finally humbled myself to God's will with forgiving (and apologizing) to someone, I know the bad part of holding onto bitterness and selfish ambition. I was scared to admit I was wrong (selfish and wanting to think I didn't need apologize) and the bitterness kept growing. After an honest and spirit filled conversation with a dear friend, I knew I needed to submit to God's plan. And I'm so thankful I did! It may have taken me too long to do, but God's wisdom is so much better than mine.