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?
For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_of_James
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.
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