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JAMES CHAPTER 1

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Jm 1,1-8

(96a) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude about suffering >> Suffering under the hand of men These verses go with verse 12. The Apostle John was the writer of the Gospel of John, and he was the writer of First, Second and Third John and of Revelation, but the Apostle James was not the writer of the epistle of James. Instead, the writer of “James” was the brother of Jesus. How interesting this brother lived with Jesus throughout His childhood and adolescent years into adulthood, saw the way He lived and personally witnessed the character of Christ and thus wrote such an epistle. What he wrote is how Jesus lived as a child, as a boy and as a man. James observed his big brother’s endurance and His compassion for the poor and for the weak and the sick, and he recognized from Jesus' example that faith without works is dead, that if we don’t bridal our tongue our religion is worthless. He learned all these things from Jesus before he believed in Him as the Son of God. What made James change his mind about his big brother? James was a conscientious man; he put all the pieces together from Jesus’ childhood to His ministry, comparing it to Old Testament prophecy. He could draw only one conclusion, and the icing on the cake was His resurrection. If we want to know more about Jesus as a child, just read the epistle of James.

Jm 1,1-5 

(97g) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing the direction of God’s will >> Focusing your attention on finishing the course

(233j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory through perseverance -- These verses go with verse 12. When God's people are tested and fail, it makes them all the more determined to pass the next test. Like someone who seeks a degree, he needs the diploma to get a job so he can get married and support a family. Everything depends on whether or not he passes his exams; all his dreams and hopes are based on it. With those of faith who fail, they don’t quit but seek God all the more how they might learn to persevere under trial, so they can achieve their spiritual goals. 

Jm 1-1

(12e) Bond servant (Key verse)

(12j) Servant >> Bond servant >> Salutations

(105l) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit into the wilderness >> Wilderness of safety – Verse one proves the audience of James' epistle: the messianic Jews. He referred to them as the twelve tribes who are scattered abroad, suggesting that he wrote this epistle after AD 70. "Twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad" sounds like the description John gave of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses mentioned in Revelation chapter 7, and then it says they were dispersed into the wilderness in chapter 12. No one credits James as a prophet, because of his emphasis on Christian living, yet every prophet lived the way James taught. This suggests that the audience of James' letter was to prophets, that if anyone thinks he's spiritual, he ought to model his life after his teaching.

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Jm 1,2-11

(103m) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified through faith

Jm 1,2-9

(8j) Responsibility >> Responsible to defend God’s cause >> Preparing to die to self – Sometimes all it takes to die to self is simply to stop sinning; but when we make decisions that affect our whole life, this takes wisdom. After deciding to follow Christ, we need to seek God’s wisdom about where we should go from there, and if we develop a hearing ear to hear what the Spirit is saying, He will lead us to die to self. There are many who decide to follow Christ, and there are many who seek God’s wisdom about their future, but there are few who actually follow His advise or do what He says. That is why we see so many Christians whose lives resemble "the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." See also: Wisdom; Jm 1,2-8; 5j

(99a) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Enduring the word of God >> Endure obeying the word of God If we have an ear to hear the Holy Spirit calling us to a specific ministry, and if we are doing His will but can’t endure our trials, our failures will undo our successes. Conversely, if we endure our circumstances but don't seek His will, we produce little fruit. Often when we are doing God's work, circumstances will come to try us. We think these come from the devil, but God has given us our circumstances, and He often uses the devil, that if we endure them, will put our faith on display as an aspect of our ministry. Preaching the gospel can only tell people what we believe, but enduring our trials tells them how much we believe. The person who believes a little doesn’t believe at all, and the person who fails to endure his trials believes in them instead of God. We are all guilty of this from time to time. See also: Endurance; Jm 1,2-8; 5j

(137h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing in Jesus is hard work >> Maturity comes through discipline – Dear reader, please keep in mind that I am preaching to myself. Note also that I have not prefaced a disclaimer like this anywhere else on this website, indicating the seriousness of James’ message, who was a results oriented preacher, who in some ways taught the opposite of Paul: practice over theory. He wanted to see us living the Christian life and simply wasn’t interested in any of our excuses.

(187f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Die to self to know the revelation of God -- These verses go with verse 21

(248i) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> Valuing God >> Do not value things that devalue God

Jm 1,2-8

(5j) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your strength through endurance These verses go along with verse 12. God wants us to endure our circumstances where He has placed us, and if we can’t, then He wants us to ask Him for help. Indeed, God’s wisdom in these verses is for us to endure your circumstances. If we receive a plan from God how to endure our circumstances but don’t apply it, there is nothing else He can do for us, except reiterate what He already said. That is, if we don’t like God’s plan, then we are out of luck, unless we think someone else has a better idea, which is what most people think. That is why we see so many people's lives in ruins today. See also: Endurance; 80b / Wisdom; 80b

(80b) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To deliver yourself from bondage -- These verses go with verses 22-25. Enduring our trials is part of spiritual warfare. God is ready to convey His wisdom to us for the purpose of overcoming our struggles. He reveals His word to those who commit their lives to Him, and once we have endured our trials, He will manifest His word in us. In other words, to have the wisdom of God is evidence of possessing His power to endure our circumstances. If we take these things to heart, God will give us the incentive we need to see beyond our troubles. The wisdom of God is the Bible revealed by the Spirit, called the anointing. An unbeliever can read the Bible and be none the wiser, but the man of faith reads the Bible and the Holy Spirit reveals it to him and is blessed, strengthened and prepared for every good work. See also: Endurance; 125c / Wisdom; Jm 1,5-8; 83a

(125c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of adversity – James taught that we live in a cause and effect world and that trials are an absolute certainty in this life. Being joyful about our trials is important as it is difficult. He taught if we don’t joyfully endure them, we won’t endure them at all, so it would behoove us to face our trials with joy. Having joy about our troubles is a state of mind, an attitude we must cultivate, a perspective we must train our mind to accept, though counter to our nature, impossible, but we have God to help us. See also: Endurance; Jm 1-3; 97i

(236j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest in the treasures of the kingdom >> Invest your life in God’s faith – We go from what we know to what we don’t know with confidence in God's love, knowing we have eternal life. Jesus is worthy of our service and worship. Serving Him is not a waste of life. There are things we don’t know just around the corner. We know Jesus, so what we don’t know doesn’t matter. We live another day and discover what happens; that is all we can do; it's how God wants us to live.

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Jm 1,2-6

(126f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> Terms of peace

Jm 1,2-5

(32i) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> Father honors His word in you

(79f) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind through prayer

(121a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with your way of life >> Content in any circumstance -- These verses go with verse 9

(249g) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> God’s perception of wealth >> Our hope in this life -- These verses go with verse 12

Jm 1,2-4

(5c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Disciples finish the course -- These verses go with verse 12

(39f) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Victory >> He overcame every circumstance -- These verses go with verse 12

(91e) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Purpose (of God’s calling) >> God has a reason for the things that happen to us -- These verses go with verse 12

(93n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on the circumstances of this life -- These verses go with verse 12

(99h) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring circumstances >> Endure temptation

(114f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Receiving a revelation from God through obedience -- These verses go with verses 21&22

(129e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Bear fruit by dying to self

Jm 1-2,3

(106l) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Purpose of hearing from God >> To protect your faith

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Jm 1-3

(97i) Endurance (Key verse) – Here is an illustration of endurance: once there were two row-boats with two rowers. Each boat had a hole in the bottom, but the holes were different sizes. God commanded them to stay afloat by bailing out the water. One frequently took rests, leisurely going back to bailing out his boat, while the other with the bigger hole could not keep up with the inflow of water, and eventually sank. There in his helplessness he persevered in his futile attempts to bail out the water. Finally, God miraculously raised the boat from the bottom of the lake and plugged the hole, while the rower removed every drop of water so that the boat was dry. The other rower, however, fell asleep and awoke with water up to his arm pits. He frantically scooped at the water, but didn't have time or strength to bail out his boat, so it sank. Endurance never quits or considers the circumstances; it only remembers what God said and does it, having confidence in His character that He who promised is faithful. Endurance invokes the power of God to help us step beyond ourselves, past our human nature and frailties into a spiritual ability to live for God. See also: Endurance; Jm 1-4; 44g

Jm 1-4,5

(112a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Wisdom of the spirit

(227h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> He gives us what we give to each other

Jm 1-4

(43k) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in weakness -- This verse goes with verse 12. What does it mean to be perfect? We can have tremendous spiritual gifts and also have an angry temper, and James says we are imperfect. Therefore, we can define perfection as being of a homogeneous state, or responding to only one nature, the divine nature that God has given us in the Holy Spirit. The imperfections of our flesh, if we allow them to manifest, will destroy the work of God in our lives and in the lives of others. We will become an offense to those we are trying to help, and they will no longer receive our ministry and possibly turn off to Christianity altogether. 

(44g) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Complete >> Lacking in nothing – The result of endurance is to be perfect and complete. These two attributes act like left and right hand, while endurance and perseverance act as left and right foot. “Endurance” is an effort to remain motionless in the face of temptation to sin, while “perseverance” is an effort to remain in motion when tempted to abandon the purpose of God. The absence of one cancels the other. When we are tempted to do evil, the best thing to do is nothing. If we can avoid the evil that knocks on our door, we can continue persevering in the goals He has set for us, but if we fall to temptation, it puts a halt to our perseverance. Often we must stop what we are doing and tend to the obstacles that are hindering us. There are many obstacles in the way of the Christian who is striving to accomplish the divine will of God. What we need to understand is that overcoming our trials is just as important as accomplishing His goals. Overcoming hindrances is one aspect of our spiritual goals, so when these forces come to test us, we should not consider them negative but part of the work that God has given us to do. See also: Endurance; Jm 1-5,6; 89h

(206a) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to living in the spirit >> Conditions to partaking in the spirit

(233b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seeking the goals of the kingdom >> Seek the goal of freedom – Self-determined spiritual goals are nothing more than religious inclinations. In contrast, a genuine spiritual goal originates from heaven, from whence God leads the faithful, strengthens the weak, establishes unity in the Church and promotes the Kingdom of God in the world. Spiritual goals that come from God are divine and when accomplished produce divine fruit.

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Jm 1,5-16

(23e) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Poor are those who are rich in their own minds – These verses go with verses 22-26

Jm 1,5-11

(22a) Sin >> Greed tries to satisfy man’s need for security >> The deception of greed

Jm 1,5-8

(51h) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> No partiality among us with God

(83a) Thy kingdom come >> Receiving from God through prayer >> Prayer of faith – When we ask for wisdom, we must ask with all confidence, but the person who asks for wisdom and acts like a fool makes the observer wonder whether the wisdom he cannot see is real or whether the foolishness he can see is real. James answered with this: whatever manifests is real. If we joyfully endure our trials, it proves we possess the wisdom of God, for our works are proof of possession. See also: Wisdom; Jm 1-5,6; 89h

(114e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Obeying the revelation from heaven >> Obeying the revelation by putting away the flesh

(186d) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> The fool >> The fool throws Jesus away for something better >> The world betrayed the Lord

Jm 1-5,6

(89h) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom of the Spirit – Wisdom helps us see our problems from a distance, the further back we step, the smaller they appear. Why do we need wisdom? Remember in verse 2 he said “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” We need wisdom to joyfully endure our trials. What does the wisdom of God promise that will help us joyfully endure our trials? “Wisdom” calls up an image of an old man with a long white beard. This is an accurate depiction of wisdom, for the older we get the more wisdom most of us accumulate. This has to do with perspective; the longer we live, the further back we can step from our problems and more accurately we can assess them. See also: Endurance; Jm 1-12; 100a / Wisdom; Jm 1,2-9; 8j

(100i) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in protecting your heart from greed -- These verses go with verse 9

Jm 1-5

(34g) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> He is generous with His spiritual blessings

(36f) Gift of God >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> The gift of wisdom

(175l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Lack of knowledge

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Jm 1,6-11

(79e) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> If you don’t, you won’t know truth

(170d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Greed and lust are the glory of man >> Earthly riches are the glory of man – Most rich people will never see heaven, because they are looking for it in this life, but the closest he will ever get to it is the distinction between himself and the poor man. God would say to him, ‘Since your heaven is about excluding the poor man, I will also excluded you from my heaven that I reserved for the lowly and contrite of heart.’ See also: Rich man; Jm 1,9-11; 96m

Jm 1,6-10

(97i) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Giving attention to the wrong things – The problem with so many of us: we pay attention to the wrong things. Man’s list of needs is long: food, shelter, sleep... just to name a few, and we work hard to meet them. We look to the world for the things we need, and the world is also the cause of our needs. Christians ask God for help with their needs, being incorporated in the Lord’s prayer, for we want to honor God for the things we have and use to live. We ask God for them so we can see the connection between Him and the things we have received. Thanks to God we live in a world where things grow and live and bloom and fill our lives with all good things to eat and enjoy. These are gifts from God, and so we ask the Lord to “give us this day our daily bread,” understanding that these things are from His hand.

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Jm 1,6-8

(11a) Servant >> Standard for a servant >> A changed lifestyle – Doubt would obey God if it could get some questions answered, but the problem with doubt is that those questions never end. Doubt overrules the evidence of faith, being the limiting factor of faith. We all live in varying levels of doubt as the ceiling of our faith. Fortunately, if Jesus could heal the deaf and blind from birth, then He can also heal our doubts.

(20h) Sin >> Doubt replaces faith – When sin mixes with faith, it creates a gray area, being neither black nor white, defined as “doubt”. Sin causes us to doubt that we believe, and then it causes us to doubt what we believe. Sin leads to doubt and doubt leads to unbelief, and unbelief does not know how to obey God. The gray area is always difficult to manage, requiring us to make allowances for our behavior, reducing our faith to a set of doctrines that we claim to believe. When we compare this belief system to the Bible, we find no similarities, yet every Christian sins. Sometimes our circumstances are so severe that we can’t help but sin, and God helps us through our troubled times. It is always the chronic circumstances that cause us to sin when we get tired of them; then we seek change in our lives and invite a different set of problems to replace our old ones, but we soon tire of them too. The only real answer is endurance. We must keep our ear open for the Holy Spirit, who wants to tell us things about ourselves and about our circumstances and give us a better and more accurate perspective about our lives.

(24d) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Pursuit of happiness creates anxiety

(56a) Paradox >> Lose by gaining >> Gain your idea of wealth to lose God’s wealth -- These verses go with verses 10&11

(121g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expectation >> Expecting good things based on God’s character >> Expectation based on His word

(159g) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Wealth is a form of counterfeit godliness -- These verses go with verses 10&11

(162a) Works of the devil >> Carried away by the storms of the devil

(162d) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> A slave to unbelief >> Bondage to an unwillingness to believe (deception) – There are no controlled variables in the Christian who doubts, for doubt is the beginning of unbelief. Did doubting Thomas believe? He believed in Jesus until He was crucified; then, 'Unless I see Jesus alive with nail holes in His hands and feet, I simply will not believe.' As with doubting Thomas, James also needed to see our faith before he would believe that we believed. His attitude was that since faith becomes visible when it manifests, how can he know we believe unless we demonstrate our faith? The one who walks in unbelief has no concept of the truth; he has no compass, and his boat is always pointing in the wrong direction. For the person in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean in a vicious storm with no land in sight, there is no north; nor is there right or wrong or even truth. A person like this, if he did receive anything from the Lord, wouldn’t know what to do with it.

(167h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind does not receive the things of God >> It does not believe the word of God -- These verses go with verses 22-24

(169c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blinded by Satan’s thoughts >> Blinded by a false sense of sight

(174i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Form of a servant but denying God your loyalty

(203b) Denying Christ >> Dishonor God >> Dishonor God by your unbelief – The world lives in willful ignorance of God, willfully denying His existence, having devised elaborate theories that we emerged from the primordial soup, claiming that the universe made itself after the big bang, eliminating the need for a creator, and these ideas plant doubts in our minds. Our lack of sustenance says that since we have unmet needs, how could there be a God, and how could He love us if we are suffering? God says we are missing the point. He is not here to cater to our every whim; rather, we live in a fallen world of our own making. This is the hand we were dealt, so we are to deal with it. God expects us to rise to the occasion of this life and accomplish the things that are required of us, and that takes fortitude and a little faith in Him. If we did what He commanded us and lived the way He showed us, we would avoid most pitfalls of this life. Often when a person puts himself in a position where he really needs God’s help, he put himself there with his own disobedience. How are we supposed to develop faith to resolve our problems if we got here from a lack of faith? God’s proof of character, strength and ability is always right in front of us, and repentances is always available, and the Bible tells us of His love and willingness to help. He acknowledges that we are fallen creatures and He doesn’t condemn us for it, but He despises our unbelief and resents our doubts.

(222e) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> God does not entrust his treasures to dogs >> If you are unfaithful, God won’t bother with you

(232d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> If Jesus cost too much, then you aren’t worth much

(241e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Ask but don’t receive because of unbelief – There are dark times when we need to ask God for help, and this is the case when James said we must ask in faith without any doubting. Why is it so wrong to doubt or to have turbulent times when we feel driven by outside forces and tossed against the rocks by strong winds? Why do we need to be anchored before we can ask God for the things we need? Speaking to God about our needs without faith is an insult to Him, suggesting how much evidence God has already given us, proving His greatness and character. He created the entire universe, and with the Hubble Telescope we can look into deep space and see his handiwork, hundreds of millions of galaxies, each with billions of stars. Our own galaxy is profound and the earth itself is an incredible specimen of His handiwork. It acts like a living organism, running by a cause-and-effect system, just like our own bodies that also came from the earth. We have all this proof of God and evidence of His creativity, leaving no room for doubt. He demands our reverence in that He has already proven Himself by His creation and by His word.

Jm 1-6

(159j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit anointing >> Drunkenness >> The alcoholic

(191c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven of hypocrisy -- This verse goes with verse 21. We know that doubt is a human trait, brought on by weakness, fear and a lack of experience with God. When we think of the apostles who turned the world upside-down for Jesus, they had no doubts, because they had experienced God in human flesh for three years. On the one hand, we who had never seen Jesus in the flesh are open to doubt; and on the other, the fact that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us opens the door to experience God. We may not hear an audible voice or see or touch His form, yet we have a small, still voice speaking in our heart, and He directs our path in the ways of God. Add that to the mix and we see the advantage of the apostles significantly reduced. Jesus said in Jn 16-7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the Counselor won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit has a better ministry with us than Jesus had in the flesh, because the Holy Spirit can be everywhere and in everyone at the same time. So now where is room for doubt? Who are these people who doubt, who don’t even have enough faith to pray, yet expect God to answer them? They oppose God; they are His persecutors, especially those who follow their doubts into unbelief. If we choose to abandon our faith, it leads to a reprobate mind from which we cannot repent. Doubt is a contagion; we see people doubting in the Church and it raises questions: why do I believe? What if I’m wrong? What if God is wrong? What if the Bible is wrong? What if I’m not a Christian? What if I’m only fooling myself? What if I’m wasting my time believing in Jesus? Meanwhile, everything we see came from God, so we know He exists. There is no other explanation for life and the universe that is worth our time. We know that no religion explains God better than the Bible. It is an indisputable fact that Jesus walked the earth; not even His critics try to deny that. It is well documented that He was crucified. However, that is where all the evidence stops, because Jesus refused to show Himself alive to His enemies after His resurrection. He accommodated His critics and gave them room to doubt, while He showed Himself to his friends and gave them reason to believe. We have the people’s writings who walked with Him, testifying that He rose from the dead, that He is now seated at the right-hand of the Father and is interceding for us. We can go from casually observing God’s creation, even recognizing our own existence, to believing in Jesus, using these things as evidence of God, starting there and ending with the grace of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Jesus shed His blood for mankind that we might believe in Him for eternal life.

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Jm 1-8

(195e) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> Being double minded

Jm 1,9-11

(77g) Thy kingdom come >> Humility >> Refusing the glory of man >> Rejecting their admiration

(94b) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on wealth in this life

(96m) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about sin >> Having an attitude of greed – The world sees us being of humble circumstances, whereas God sees us as exalted, and James says that though the world has a negative view of us, we are to maintain God’s attitude in receiving His offer of eternal life in paradise with a level of authority that no human on earth has ever known. It is a paradox for the rich man to glory in his humiliation. He thinks he lives a glorious life, but God sees it as shameful humiliation, and in the end God’s view will stand. Man’s glory fades like fields of flowers withering in the noonday sun; this is what a very small amount of time will do to every person. Young people have their whole life in front of them; then they blink, and suddenly they’re old; their flesh has faded and the beauty of their appearance is destroyed, and everything they possess will be taken from them, and they will die and be forgotten as though they never existed, and the world will continue without them, until it too passes away. So this life is not to be pursued but invested in the life to come. There is no hope to grasp in this life, for it all slips from the hand and decays into dust and blows away with a scorching wind. Our only real hope is to throw our lives on the mercies of God and be delivered from death and from this world in all its attitudes and values, and take on the attributes of Christ and walk in His light, and He will lead us to his heavenly kingdom, where death cannot go. See also: Rich man; 171l

(171l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Outward appearance of circumstances – There is a contrast between the elementary principles of the world and the kingdom principles of Christ. James said that Christianity was made for the poor in spirit, rarely successful by the world’s standards, who believe in Jesus and God has accepted them, because they have a sincere faith, and though they may not have a high position in this world, they are to glory in Christ, but the rich man is to glory in his shame. We know that there are some saved rich people, but James informs us that their numbers are few who make it to heaven, who are rich according to the world's standard, for the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God are in opposition to each other. They will never agree, otherwise there would be no need for Christ to have saved us. See also: Rich man; Jm 1-9,10; 77h

Jm 1-9,10

(77c) Humility (Key verse)

(77h) Thy kingdom come >> Tapping into the power of God through humility >> The high position of a humble servant – We can be a nobody and glory in our high position, knowing the Lord and knowing the truth and His ways and priorities. Although we may be of humble circumstances, we are not low in God’s eyes. If we worship Him in Spirit and truth, He will exalt us in our low position to ministry and service in this life and to dignity and honor in the life to come, because we are willing to live humbly before Him in the place we were given in this life. Then there is the rich man who thinks he has it all, but has nothing in view of eternity, who has the world by the tail, but not for long. Without faith in Jesus all things come to an end, and when the unbelieving rich man dies, suddenly he will find himself in hell, who forgot to acknowledge God in his life. See also: Rich man; Jm 1-9; 121a

Jm 1-9

(56c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Humble yourself to be chosen of God

(56m) Paradox >> Opposites >> The poor in spirit are rich in faith

(100i) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in protecting your heart from greed -- This verse goes with verses 5&6

(121a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with your way of life >> Content in any circumstance -- This verse goes with verses 2-5. The Bible teaches that with a little we shall be content. Paul addressed contentment, saying that it is more valuable than money. Contentment can make a man wealthy who has very little, in that it lowers the threshold of making ends meet, requiring less money to live, yet having everything he needs, plus having time and energy to serve the Lord. This is the will of God in contrast to the person who thinks money is his answer. The Bible promises that time will steal a man’s earthly treasures and possibly give it to a fool (Proverbs 23-5; Ecclesiastes 2-18,19). Earthly wealth will fail the person who pursues it, and he will fade into obscurity to be remembered no more. There were rulers from the Greek and Roman empires whose name we still remember, yet eventually they too will all be forgotten. For this reason it is important to accumulate treasures in heaven, “where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal” (Mat 6,19-21). In heaven we will never be forgotten and we will live forever, and we will continue making memories and friends without any need for money, and we will never fade away. See also: Rich man; Jm 1-10,11; 24c

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Jm 1-10,11

(23d) Poverty (Key verse)

(24c) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing spiritual territory – In the same way that the rich man fears losing his wealth, so the Christian ought to fear losing his faith. We may have achieved spiritual goals, but that doesn’t give us permanent status, anymore than a football team after it has gained thirty yards is guaranteed to keep it. For this reason the Church should strive all the more not just to pursue the things of God, but to keep the ground that we have won and not give way to the forces that seek to steal our prize (Rev 3-11). For example, if the rich man has gained his wealth by the stock market, the next day it can plummet and he can lose half of everything he has gained, or else he can be sued, or a bill can land on his desk that he didn’t expect. All number of snares can befall the rich man’s money; so it is with faith; there are many forces against us. We can find a good paying job that takes away all our time and energy we could have spent serving the Lord. The more wealth we achieve, the more we want to spend, making the only result a higher standard of living. If that is our goal in life, then we have already failed as Christians. See also: Rich man; 40m

(40m) Judgment >> God is glorified >> God defends His righteous ones through judgment – God’s judgment on the wealthy man is the simple fact that his glory is temporary. The vast majority of wealthy people are very ambitious, and that is commendable in view of the alternative, since we know what the Bible says about laziness, so we think God would show a little respect for motivated people whose life’s goal is to stockpile wealth and riches. The book of Proverbs commends the industrious man over the sloth, and the book of Ecclesiastes commends the person who enjoys his work. Nevertheless, we must see the rich man’s ambition as misappropriated, for God’s complaint against him is not his ambition but that his focus is only on gaining more money. To the productive rich man God says, “You fool,” according to Jesus’ parable in Lk 12,16-21. At the moment of His death He said, “This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” Ecclesiastes 2,18-21 brings up the same point that if the rich man has a fool for a son, all his wealth will be wasted on him, saying that it is vanity and a great evil. See also: Rich man; 56a

(56a) Paradox >> Lose by gaining >> Gain your idea of wealth to lose God’s wealth -- These verses go with verses 6-8. Rich people have man’s approval, but James gives it perspective. When the rich man’s life is over, reality sets in, and then he will receive God’s perspective resembling withering grass when its flower is consumed by a scorching wind. One day he will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and give an account of himself to God, and then all the rich man’s priorities will prove meaningless. He will look back recalling his fortunes and how big it made him feel compared to his fellow man who had less, but where did it get him? There is no world prepared for him, but the brother of humble circumstances is living by a different set of principles, who mirrors the Kingdom of God, and for this reason God has prepared a place for him where he will fit into his new heavenly family, but the rich man is cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. See also: Rich man; 57a

(57a) Paradox >> Opposites >> The rich are poor – The greatest enemy of the rich man is not competitors or thieves, but time, the clock on the wall that goes tick, tock. One day the secondhand will move in position when the rich man breathes his last. If he had not dedicated his life to faith in Jesus for the hope of eternal life, then everything he gained will be taken from him, and he will awake in hell (Lk 16,19-31). Jesus said about him, “…for I am in agony in this flame.” He has no future and no hope; all his wealth and riches are gone. The Bible teaches that wealthy people are least likely of all to see heaven. Wealthy Christians do exist, but the Bible teaches that they are an enigma. In fact, the Bible teaches that if he were truly committed to his faith, he would give his money to the poor (though throwing money at poverty fixes nothing). A rich Christian should see no need for all his money and his conscience should bother him about all the people suffering around him, and so it would actually be better for him to liquidate his assets and donate it all to charity to appease his conscience, so when he saw the poor man, the only thing he could offer him is Jesus, which is all the poor man really needs. The gospel of Christ was made for the poor; they are the most eager to receive it, because they have nothing to lose, whereas the rich man finds it difficult to juggle his faith with his wealth. See also: Rich man; 166i

(60e) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Rich people of the world / Rich people of the Church

(159g) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Wealth is a form of counterfeit godliness -- These verses go with verses 13-16

(163c) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> Being a slave to greed

(166i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The world’s perspective on wealth – James is resetting the priorities that the world has misconstrued. We Christians need to see others and ourselves in light of God’s word. Those who humbly serve the Lord are the greatest people on earth, but those who are the greatest according to the world's criteria are usually rich, and everyone clamors to them. Mankind has always been ready to worship those who have scratched and clawed to the top of the dung pile. When they finally reach the summit, James says, “Let him glory in his humiliation…” Like people who climb Mount Everest, there is nothing up there except a pretty view and a lot of discarded air tanks. The air is too thin to breath, so they bring oxygen with them, and when the tanks are empty, they discard them instead of hauling them down the mountain. They should have climbed the mountain next to it, for that summit isn’t polluted. After the person descends the mountain and is interviewed, they ask him why he did it, and invariably he says it is about the journey, and I suppose the rich man became rich for the same reason, for once he attains his quarry, there is nothing at the top but a lot of discarded people with the life sucked out of them. See also: Rich man; 182k / Analogies (Comparing computers to faith); Heb 6-1,2; 137k

(175c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Wealth gives a false sense of godliness

(182k) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Deceitfulness of riches – The rich man can keep his money and be a Christian, and he doesn’t necessarily have an evil conscience about it. The problem with money, though, is that it has a corrupting effect, influencing people to ignore God and focus instead on the world: carnality, secularism and agnosticism. Through exorbitance, people can afford certain lavish lifestyles, traveling the world on extravagant vacations, frequenting fancy restaurants, hobnobbing with their fellow aristocrats and feeling superior to the lower class, and soon the gospel of Christ becomes a petty concern. The vast majority of rich people will die without Christ and face eternity in hell. James wasn’t trying to devise a cure for that; he was merely citing their probable fate. See also: Rich man; Jm 1,6-11; 170d

(245g) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm is imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of God’s righteous judgment >> Manifestation of God’s justice – Let’s say a man became wealthy very young in life, and he has the world by the tail; he regularly entertains his guests; he has the best of everything: fast car, big house, wife and children, but everyday that passes he gets a little older, and he doesn’t notice until one day he looks in the mirror at an old man. He was thinking of himself as still young and vibrant as he was thirty years ago, and now he’s sixty and getting older. One day he will be 90 and barely able to move from his chair, but he has a lot of money. Finally he dies and they bury him; now what good is all his money, and what good is all the enjoyment that it gave him for the few fleeting years of his useless life? We cannot bottle youth and pleasure, for it lives in the moment only. If we want to live forever in a young, healthy body that will never age with pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16-11), we must sacrifice this life. Temporary pleasure is no pleasure at all, but the promise of eternal happiness has meaning, because then we will be able to enjoy the moment forever. In this life everything is temporary, but eternal life with Christ is a goal worth pursuing. See also; Mirror; Jm 1,21-25; 191c

Jm 1-10

(178c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the facts about the circumstances >> Presumption interprets our observations

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Jm 1-12

(5c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Disciples finish the course -- This verse goes with verses 2-4

(5j) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your strength through endurance -- This verse goes with verses 2-8

(32i) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> Father honors

(39f) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Victory >> He overcame every circumstance -- This verse goes with verses 2-4

(43k) Judgment >> Satan destroyed in the absence of sin >> Perfected in weakness -- This verse goes with verse 4. Not every Christian achieves the Crown of Life, or James wouldn't have mentioned it. Before we can receive this honor, God must first approve us, and He is a God of perfection; therefore, obtaining His approval comes by way of determination. Many worldly people accomplish great things, but their motivation is not to achieve God’s approval but man’s. In contrast, Christians are called to sacrifice their lives for the sake of others that God’s kingdom may advance in the world. To receive approval from God is our most valuable possession, for what greater achievement is there beyond that? The world continually seeks approval from their fellow man, but the true disciple of Jesus seeks approval from God, and their prospect is sought using a completely different set of values. God is outside this natural universe, so to seek approval from Him is to separate ourselves from all that is natural and worldly. Many think they are approved of God just because they believe in Jesus and their sins are forgiven, but if their faith does not lead them to persevere under trial, though they have faith to be saved, they will not receive the crown of life.

(44c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> Fulfill the requirements

(71l) Authority >> Ordained by God >> We are ordained through obedience

(91e) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Purpose (of God’s calling) >> God has a reason for the things that happen to us -- This verse goes with verses 2-4. The answer to the age-old question: ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ may have this verse in mind, but James' answer is insufficient for most people because they are interested only in this life. Much as we don’t like hardship and difficulty, they come to us, often in spades, and sometimes they bring great sadness, and we wonder why God allows them. However, without problems God could not award us this crown, because He gives it only to those who persevere under trial. The honor of this crown is meant for this life too, though it is not immediately apparent. We will literally wear a crown in heaven, but in this life we wear it on our countenance as the anointing. People can dismiss the anointing, but not as easily when we open our mouth and allow the life-giving word of God to richly flow from us. See also: God allows suffering and evil to test us; 1Pet 2,18-25; 5j

(93n) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on the circumstances of this life -- This verse goes with verses 2-4

(96a) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude about suffering >> Suffering under the hand of men -- This verse goes with verses 1-8

(100a) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance (Working to keep in motion) >> Persevere in tribulation – In verses 2-8 James talks about enduring our trials, but in this verse he talks about perseverance, which is quite different. To endure our trials is to strive to remain motionless, not allowing our flesh to react, such as during times of temptation, we try not to move on impulse, but perseverance is just the opposite; it strives to keep in motion, doing the work of the Lord. As we fulfill our ministry, our trials and difficulties get in the way. Therefore, the one who finishes the course and keeps the faith to the end will receive the crown of life. See also: Endurance; 233j

(111a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit sets you apart by the word >> Set apart through repentance

(111k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >>

(113n) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Our weakness proves it is the power of God

(116f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through hardship

(165j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> Troubles of this life

(189g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Martyr >> Martyrs witness to the life of God

(205e) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> According to promise >> Promise of eternal life

(226b) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> God crowns us with glory for sharing our rewards >> The reward of a crown – How ironic is it that dying to self holds promise to the crown of life? It suggests that we die in order to live! Paul said in Gal 5-24, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Death by starvation most typifies this spiritual process that God has called us to impose on our sinful nature that resides in our flesh. A person can live a month without food, but what makes it worse is that it never really dies, but goes into a torpid state, so throughout our lives if we feed it sin, like a zombie our flesh will awaken from its hibernation to wreak havoc on the countryside until we place the lid on it again. If we die daily to the sinful passions of our emotions and to our selfish interests and desires of our flesh, James says we will receive a crown of life.

(227e) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards endurance >> Keeping our rewards through endurance

(233j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the glory of God >> Seek His glory without wavering >> Seek His glory through perseverance -- This verse goes with verses 1-5. James didn’t say, ‘blessed is the man who is beset with trials and difficulties;’ he said, “blessed is the man who perseveres under” them. Also note that he used the word “persevere” and not endure. Endurance refers to remaining motionless in times of distress when we want to run, whereas perseverance refers to remaining in motion when difficulties threaten to stop us from doing the Lord's work. When these forces come against us, the crown of life dictates that we persevere, and those who don’t are never sure of their salvation, for their lack of perseverance opens the door to nagging doubts. Both endurance and perseverance prove that we belong to God, who has called us to be like Him, for Jesus had these qualities too. If a person's perseverance fails under trial, there is no point in them having an anointing, since they won’t use it for God's purposes, but those who are determined to finish the course and see His work finished will receive an anointing that they will use to accomplish His will. See also: Endurance; Jm 1,2-9; 99a

(236g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your treasures into the kingdom >> Invest your flesh – James is admonishing us to invest our flesh in the Kingdom of God. Paul said in Eph 5-29, “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” If possible we pad our lives with comfort and happiness, because our flesh is very important to us; our bodies are our greatest gift in this life, though it is also home of the sinful nature. In fact, Romans chapter seven used the word “flesh” to mean the material of the sinful nature, meaning that we must subject our flesh to doing God’s will or it will sabotage all our efforts to please Him. James gives us a promise and says, ‘Blessed is the man who does this.’

(249g) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> God’s perception of wealth >> Our hope in this life -- This verse goes with verses 21&22

(254c) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is the life of the Spirit >> We live because He is life >> We live because we died with Him

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Jm 1,13-16

(26a) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death >> Dead to God through sin – Death is defined as “separation from God.” Lust produces sin, and sin casts a shadow on us, and whatever is not in the light is dead, for sin always takes and never gives.

(159g) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Wealth is a form of counterfeit godliness -- These verses go with verse 26

(160g) Temptation (Key verse)

(161n) Works of the devil >> Carried away by lust

(162h) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Addicted to sin >> Being a slave to the nature of sin

(167a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind is set on the flesh >> Lust of the fleshly mind – There are some Christians who have just as many problems with sin as worldly people, so what can we say about that? If we meditate on sin, we will sin, saved or not. Since the flesh always tries to lead us into sin, the question is, “How do we stop paying attention to our flesh?” It goes back to the grace of God, who bestows His anointing, and our job is to manifest it through obedience, which snuffs out sin that seeks to dominate our lives, and ultimately destroy us.

(181j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Deceitfulness of sin – God will eventually demand that we hand over our sins, and if we refuse, it is a form of blasphemy, and now we are walking down a dark ally, risking our faith and our eternal future, making deals with ourselves and with the devil, trading our faith for sin without letting our left lobe know what our right lobe is thinking. These spiritual calisthenics are real to God (remember Jacob and Esau); He takes them very seriously. Although we don’t allow our mind to know what we are thinking, we made a conscious decision to hide such things from ourselves in the first place. God wants to bring our thinking process into the light and show us what we have hidden from our conscience and then demands that we renounce them. Once all things are open and in the light we can make better choices, but we must admit that darkness is a part of every person’s life.

Jm 1,13-15

(160k) Works of the devil >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to pursue your addictions

(184a) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Darkness >> Hiding behind your own imagination >> Hiding behind a false partition

(204a) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Dying in sin

(218f) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Reaping the harvest >> We choose our actions, not their consequences >> wages of sin is death

Jm 1-13

(17d) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Accusing God and others of sin – It is a common error to think God tempts us, as though He were responsible for all our faults. People like to blame God for everything, drawing from the deep, philosophical questions about His willingness to allow suffering and evil. Those willing to open this can of worms are quick to judge God, blaming Him for all their problems. On the contrary, they cause their own problems and get ensnared in their own lust. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they look for somebody to blame, and God is a convenient fall-guy when no one else is available.

(64e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Limits of God >> God cannot sin

(75e) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Questioning God’s judgment

(94p) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> False perspective in the Church

(96f) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude toward the Father -- This verse goes with verse 17. God is not tempted by evil, and He doesn’t tempt anyone to do evil. Salvation and faith in God, when broken into their essential parts, faith that gets us into heaven simply stated is this: we believe God is a good person. The Bible is very thick, and its pages are very thin, and so the Bible has a lot to say about God, yet to summarize, Jesus represented the fact that He came to explain the Father, being the exact representation of His nature, having never committed a sin, and His message was about love. Therefore, we conclude that God is a good person. Those who come to a different conclusion are not looking to Jesus and therefore don’t know God. Rather, they are being demonically led astray in their own thinking by a world of evil where Satan dwells, who railroads the naďve and unsuspecting into thoughts of evil about God in the same way that he thinks. Heb 11-6 says, “He who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.” For God to reward those for seeking Him is an indication of being a good person. The devil doesn’t reward those who seek him, except with evil and darkness, which plunges them into ruin and destruction. Satan therefore is the opposite of God, proving that God is good. It isn’t hard to believe that God is a good person; how could he create an infinite universe so intricate and sophisticated? If He were evil, His wickedness would corrode His creative ability so that He could not do the things He did. All we need do is look around and see God’s inventiveness and artistic flare to know that God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone to do evil.

(177k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the will of God >> Man’s knowledge of God is based on presumption -- This verse goes with verse 26

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Jm 1,14-16

(22g) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Fleshly mind – If we give attention to our temptations, it will turn into lust, and acting on it will manifest into sin. If we pay attention to our temptations, the struggle to avoid sinning has become a near impossibility, and like medusa the sin that results will turn our heart to stone. James said that if we let temptation turn to lust, we have already lost the battle. All that is left is for sin to finish its course, like an egg that has been fertilized. We know our needs, but lust thinks it has needs too. People are often tormented by lust; it promises pleasure, and it doesn’t ask nicely but demands and harasses us like a spoiled child, until we give it what it wants. God can take our evil desires from us, but we must work with Him in our pursuit of freedom. If we really want to overcome our temptations, God will deliver us as many times as it takes, but He knows when our heart is not with Him.

Jm 1,14-15

(74j) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> Sin is conceived in the heart

(78o) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Putting your heart on display >> Consequence of not renewing your mind

(96k) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about sin >> Being willing to practice sin

Jm 1-15,16

(134b) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Mediator between the natural and the spiritual realms >> Manifesting the kingdom of darkness through disobedience

Jm 1-15

(48h) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your type of sin

Jm 1-17

(30b) Gift of God >> God is our source >> His creative ability supplies our needs

(36d) Gift of God >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> All good things are gifts from God – Don’t let anyone fool you; all good things come from God. Many pleasures come from His hand, but sin does not come from Him, and we know that in hell there is no good thing. Hell is defined as the total absence of God. He appears absent from this world, but there are many good things about this life, such as a cold glass of water, a perfect summer day with cottony clouds overhead passing through a deep blue sky, and there are many other examples that all act as proof that God is not totally removed from the earth, but in hell no aspect of His presence can be found. Hell is a spiritual place that God has completely deserted, and once God creates the new heavens and the new earth, it will become a physical place, having no aspect of Himself in it, which is why it is called hell. Now we know a little more about the scope of which James was referring when he said “all good things.” He meant literally everything that has a semblance of goodness and nobility.

(43g) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Perfect (mature) >> Flawless -- This verse goes with verse 25

(96f) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude toward the Father -- This verse goes with verse 13

(112c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus’ light overcomes darkness >> The light of His truth

(205a) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> According to promise >> God never changes

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Jm 1-18

(107a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word creates faith >> Receiving unction from God – The First Century Church were the first fruits of His creatures, and God has been building on that foundation ever since, and throughout the age of grace many converts have been made.

(110g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Born of the Spirit by the truth >> Conceived by the Spirit of truth

(212c) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> He is the creator >> The creation glorifies God >> All things originated from God – We are the first fruits of His creatures. There are a couple ways to interpret this. James was talking about himself and his fellow believers in the first century being the first fruits of His kingdom, and we are those who came after them. Another way to interpret this is that every member of the Church from the first century to the last, whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life are all first fruits of His kingdom, suggesting that there will be others who will come after us, a people that God will create in our image. God is not done creating things; He will never be done; that is what He does. The next creatures that He will make will be like us in every respect, except one; they won’t know sin, and for that reason God has created us to lead them into the ways of righteousness; and if they make a mistake, they won't be sinning. If God tried to lead them and they rebelled, that would be sin, a repeat-performance of Adam and Eve. They will be happy to obey us, for God will not test them as He has tested us, because we will live with Him in heaven, whereas they will live throughout the universe. There won’t be Satan to tempt them, and they will have no proclivity for rebellion; rather, their bodies and minds will have an affinity for what is good and right, yet they will make mistakes, and we will correct them. It is all about freedom; God does not make robots. See also: New heavens and a new earth (God will create a new race of man and put us in charge of them); Rev 21-25; 119l

(219a) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> Man is a spectator of his own salvation >> God elects us through His sovereign will

(229d) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows according to the will of God

(238a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the will of God >> Born again by the will of the Father -- This verse goes with verse 21

(238f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> New creation >> The new creation is our spiritual composition

(248b) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God >> God exercises His will – Eph 2-6,7 says that God has, “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” We are creatures, created by God, and we will never rise above that. Great as God has made us, He will forever remain infinitely greater. He may have given us a seat on His throne, yet this place is a result of His grace, mercy and generosity; we didn’t earn it. He made us like Him by making Himself like us, as 2Cor 8-9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” Jesus showed us the way to God, which is the way to our own humanity, the way of humility, and this is how we will always be with God. Our place with Him will forever be one of submission. Jesus will forever remain under the authority of His Father, so He will always be our example in relating to God. Again it is written, “When all things are subjected to [the Father], then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all” (1Cor 15-28). See also: God is human (He made us in His image); 1Jn 2-13,14; 244b

(250h) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> The first is a precondition for what comes after it (Cause and effect)

Jm 1,19-27

(87a) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word from the heart >> God blesses us for doing His word, not for knowing it

Jm 1-19,20

(24j) Anger (Key verse)

(24l) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Unrighteous anger – Our flesh thinks anger can achieve the righteousness of God. We say things, throw things and hit things, feelings get hurt, and it all works against us. It’s always an ugly scene, but it doesn’t deter our flesh from believing that our anger can solve problems. It is possible to channel our anger in ways that can in fact solve problems through determination, but James is not addressing that kind of anger, but anger out of control, anger that controls us. This kind never achieves anything, much less the righteousness of God. Our flesh is very quick to chose anger as a remedy for many situations, but we often fail to remember at the time that there are other alternatives, such as keeping silent and opening our ears and actually listening to people. We must learn to keep our mouth shut, our ears open and our anger behind bars.

Jm 1-19

(85j) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Better not to say anything >> Shut up! – This verse goes with verse 26

Jm 1,21-27

(78c) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity of heart >> Being honest >> Free from inconsistency

Jm 1,21-26 

(100g) Thy kingdom come >> Diligence >> Diligence in studying the Bible

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Jm 1,21-25

(2f) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Keep your commitments in your walk with God – One of the main themes of the book of James, especially in chapter one is that hypocrisy can undo all the good we have done. God would rather we rooted out sin than to perform great deeds of righteousness, since rooting out sin is in fact a great work. No one knows what to think when they see both sin and righteousness coming from the same person. James assumes that a man who is merely a hearer of the word and not a doer will not be blessed in what he does. Contradicting our good works will rob us of the fruit that we expected to enjoy from our labors. Therefore, we should avoid contradicting ourselves and remain true to the Lord, otherwise God cannot bless us in the work we have done in His name. Paul said in 1Cor 9-27, “But I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

(5a) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Disciples chasten themselves

(8m) Responsibility >> Responsible to defend God’s cause >> Laying the foundation of freedom – Take away the boundaries of freedom and freedom disperses, like a pitcher of water poured on the floor. True freedom is found behind the fence of obedience and loyalty to God and behind justice and righteousness. All other versions of freedom: freedom from responsibility, freedom from rules, freedom to walk in the dictates of the flesh, put us behind a fence just as well, but without the added benefit of having favor with God, having a good conscience and enjoying the fruit of our labors.

(96c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude about the word of God

(113c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Heaven’s clothes >> Clothe yourself with good works

(118k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Law of liberty – What is the law of liberty? It is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8-2), who referred to this when He said in Jn 8-32, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The Pharisees complained about this statement, who were followers of Moses, and Jesus told them they were slaves of sin. So, the law of liberty must be different from the Pharisees' law of Moses. The law of liberty is found walking in the Spirit on the trail of good works.

(191c) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Extract the leaven of hypocrisy -- This verse goes with verse 6. James is saying that there is a discrepancy between our perceived self and our real self, reflected in God's word, and the disparity is found between hearing the word and doing it. James encourages us not to lie to ourselves, but to courageously look in God's mirror and let it reveal our warts, pimples and blemishes. Those who are not doers of the word have envisioned themselves one way, until they look in the mirror and are jolted back to reality. Some, though, talk to the mirror and say what Adam Savage made popular, "I reject your reality and substitute my own." The moment we think we see clearly, the more likely have distorted our self-image. Doers of the word stand in the mirror of truth and study the image in front of them as it corresponds with the Scriptures. This is true Christianity according to James. See also; Mirror; Jm 1,22-26; 181h

(229h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Kingdom assumes the mind of Christ >> Kingdom grows into the likeness of Christ

Jm 1-21,22

(97e) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing the direction of the Lord >> Focusing your attention on the word of God – Like Moses, James is speaking directly to our flesh to sit down and shut up. Paul almost never appealed to our flesh, but spoke to our faith to put away our flesh. James goes right to the source of the problem, telling us to drop our fleshly inclinations and pick up God's word and focus on Him instead. We are to keep our perspective in light of eternity, remembering that all things are destined to pass; therefore, our best option is to concentrate on our relationship with God and trust Him with our circumstances.

(114f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Receiving a revelation from God through obedience -- These verses go with verses 2-4

(249g) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> God’s perception of wealth >> Our hope in this life -- These verses go with verse 25

Jm 1-21

(77k) Thy kingdom come >> Being Humble Before God >> Having an attitude of humility

(116l) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Rest in His yoke by dying to self >> Relax as God kills you

(145h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Filthiness >> Deeds of the flesh

(187f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Die to self to know the revelation of God -- This verse goes with verses 2-9

(190e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Undressing >> Take off your sins

(238a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Born again >> Born of the Spirit by the will of God >> Born again by the will of the Father -- This verse goes with verse 18

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Jm 1,22-27

(155ka) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> You will know them by their fruits >> You will know them by their good deeds >> Good works prove our faith – James is going back to the very rudiments of Christianity, saying that the foundation of God’s kingdom is also the pinnacle of His glory. He was saying, ‘Anyone who wants to be a theologian or a great orator behind a pulpit in front of thousands has his reward in full, but if he wants to be great, help “the widows and the orphans in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.’” Dying to the flesh is true Christianity according to James. To be a bigwig in the Church does not guarantee greatness with God. We can be an eloquent speaker and an adulterer, but we cannot remain unstained by the world and be an adulterer. If we are busy helping those who can’t help themselves, it is the first step in being too busy to sin. To think that this was one of the last books to be included in the cannon of authoritative books shows that his message was persecuted from the very beginning, yet no one can deny the truth he disclosed.

Jm 1,22-26

(23e) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Poor are those who are rich in their own minds – These verses go with verses 5-16

(78n) Thy kingdom come >> Putting your heart on display >> The result of a renewed mind

(181h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Imaginary perception of self >> Distorted perception of self – The mirror tells the truth as we are in the natural realm, and Scripture tells the truth as we are in the spiritual realm. We look in the mirror, and then walk away developing a mental image of ourselves, loosely basing it on what we perceived of ourselves. See also; Mirror; Jm 1,22-25; 55b

(196i) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Replacing God’s standard of excellence with yours >> Lukewarm Christianity – The vast majority of Christians today admit they have no clue what God wants them to do, only because they do not have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to them. This does not mean people are barred from heaven just because they don’t know their calling, but if they are not even looking for it, it warrants questioning their salvation. It sends up red flags, suggesting the possibility that the person is only fooling himself into thinking he believes in God. There are many people who believe from the bottom of their hearts that they are Christians, though their lives show very little evidence of faith. We can use the evidence they provide to determine whether they are Christians without offensively judging them. Consequently, the more evidence we can demonstrate, the more confidence we have in our salvation, and the more confidence others have in us too.

Jm 1,22-25

(11f) Servant >> Bible is our standard of truth

(30f) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Favor with God through His word

(42i) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Conform to the mind of Christ

(55b) Paradox >> Ironies >> Forgetting who you are – We look in the mirror and are reminded of our physical appearance, and then we go through the day and come back to the mirror and are reminded again what the world has seen of us. The circumstances of life try to change us, and occasionally we must look in the mirror to see how our countenance is doing, whether we need to comb our hair. What we are looking at is the sum of our past, what years of experiences have done to us and what we have allowed God to do in us, having formed us into the person that appears in the mirror. On a bad day we are pleasantly surprised, like Pig Pen on the classic Charlie Brown Christmas show when he looked in the mirror and said, “On the contrary, I didn’t know I looked that good,” and on good days we are disappointed. Either way, we are reminded how we appear to others, and James uses the mirror analogy to show how we appear to God. See also; Mirror; 94o / Analogies (Sparrows are like people); Mat 10,29-31; 160l

(80b) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word in spiritual warfare >> To deliver yourself from bondage – These verses go with verses 2-8

(94o) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective is your personal reality >> How your location influences you – Salvation is like getting lost in the woods and using a topographical map to correlate with the hills and valleys at our current location. It takes skill to configure ourselves on the map, but once we feel confident that we are not lost, we determine a direction with the compass, but then we put away the map and start aimlessly walking again. We need to use the map to keep in step with our location, or we will get lost again and have to regain our bearings, always being aware of the sun's location in the sky, for the goal is to find camp before nightfall. James wants us to keep the map in our hand and refer to it regularly. Whenever we come across a landmark, a hill or valley, locate it on the map to continually plot our course, so we always know our place on the map. In much the same way we look at our reflection in the mirror and see ourselves in the moment, but then we walk away and imagine ourselves in ways we are not. We go throughout the day thinking about ourselves with a distorted view, and then pass a window and wonder who that bald guy is in the reflection and suddenly realize it is “me”! Throughout the day we imagine our nose as proportional to our face when in fact it’s bulbous. We think our weight as proportional to our height, when in fact we are obtuse. If we think we are saved when we’re not, we should take another look in the Bible, for it judges us by what we do and not by our good intensions. See also; Mirror; Jm 1,23-25; 98e / See also: Analogies (Using a map in the woods); 1Jn 1-9; 194j

(115k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through obedience of faith >> Through diligence

(197a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling Against what God wants you to do >> Refusing to renew your mind

Jm 1,22-24

(167h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind does not receive the things of God >> It does not believe the word of God -- These verses go with verses 6-8

(174j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Form of godliness but denying the truth

Jm 1-22

(4j) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your deeds

(86f) Doers Of The Word (Key verse) – Ironically the Bible defines "Obey" to mean believe and defines "believe" to mean obey

(86f) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Mental ascent (believing a set of facts)

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Jm 1,23-25

(98e) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Rooted deeply >> To keep from falling away – Knowing God, as James said, is like looking at our face in a mirror; the moment we look away we immediately forget our true self. This represents the revelation knowledge that God has given us; it is easily forgotten, because of the opposite forces of the world competing for the mind. If we decide we don’t want to know God anymore, before we know it we have already forgotten the reality of our experiences with Him and remember only the events. If we put down the word of God in pursuit of the world, almost immediately the faith we once had disappears like a ghost. Although we still recall many passages of Scripture, we don’t remember how we once believed, eventually excusing it as a naďve period in our lives when we were beguiled by ethereal and entrancing ideas. Those who fall away from God remember a time when they once believed, but they don't remember the faith itself. See also; Mirror; Jm 1-23,24; 161f

(114d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Obeying the revelation from heaven >> Obeying the revelation of God’s word

(118h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Giving God your attention >> Resolutely focus on the glory of God >> Focus on Jesus

Jm 1-23,24

(161f) Works of the devil >> Wandering >> Wander from the commandments of God – Going back to the subject of perfection, James talks about this a lot; a couple verses later he mentions it again, referring to the tongue, “If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless” (v26). He is saying that if anyone has an inaccurate view of himself, looking into the mirror can be a stark reality check. Most of us go through the day living out our fantasies, but the only person we deceive is self. James is talking to the religious person who doesn’t live according to what he believes. We all have inconsistencies, but a hypocrite is somebody who lives by his mistakes and believes by his religion. James is saying that it is pointless to deceive our own heart; instead, we ought to confront our true identity, which is based on what we say and do. If our life does not coincide with our faith, then we should admit it in the mirror of Scripture and see ourselves as God sees us, and let that become our starting point to becoming a better person, someone who actually lives by what he believes. If we continue fooling ourselves, we will not see the need to change. For example, the alcoholic drinks until he passes-out, and then wakes up and does it all over again, wrecking havoc everywhere he goes, and ruining everybody’s life who loves him, who one-by-one must give-up on him, because they see no hope for change. Meanwhile the alcoholic sees himself totally different. He looks in the mirror and reads what he sees differently than what he says and does. When he reaches the bottom, he finally realizes that something needs to change or he is going to die. That is the day he looks in the mirror and sees his true identity, and that is his beginning point of recovery. He admits that he has a problem. This is what Alcoholics Anonymous teaches and Al-Anon: we must admit our faults before we can change. Having an accurate perception of self can be a scary thing. James is asking us to view ourselves as God sees us; that is scary. No matter how spiritual or mature or how long we have been walking with God, looking into the mirror of Scripture is always scary, in that we often don’t have an accurate perception of self. See also; Mirror; 215k

(215k) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> Working quickly – How long does it take to forget the word of God? James said immediately after we stop reading the Bible we forget and our inconsistencies take-over, meaning that we are more convinced of our self-perceptions than we are of the true image in the mirror. Paul said in Rom 12-3 not to think more highly of ourselves that we ought to think and not to live beyond our faith or hope for things we don’t believe. Instead, we are to look at our faith in the mirror of God’s word and get a sense of reality about ourselves, and live in that reality, not below and not above it, and remain in the word of God so we don’t forget. Too often we are ready to lie to ourselves about the true state of our faith; this does us no good. To feel better about ourselves without becoming a better person is useless. See also; Mirror; Jm 1-24; 60d

Jm 1-24

(60d) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Forgot what kind of person he is in the Spirit / Forgot what the word is creating in his soul – God said, “Let there be light,” and the stars were formed. Although there is no apparent connection between the word of God and the stars sprinkled in the sky, yet one created the other, so they are related. When we look into the word of God, we get excited about His grace and love, and the hope we have in Christ of eternal life. Someday this foolish little life of ours will end and we will be ushered into eternity, and God will give us resurrected bodies that will be indestructible, no more pain or sorrow or death. We like this hope, but there are periods when we don’t read the Bible; months pass, years sometimes. It has the same effect as if months or years had passed since the last time we looked in the mirror; our physical appearance would have changed by then, or at least our self-perception. So also, when we stay away from the Bible for long periods, our fleshly perceptions begin to take over the truth we once believed about God's word. During our leave from the Scriptures, we forgot who we were in Christ; and what is worse, we forgot what God was building in us through the word of God and prayer. The things that God is doing in us is just as great as the universe itself. That may not seem likely, but give it time and God will destroy this present universe and build a new one in its place and put us in charge of it. See also; Mirror; Jm 1-10,11; 245g

(183f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Nursery for the Spirit of error >> Ignorance

Jm 1-25

(43g) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Perfect (mature) >> Flawless -- This verse goes with verse 17

(93a) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Keep yourself on the narrow way

(118l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Spirit delivers you from the desire to sin

(156b) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Loving God is evidence of salvation >> Keeping His commandments

(249g) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> God’s perception of wealth >> Our hope in this life -- This verse goes with verses 2-5

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Jm 1-26,27

(95i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an obedient attitude >> Attitude of a servant

(171a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain religion – James is talking first and foremost to himself, and since my name also is James, I too am talking first and foremost to myself. Later James says it is impossible to tame the tongue (Jm 3-8), and so by that we know there is no hope of achieving any kind of success in becoming perfect in speech; nevertheless, we should seek perfection as a means of appealing to God for a clear conscience as His sons and daughters, who Himself is perfect (Mat 5-48). James in this passage has given us a manner of seeking God, knowing that we will fail him in the words we speak almost every day of our lives. Peter said in 1Pet 4-8 that love covers a multitude of sins (Proverbs 10-12). We cover our sins by visiting widows and orphans in their distress, and we do other good works as a means of appealing to God for a clear conscience, and we keep ourselves unstained by the world as a means of curbing our tongue. If we allow sin to layer upon layer, we will completely lose control of our tongue, and it will ravage our lives, leaving us poor and destitute. We keep ourselves unstained by the world to maintain hope of controlling our tongue through God’s power, and we help the distressed to make up for our shortcomings.

(188a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to self takes discipline – James talks to us in relation to his walk with the Lord in conjunction with what he saw and heard from his big brother.

Jm 1-26

(74i) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> It is deceitful and desperately wicked

(85j) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Better not to say anything >> Shut up! -- This verse goes with verse 19. Ouch!! That really hit home! When we think of the boldness and confidence James had to say this without threat of hypocrisy, it is safe to say there are whole structures missing from my life and from the Church in general that need to be in place. If we strive to incorporate this verse into our lives, it will give us the confidence to seek God the way the early Church did. Everyone says things they shouldn't say; it's so easy; it slips from the mouth often too fast to catch it. If we have trained our tongue to use profanity, then we can train it to use better words. We have the Spirit of God to help us; He will teach us the truth and give us wisdom and empower us to succeed. We can become better people by putting a restraining order on our tongue. If we find this impossible, we concur with James a couple chapters later (Jm 3-8). This is something we can't do on our own and we're waiting for God, but we can be sure He is waiting for us too.

(157h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Deceiving and being deceived >> Being deceived – We are all guilty of sinning with our mouth, but the same writer in the same epistle in chapter three softened the blow and gave us hope, saying, “Nobody can tame the tongue” (Jm 3-8). Hard as we try, we will never come near becoming perfect in speech. It’s just too easy to say the wrong thing. The words come flying from our mouth before we have time to think what we are saying, and James tells us that our words can be just as destructive as the things we do. In fact, it is rare that anyone would sin without involving his speech in some way. Note that self-deception is part of this. James is writing to the person who is convinced that he has reached some level of spiritual maturity, as though he has arrived in some way, but James says not so fast; we will never “arrive” in this life (Jm 3-2). Sin is defined as missing the mark, like the bullseye to the archer. He is convinced that the arrow is pointing directly at the target, so he releases the arrow and misses, and he doesn’t know why, but he has another arrow and misses again, yet nobody thinks anything of it, because everybody misses the mark more often than not. It flies in the woods; he’s lost his arrow, like we cannot take back our words. In a way it is a good thing that we have these problems, because it confirms the Bible that we are sinners. If it weren’t for the tongue we would have cause to doubt the Scriptures, but the tongue proves God right, who calls us sinners (Romans chapter 3). James closes the door on thinking better of ourselves than we should. He didn’t say that we should rely more heavily on the grace of God for forgiveness, rather that we should repent, giving us a life-long assignment. We need to refine our speech and seek perfection, though it is unattainable. Seeking perfection is what makes us perfect in the eyes of God, not that we achieve it but that we crave it. Seeking perfection is perfection itself, but in the life to come God will make us perfect so that we cannot sin. Moreover, Jn 3-9 says that already we cannot sin, because we are born of God. Paul said about the same in Rom 7-17, “So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.” We don’t use this as an excuse to sin, like saying, ‘The devil made me do it;’ rather, we realize that there is something pure and divine dwelling in us, though we are encased in sinful flesh. These epistle writers are talking about the part in us that has been redeemed, our spirit, but our flesh is still free to sin. Therefore, it is our assignment to corral the flesh and make it our slave, like breaking a horse (1Cor 9-27).

(159g) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Wealth is a form of counterfeit godliness -- This verse goes with verses 6-8

(166n) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The carnal mind lacks integrity – This verse hits everybody square in the mouth; nobody is exempt from it. The tongue is so vile that we could almost say it is the seat of the sinful nature (Jm 3-6). If we listen to James’ message, if we haven’t felt convicted, we still haven’t heard it yet, because everybody is guilty of habitually sinning with our spoken words. He is very nice about it, making his razor-sharp scalpel cut even deeper, “beloved brethren”. James continues his tongue lashing in chapter three and told us not to feel overwhelmed by it, because nobody can tame the tongue, though we are called to do what we can to contain it, as an assignment from the Lord that we will never accomplish in this life.

(174e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Justifying yourself

(177k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the will of God >> Man’s knowledge of God is based on presumption -- This verse goes with verse 13

(198d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Men place themselves in positions of authority >> Men who have no business in the ministry

Jm 1-27

(9k) Responsibility >> Strengthen one another >> Tend to the widows – There are many church ministries devoted to both men and women in nursing homes, who are not able to attend the regular church services, so they bring church to them. Believers and non-believers alike attend these services, some of them having never darkened a church door their entire lives, but they attend these services because they are lonely and sad, some looking for hope at the eve of their lives. James said that those who conduct such ministries practice a true religion.

(42h) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Conform to the purity of Christ – Throughout this first chapter, James had been talking about being doers of the word and not merely hearers, giving context to this verse. James said, ‘Do you want true religion? Stop sinning and tend to widows and orphans instead.’ We have the power to glorify God, and we have the power to discredit the gospel. If we glorify God through the gospel, we will be rewarded, so the question is: do we want to be judged or rewarded.

(104g) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see the Father >> God can see us; we are in His sight – Basically, we have two scenarios taking place in the Church today; we either have people who are slow of heart to do the will of God, or we have high-powered preachers who are trying to rev-up the people and turn the gospel into something it's not for his own selfish purposes. James put it in perspective and said that practicing the truth is about helping the poor and destitute, "and to keep oneself unstained by the world." Women and children are always the victims of this world. If they possessed something of value it would be taken from them, and if they have nothing, they are shoved to the side and ignored.

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