Key Verses: James 1:22
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
The book of James is filled with very practical applications of divine principles. The first principle is that of faith! The Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and James, known as the brother of Jesus, were under severe pressure to deny their faith in Jesus. While thousands of Jews were believers, the Roman-appointed Jewish authorities, who instigated the arrest, mock trial, and crucifixion of Jesus, were still in charge of daily life. The Apostles left Jerusalem in order to share the Good News of Jesus with Jewish communities all over the known world. James (not the brother of John) is now Pastor of the Jerusalem Church. Approximately 20 to 30 years have passed since Jesus arose from the grave and His Church was born. Tradition says that Pastor James spent so much time on his knees in prayer that they nicknamed him, “Camel knees.” Camels kneel a lot and develop callouses on their knees.
James would approve of our emphasis on reading God’s Word! He writes of “the implanted Word,” and of being “a hearer of the Word.” He declares that “He who looks into the perfect law of liberty (the Scriptures) and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work [yes it is work], this one will be blessed in what he does!” (James 1:25). In 2:8 James writes, “If you really fulfill the Royal Law according to the Scripture, ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18) you will do well.” He sets a pattern here for Pastors everywhere and at all times in his emphasis on God’s Word! In 2:21-26 the Pastor references two Bible characters, Abraham and Rahab. His point is that “The Word produces faith which produces good “Works,” not a faith without works, but a faith that works.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, please continue to plant the seed of Your Word in me daily, so that I will produce a harvest of good works consistently. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’ve often struggled with the word “Religion” (James 1:27a). That word comes from the same root word as “ligament.” It’s what holds my body together. It’s the practice of ministering to the needs of others and of living a holy life. It definitely does not mean my particular denomination. This past Sunday I found myself singing over and over an old chorus which I had not heard for probably 30 years. It goes something like this…”I know the Lord will make a way for me. I know the Lord will make a way for me. As I live a holy life, shun the wrong and do the right, I know the Lord will make a way for me.” James teaches that our profession of faith is only valid when manifested in practiced faith. As a boy I remember conversations that would include the words “he professes.” I drew the conclusion that, while I may claim to be a believer, my life, my works, keeping “unspotted from the world,” and failing to “bridle my tongue” were proof that professing and possessing the real deal were two very different matters.
Yours for “pure and undefiled religion,” which will bond us together in Christ,