James 1, 2, 3. James is one of my favorites! Surprisingly, we’ll get through it in just 2 days – I don’t know how we’ll do it! This is James, the brother of Jesus. He was an important figure in our history – you might remember him presiding over the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 (wish we had time for a history lesson!) Let’s go bullet-point style again. What’s your highlight? There’s ALOT here – let’s share!
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” James 1:12-15 NKJV
The sin is not feeling temptation – giving in to temptation is the sin. Our response to temptation must be immediate and decisive. Do not allow temptation to become fascination or wonder, do not entertain it.
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” James 1:21
I relate this to Ezekiel 33:32: “Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them”. The implanted word is powerful, able to save your souls – this should be taken seriously, not allowed to become entertainment.
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” James 2:13
Do you remember when Moses refused to go further without the Lord’s presence, even though God offered to send an angel? (Click here for a reminder) Mercy triumphs, amen!