Highlights In Today's Reading:
James is a breath of fresh air! Live out your faith emphasizing that true Christianity is doing what is right in our everyday affairs. Genuineness of faith is realized. Be quick to encourage others that God gives grace to the humble (4:6), wisdom to the ignorant (1:5), salvation to the sinner (1:21), and the Kingdom to them that love Him (2:5).
When James wrote let every man be swift to hear . . . and receive with meekness the engrafted Word (1:19-21), I cannot tell you whether he meant receive with meekness Christ or His Word. They are the same (John 1:1,14). Christ is manifest in His Word and it has the same authority. He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. 1:3).
One great hindrance to hearing the Voice of God in His Word is being preoccupied with our own thoughts. Therefore James cautions: Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak (1: 19). How often someone is talking to us and we are so taken up with our thoughts that we don't hear or consider what they say since we can't wait to say what we want to say. For all practical purposes, we have tuned them out. When we read God's Word, are we swift to hear Him, or do we insult Him in a similar way?
We Americans are an independent lot. We don't take kindly to being ordered to do something. We insist on having things the way we want them and when we want them. But, when the King of kings speaks, we are no longer Americans; we are only insignificant sinners needing His mercy. We have the privilege to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of our Creator God and seriously search His perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein (1:25). There is something irresistible about God's Word. He said: Let there be light (Gen. 1:3), and the light blazed forth. His Word speaks to lost sinners with willing hearts and they are saved; His Word speaks to all who are swift to hear, slow to speak. If we were as swift to hear the voice of God as we are to express our opinions in prayer, we would walk transfigured by the perfect Law of liberty.
Whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein . . . this man shall be blessed (James 1:25). As Christians, it is of utmost importance that we listen to what God is saying to us as we read the Bible, for it is through His Word that we learn how to pray. All of us are afflicted with the distresses, burdens, and problems of life. Every affliction we face presents the opportunity, as well as the responsibility, to pray and trust God for the solution. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. . . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:13,16).
Thought for Today:
The more we understand about the goodness of God, the less important our agenda becomes. Neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord (Isa. 55:8).
For James 2:8: See Lev. 19:18. James 2:11: See Ex. 20:13-14. James 2:23: See Gen. 15:6. James 4:6: See Prov. 3:34.
1:27 visit =b> care for, look after the needs of; 2:11 kill =b> murder; 3:2 we offend all =b> we all make mistakes and offend others; 3:4 listeth =b> determines; 5:3 cankered =b> corroded, tarnished; 5:11 pitiful =b> full of compassion.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash — Co-Founder of Bible Pathway International • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Gov. Don Carcieri (RI), Rep. Norman Dicks (WA), Gov. Jim Gibbons (NV), and Rep. C.W. Young (FL) • Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Chinese and Malay • Religious freedom • 54% Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese Traditional Religion; 15% Muslim; 9% Protestant; 4% Catholic; 3% Hindu; .5% Sikh; .2% Baha'i; 14.3% None/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the God of heaven; His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever (Ps. 136:26).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33