Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 12/16/2003

December 16

Read James 1 -- 5

In Today's Reading:

Christians to rejoice in trials; heeding the Word of God; faith that works; dangers of the tongue; worldliness and pride; warning to the rich; power of prayer

Some of us are inclined to tell others about all our sufferings and sorrows with a "Woe is me" attitude of despair, seeking sympathy from our listeners. Others are prone to blame anyone, even God, for their problems. But James may surprise you because he wrote: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (manifold trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith works (develops) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing (James 1:2-4).

However, James also reminds us: Blessed is that man that endures temptation (remains faithful): for when he is tried (approved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with (by) evil, neither tempts He any man (1:12-13) Trials in life may seem to be an undesirable waste of time, but they are a great benefit to those who remain teachable and faithful. The fact is the trial of your faith is much more precious than gold (I Peter 1:7).

All of us need to be reminded to draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Pity the poor soul who believes that it is only the devil who is giving him a hard time and, consequently, feels frustrated and distressed. All trials and assaults by Satan can only happen with the permission of God and should prompt us to praise the Lord, for knowing . . . that . . . our faith works (develops) patience, we don't need to fear what may happen.

We possess the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes, trickery) of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). To withstand the devil during our trials, we must remember Paul's words of encouragement to the Ephesians: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked . . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (6:16-17). However, we must put on the whole armor of God. . . . Praying always (Ephesians 6:11,18).

Cross References:

For James 2:8: See Leviticus 19:18. James 2:11: See Exodus 20:13-14. James 2:23: See Genesis 15:6. James 4:6: See Proverbs 3:34.

Word Studies:

1:21 superfluity of naughtiness = whatever wickedness still remains; 1:27 visit = care for, look after the needs; 2:11 kill = murder; 3:2 we offend all = make mistakes and offend others; 3:4 listeth = chooses, desires; 5:3 cankered = rusted, corroded; 5:11 pitiful = full of compassion; 5:16 effectual = effective in its inworking.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Bernice Rathbone · Pray for the Bill Rice Ranch, Ministry to the Deaf · Government Officials: Rep. Norman Dicks (WA), Rep. Jim Gibbons (NV), and Rep. C.W. Young (FL) · Country: Ghana (19 million) in western Africa · Major languages: English and African languages · The government permits freedom to churches and missionaries that do not get involved in politics · 31% belief in spirits and witches; 22% Protestant; 17% Muslim; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to strengthen you as you determine to overcome willful sins (Psalm 19:13).

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:7

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