Because of the nature of the book of James, I can’t bring myself to tell you guys how you should be living. It just seems to fly in the face of the essence of the book.
I’ll just speak to myself for a bit:
James basically says, “put up or shut up”.
If I need wisdom, which I do, I should ask God. He just may allow me to go through enough tests that I actually develop some patience. Once I have enough perseverance, wisdom will result. No shortcuts.
If I am poor, I am blessed, if I am rich, I am cursed.
I should be in a hurry to hear what others are saying. I should close my mouth. I should not get angry.
If I think I am holy but do not control what I say, I am fooling myself, but on one else and certainly not God.
If I think I am holy but don’t take care of orphans and widows in need, I am a phony.
If I like hanging around rich people because they are rich, I am a phony.
If I do not have mercy on others, God will judge me, withholding His mercy.
If actions do not reveal my faith, I have no faith.
If I call myself a teacher (leader), the bar is raised, more is expected of me by God.
My words can destroy people.
If there is bitterness and selfish ambition in my heart, I am being controlled by the devil.
I get to choose: friend of God or friend of the world, I can’t have it both ways.
If I come close to God and humble myself before Him, He will come close to me and lift me up.
My life will last only moments.
I should preface every plan with, “if it is the Lord’s will…”
If I am rich, I should plan on misery.
God is full of mercy and compassion.
If we pray for each other and confess our sins to one another, we will be healed.
If I turn a sinner toward the Lord, he will be saved from his sins.
That’s my application of James.
On Saturday, we will enjoy reading the letters written by Simon Peter.