JAMES CHAPTER ONE BIBLE STUDY:
Here are my thoughts, insights, and time studying Chapter One.
The word consider it means ‘to take into account‘:
- Our natural human response to trails is to avoid them…run from them…hide our faces from them…NOT to be joyous when we face them!
- However, we must consider it pure joy….WHY?
Trails mean ‘a putting to proof‘…trails prove who we are.
- We must consider it a joy because when trails come (when the proving comes) we can see what we are made of.
To most Christians….they don’t REALLY want to see what they are made of.
The proving of our faith produces perseverance:
- Perseverance is a characteristic of a man who doesn’t swerve right or left from his DELIBERATE PURPOSE and his LOYALTY TO FAITH by even the greatest of trails and suffering.
When our faith is tested it develops within us Christ-like character.
- When that Christ-like character is developed within us through the trails we face the end result is maturity and completeness.
- Maturity is not sinless perfection…Christ was the only one who will ever be sinless. This maturity is a spiritual maturity.
Completeness literally means ‘all the portions whole’.
SO….when the pressure of trails press on us, the incomplete, immature things come up in us. God uses trials to show us who we really are. When those incomplete things, those immature things come up in us what should we do?
As Christians, the first response we should have to the trials we face is to pray.
James, immediately after telling us the fruits that would come from trials, tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it.
- What stuck out to me was that in the previous verse James said that we should let perseverance finish its work so we will be mature and complete-not lacking anything!
Then he says if we LACK wisdom:
- When we face trails, I don’t know about you but I often ask one important question…”What do I do?”
- Many times we have no idea how to deal with the trails that come up, nor do we know how to deal with the immature and incomplete things that surface in us.
We will continue to go through the same trials unless we have given it the time to finish its work in us.
- If we haven’t reached the point of maturity and completeness…then we will have to deal with it again and again until that part of us that is not complete becomes whole.
How do we do that?
- We ask God for wisdom…and we must believe and not doubt.
- This doubt is not a mental indecision we all face…like “how will God show me what to do?” or “When will God answer me?”
This doubt is a distrust in God.
- Those who don’t trust God have an unsettling within themselves. Just like the sea has constant tides-moving back and forth, never finding a place to settle…so are those who haven’t put there trust in God.
If you are unsettled, you are double-minded: having your soul divided between God and the world.
Trails will touch both the poor and the rich. The poor should be proud and the rich humbled. In trails the poor have nothing to loose but themselves….the rich on the other hand usually have much more on the line! Money doesn’t make one exempt from life’s messiness….they just the mean to cover up their struggle!
This crown of life is not an earthly crown…high position…or financial blessing. We can refer back to verse 4…it is that maturity and completeness. The crown of life is our ultimate reward-eternal life (the ultimate completeness)
God, in his holy nature cannot be tempted-he does not have the capacity for evil…nor is He vulnerable to it. God however, allows these trails and temptations to occur to draw us to Himself.
We are only tempted when what is already in us becomes enticing to us.
When trails come and those incomplete, immature things surface…sometimes we are dragged away and enticed to by the evil desires within us.
- After desire has conceived (or the seed is planted) then it gives birth to sin.
Sin then leads to death. SIN ALWAYS LEADS TO DEATH!!
It’s a “Killer Process”
DESIRE + SIN= DEATH
It will never change no matter how hard we try to change it.
When those incomplete and immature things surface we are faced with two choices:
- Ask God for wisdom
- Be tempted by our messiness
Every perfect gift comes from God…when we face trails and perseverance finish its work in us we are given two perfect gifts (maturity and completeness) No one can give those gifts to us except God!
- God chose to give us birth (new creation) through the word of truth (His Word…which is Jesus Himself!)
We might be a kind of first fruit…this refers to the first and best crops.
- When we become complete and mature in the area that is under trail…it is just a taste of what is to come. There is a latter fruit that will taste much sweeter than the fist fruit we are tasting here on earth!
When the bible says take note of this….WE SHOULD LISTEN!!
At first glance of these verses I thought it was talking about dealing with people. But as I pondered on these verses and taking it all in context I came up with this conclusion:
***When trails come the messiness of who are come to the surface. We have a choice. We can either pray, seeking God’s wisdom on how to deal with our messiness or we can be dragged away by that messiness and give birth to sin. If we choose to seek God’s wisdom and if we truly want perseverance to finish it’s work in us so we can be mature and complete then:
- We need to be quick to listen to what God has to say to deal with our messiness.
- We should be slow to speak to God about how unfair things are, how we hate going through this trail (remember we should consider it pure joy)
- We should be slow to become angry at God for His solution to our messiness!
Our anger does not and will not produce the righteousness that God desires for us to have through the trials we face!!
- We need to look at the messiness that surfaces and get rid of the moral filth and the evil that is prevalent!
WE NEED TO ACCEPT THE WORD PLANTED IN US THROUGH THIS TRIAL TO PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF COMPLETENESS AND MATURITY!
This fruit will save us!!
We should not just listen to God’s word…but we must act on it!
- If we just listen and not act on the Word…we deceive ourselves.
- The Word of God should be the mirror that we look into to see if we reflect our Father.
- We shouldn’t just take a quick glance into the Word…when we do that we forget what we really look like.
Those who look INTENTLY into the Word sees the perfect law that gives us the freedom from our messiness.
- ACT on the Word…DO what it says…that is where the completeness and maturity will come!!
You can measure who you are not only by looking intently into the Word…but by what comes out of your mouth.
- If you consider yourself to be religious should keep a tight reign on their tongue! The things you say will line up with the condition of your heart!
- The only religion that God accepts is the looking after of widows and orphans.
These two groups are the most needy and usually the most forgotten.
- Usually these two groups can not reciprocate what we can give to them…so looking out for them is a selfless act on our part!
I hope you have received something from the Word in this post. Please comment below and give me your thoughts!