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              A Complete study in the Book of James
                                                    ---by pamela spurling

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James 1.1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

There seems to be some question as to who the author of James was. There is speculation that he was either the Lord Jesus’ brother, (Matthew 13.55 "Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?") or cousin (Son of Alphaeus [also called Cleophas] and Mary [the sister of the Lord’s mother] ---and to be called ‘brother’ as was customary at that time) See: John 19.25 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." Matthew 27. 56 "Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children." The other apostle, James, was martyred in about 45 AD and so he could not have authored this book, since it is supposed that it was written around 46-62 AD. In any case, James knew, walked with, and was a Disciple of the Lord Jesus. If it still matters, we can find all this out on That Day... and then, it probably won’t matter all that much.

At any rate, James, for humility sake, (or to not detract from the high calling of serving the Lord Jesus) neither refers to himself as half brother, nor cousin, but a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I tend to lean toward the Jewish customary "brother" for close kin. See Gal. 1.19 "But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother." And. Gal 2.9 "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

"The major theme of the book is James’ appeal to the believer that it is necessary to put outward actions with inward faith or else that kind of faith will accomplish nothing (1.22)." -Spiros Zodhiates

So, we continue: James 1.1 to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

The twelve tribes are the Christian Jews of the Dispersion. See: Acts 2.5-11 and 21.18-24 There was intense persecution of Christians, Nero was in power, and so there was need for practical training and exhortation---of which this book is certainly filled!

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (greeting. Greek: chairo; (Khah’-ee-ro) this word means, to be cheerful, be well, be glad, greeting, hail, rejoice.)

"In the original Greek for greeting, ...there is a connection with the joy to which they were exhorted amidst their existing distresses from poverty and consequent oppression." -Jamieson, Fausset, Brown (commentators)

So you can easily see how this journey through the book of James is going to be an adventure, probably convicting, and hopefully life-changing. I pray that you will find God’s blessing in it. It is with sincere humility and prayerful study that I even bring it to you, and will endeavor each day to present the verses that we study and the questions they inspire in a manner that will hopefully bring glory and honour to God. I will be hopeful that you will join me in committing as much of it to memory as possible.

I believe that we are in perilous times and we must, as Christian women, rightly divide and properly apply the Word of Truth. I trust that if there are any points with which you disagree, you will write. I see more and more that I have feet of clay and must be worked and molded. I must include here that had I listened to my husband (this is not an area of contention, as I have been steeped in Biblical instruction regarding our relationship!) and always ‘back-up’ everything, it wouldn’t have been necessary to reconstruct and rewrite this "Intro to James." I have much to learn and much for which to be thankful---chiefly a husband whose love, instruction, and support I again under-valued. If there are any triumphs you wish to relate, you are welcome to share them! The Lord is to be praised. Let’s pursue the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

James 1.2-4

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

It’s interesting, this word joy has the same Greek root as the word ‘greeting’ in verse one. "…count it all joy…" So, when we fall into diverse temptations, are we to ‘greet’ them? Are we supposed to be thankful, cheerful, exceeding glad? Try it… today, (and you probably won’t have to wait long) when you are tempted (Greek; peirasmos: temptation, discipline, provocation, a putting to proof) purpose to handle that temptation in such a way as to acknowledge that it is a testing of your faith, and receive it with JOY. Count it all joy! Another interesting thing to consider: count it all joy… when I think of counting, I think of numbering or figuring something. Have you ever thought to count or figure out the different aspects of a difficult situation when you were undergoing that situation, temptation, or trial?

Does that mean you will be glad if your freezer goes ‘out,’ or if a baseball flies through and breaks your window, or you have no money with which to pay a large bill, or you get a dreaded answer from the Doctor, or someone smashes your car, or you get raked over for saying something for which you were totally misunderstood or out of line (even if it was true)? Do you, or did you shrug it off and say "No problem-o!" Of course not, but how you handle or respond in a ‘test’ will be a direct reflection of your understanding of the Ways of God; and it will be in proportion to the amount of discipline you have worked into your life. This may seem very harsh to have this kind of thing said, especially in regard to, say, receiving news of a death, or burned down home, or cancer… but stop for a moment, think of it this way: you have a gracious, loving, Heavenly Father who knows you better than you know yourself, who cares for you more than you could ever care for yourself, and who is working all things together for your good since the foundation of the world, and He would not permit something to happen to you that would be out of His scope or plan for you. Knowing this and trusting this, do you think you could learn to count it all joy when you fall into _______________ (fill in the blank).

"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." I remember watching a Bruce Wilkerson video one time, and hearing him say various things about faith, trials or testings, and patience. And one thing that I have always remembered from that series, was that generally, we do not realize we are in a test until the test is ‘underway!’

Think of it this way… today if you walk into your home and see that a child has drawn with Sharpie pen all over the freshly painted living room wall, your insurance has just been cancelled and your husband tells you that he will need to be working all the weekends till the end of the year, and someone had just rejected you for being a Christian, and sharing your opinion...

You WILL react in some way or another, but probably you will not realize you are in a ‘testing of your faith’ until AFTER you have reacted. You may be in the midst of yelling and having a fit over the wall incident and suddenly realize that you are being tested, and your hearers are learning a lot about your heart. So, this test and your response during and after will determine how you will react the next time.

Matthew 5.11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Your subsequent or future testings will work ‘patience.’ And there is a planned purpose for this patience---Our gracious Lord has planned and allowed all these things to conform us to His image---that we may be perfect, (complete) wanting (or lacking) nothing! The Lord knows the aching places of your heart and is ever working for your good.

Think back on the last couple of days… Are there some situations that you reacted to in a less than gracious, joyful way? Do you see that those situations, temptations, testings, were all allowed by the Lord to work in you patience---that you may be ‘perfect and entire, wanting nothing.’

So, today: you have opportunity this day to count it all joy! What will you choose?

James 1.5-6

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

IF any of you lack wisdom (I’m thinking this would just about cover all of us) let him ask of God… Here’s a thought, "The ancient Greek maxim appears at first view strange, but is literally true: The knowledge of ignorance is the beginning of knowledge." -Adam Clarke

Proverbs 2.1-9 "...if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

"Prayer. What we ought more especially to pray for---wisdom. We should not so much pray for the removal of an affliction as for wisdom to make a right use of it."---Matthew Henry

I am tempted to say---Welp, that’s it… that’s probably all we could chew on and pray about today. I feel I cannot add any thought that would be more important.

So, I’ll just ask you this: Do you need wisdom for an affliction or trial that is too hard to bear? Too difficult to understand? A burden too heavy to carry? "…ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him…"

Your time would be better spent in prayer with praise, in prayer and confession, in prayer with thanksgiving, in prayer with supplication to God: ‘that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth (or reproaches) not, … but... ask in faith, nothing wavering...’

James 1.6-7

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A few minutes after I prayed the Lord would order the day, I received a phone call from a man in our church. He apologized for calling so early but needed to bring his son over for us to look after, because his wife was in labor and they needed to go to the hospital. I knew the moment I hung up the phone, this was going to be some day---I was in a test! Yes, I had offered to care for their son---and I was sincere---but I didn’t think they’d really call. Their little boy is extremely high-maintenance: tests all limits, is very irrational, emotional, and strong-willed and knows everything---a child who need tons of love! We had our testing experience right away… I had already asked of God for His attitude, His wisdom---nothing wavering---and had committed the day to Him: His plans. We hit the deck running… laid out "the ground rules for the game." My husband, Wes had a good talk with and gave him a long hug. I only reminded him one time that he needed to control himself and not have any more screaming fits or loud, angry outbursts. Well, it was a cheerful little seven year old boy I took to the hospital to see his new baby brother, it was a compliant child who hugged his mother and handed her flowers and a gift. We talked on the way back home about behavior that is pleasing to the Lord Jesus and what it means to live pleasing to Him. This little boy required tender loving care, needed to know the brightly lit boundaries, and I believe in his heart he wants to obey. Was this my doing? No. It was all the Lord’s doing and it was marvelous in my eyes. (Ps. 118.23)

I tell you this story because it is analogous of us---our lives. We so often think we know everything and we surely do lack wisdom. We rage and are confident and we demonstrate our lack of wisdom. We break the rules, test the limits, push the boundaries, dispute with our authorities… fully or fool-y displaying our lack of wisdom. We are like that little boy sometimes… we are like the sea waves driven with the wind and tossed. We ask for wisdom and try to fit it into our own ‘wisdom.’ We ask for help or provision---which, when received, we often reject because of our lack of faith or the feeling of faith fades and fear or distrust sets in.

Mark 11.22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

James 1.6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Nothing wavering. As we often see, there is Divine purpose in our trials, in faith we ask God for wisdom to understand His purpose in our trials, we seek Him for wisdom to both accept and use the trials in our lives to glorify Him.

Later in this book we will see that many times we have not because we "ask not," or we "ask amiss."

So again today, do you lack wisdom? Are you like a wave, tossed? Ephesians 4. 14 "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…"

Are you like this little boy---so bright and so sure, but desperately in need of love, guidance and understanding? Ask of God… Are you being tested in your faith---enduring a trial for which you feel incapable of handling? Ask of God… Does your whole life feel sort of scrambled and you don’t know the nest right thing to do? Ask of God…

Nothing wavering.   ____________________________________________________

James 1.8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Contrast that double-mindedness with:

Matthew 6.22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

James 1.8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Matthew 6 continues... 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Or, take a look at Luke 11.35: Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

Join me in going to the Lord who is gracious and full of compassion, for it is He alone Who can help you take your eye off the things that draw you away so you can focus with binocular vision on the journey the Lord has for you.

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James 1.9-11

9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

David Guzik (Bible Commentary)  Encouragement for those affected by trials:

"a. As much as it is appropriate for the lowly to rejoice when they are lifted up by God, so it is appropriate (but far more difficult) for the high to rejoice when they are brought to humiliation by trials.

b. Trials serve to remind the rich and the high that though they are comfortable in this life, it is still only this life, which fades as the grass grows brown and the flowers fall.

c. When a rich man dies, he leaves his riches; when a poor man dies in Christ, he goes to his riches."

Matthew Henry: "Those of low degree are to be looked upon as brethren...Both these are allowed to rejoice. No condition of lie puts us out of a capacity of rejoicing in God. If we do not rejoice in him always, it is our own fault. Those of low degree may rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God... and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences, as they produce a lowly and humble disposition of mind, which is highly valuable in the sight of God. Where any are made poor for righteousness’ sake, their very poverty is their exaltation. ...Note hence, Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Riches are too uncertain... As a flower fades before the heat of the scorching sun, so shall the rich man fade away in his ways. His projects, counsels, and managements for this world, are called his ways; in these he shall fade away. For this reason let him that is rich rejoice, not so much in the providence of God, that makes him rich, as in the grace of God, that makes and keeps him humble..."

9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

This rejoice[2744] is different than the rejoice[5463] in Philippians 4.4, which we studied previously. The first means to boast, glory, joy, to vaunt; and the latter is to be calmly cheerful, well off, glad, joy.

Have you ever felt like boasting when you were of ‘low degree?’

Or, did you feel exalted?

How about when you were/are in ‘plenty?’ Is it difficult to be humble in times of wealth?

Have you ever felt like you ‘had it made’ and yet felt empty inside? Do you see why?

1 Cor. 7.31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

Look at what the Lord says in Isaiah 57.15: "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

Here’s another circumstance where it is difficult to comprehend the ways of God... The brother of low degree being exalted and the rich made low. It can be seen spiritually, but seems difficult to see and apply practically. The Lord is so marvelous, isn’t He!

Isaiah 55.8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

If you have or ever had money, other forms of wealth, or houses, or land... did/does it seem to you that it would all go on forever? At the time does it seem like it will fade and wither away?

Consider with me... looking at your life: what would an outsider say is your position in life? What would a stranger say is your outlook on your position? How does the Lord see it?

James 1.12-16

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

temptation[3986] Gr. pierasmos: a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil] solicitation, discipline, provocation); by implication: adversity: temptation. So a person is blessed when they endure such. It is easy to see contextually, that this passage is dealing with those temptations which, if heeded, give way to sin.

This is the same word temptation we talked about in verse 2 and I would encourage you to review that passage. The Lord freely gives grace to handle the trials or temptations of our lives (Col 1.11; 2 Cor. 6.1 & following)

Since, with God, there is no unrighteousness, the trial here is the strengthening of faith  (review 2-3)

---but not the Lord enticing a man with evil intent. The Lord is not willing that any should perish.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

What is that crown the Lord promises?

1 Peter 5.4... the crown of glory that fadeth not away; Ps 21.3 a crown of pure gold; Matt. 5.12 great is your reward in heaven; 1 Cor 3.14 shall receive a reward;

One day we shall receive this reward... according to our works... those things which we have done in the name of the Lord.

Rev 22.12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

I can only imagine that on that day we will desire only to lay that crown at His feet as we fall before Him in total adoration... on That Day.

Now we are seeing a different angle of temptation—a different kind of trial... this one deals in the realm of sin or sinful enticements.

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Okay... so, do you deal with or struggle with temptation?

The sin for us is not in the hook or the bait... but when we are hooked by the lure of the bait and taken in: this is sin. We’ve all got weak spots or areas of temptation where we are weak in the flesh. What are these areas?

It’s funny how we can easily name them in someone else... say, a man, for example; men seem to have a tendency toward sexual lust---my husband says that to one degree or another, 95% of men deal with this---and the other 5% are lying. But how about us... women? I’ll name a few that might lead to sin when they become too enticing... How ‘bout food? shopping? coveting the furnishings in other women’s homes? oooh, how ‘bout gossip? and what about greed? and a biggie for some is anger...bitterness? and last, but certainly not least: what about f-e-a-r?

Did I hit yours?

16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

These temptations and trials are allowed in our lives to perfect us, to mold us into the image of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are exhorted to not err...to not wander. "God is not, cannot be, the author of anything that is evil; but must be acknowledged as the cause and spring of everything that is good." Matthew Henry

What does it mean to err or to wander... Think of this... today if there is an issue in your life that is a stumbling block for you... unless you endeavor to remove it, you will fall. You will sin again. You may ask forgiveness for that thing... but unless you purpose in your heart to remove that thing or purpose to face that temptation and ask the Lord for His grace to obey in that area... you will err... count on it.

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The only way I know to over come a sin area is to pray and seek the Lord on that issue---and then to make no provision for the flesh. If your downfall is spending plastic money, don’t bring that plastic with you when you shop! If your downfall is gossiping, daily commit to the Lord all the conversations you hear and purpose not to slander another. These are simplistic answers to complex problems... but acknowledgement and obedience to God and His Word are the keys to being an overcomer.

Scripture memory has played a key part in my life for overcoming bitterness, and for overcoming fear. Romans 6 and 8 are very important to memorize if you are dealing with old ways, old reactions, old thought patterns. Some things may need a great deal of prayer and fasting. You may need to confess this sin and ask your husband to hold you accountable. The freedom is worth the shame of confessing a behavior.

I know our study has probably revealed a sensitive area today. Praise the Lord for His work and purpose to walk with Him as He prepares the way before you. You may want to begin writing your own psalms to the Lord.

The original purpose for beginning this Bible Study was to be of help and encouragement to women to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Thus we began our study in the book of Ephesians. (4.23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;)

James 1.17

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Gift… Interesting... the word gift is used twice in this first verse but they are two different Greek words... the first usage of the word is (good) gift [1394]dosis: (from a broad root word)a gift, a giving

The next usage is a perfect [5046]teleios: complete (from the greek word telos: the conclusion of an act or state, uttermost); gift [1434] a ‘bestowment’

This may be confusing---my way of writing and now reading this verse---but it needs to be noted, the thorough nature and preciseness of the Word of God. Here we see, God in the act of giving, and the gift given.

We think from time to time we find someone ‘the’ perfect gift! You know the thrill of anticipating the giving of such a gift... think of how God feels toward us, think of His good gifts... His perfect gifts. A couple of verses come to mind:

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

What is this or what are these perfect gifts? Think of the things that might be meant here... Salvation? Life? Himself in His Son the Lord Jesus? Grace? Wisdom? Mercy?

Why do you think that in the verse before this we were exhorted to "not err...?"

I’m thinking is was because of the fact that there is no other way of salvation and cleansing from sin/sinful ways than to receive this good and perfect gift from God: the Father of lights. (the free gift of salvation through belief and trust in the Lord Jesus)

I think we are admonished to look to God and to receive from God because of our tendency to look to man---man’s ways, man’s wisdom. I think this is all tied together in (v 12) overcoming sin and sinful tendencies in our lives. Popular (even "Christian") psychology would have us to believe that there are basic ‘steps’ to overcoming problems---which are often sinful behaviors labeled as ‘problems’ or ‘issues.’

Let’s purpose to look to God who gives liberally...(v. 5)

Isn’t it interesting how God has ordered His Word? He lays a foundational truth for obtaining wisdom... then reveals our ‘double-mindedness,’ then reminds us of the deceitfulness of riches, then provides cover for temptation by defining it, cautions us to not err... and fully demonstrates His practical love for us in the nature of His giving.

It’s so important to make note of the order of these verses. God’s total refuting of any thought that He authors temptation. Yes, He is on the one hand the creator of evil---but not of sin. (Isa 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.") There is no evil in Him, He can tempt no one.

1John 1.5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Colossians 1.16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

People’s New Testament Commentary:

Father of lights. God, the Creator of every light of the material world, and the source of all moral light. No variableness, etc. God is unchangeable, always the same, nor does he cast a shadow of turning like the sun. The allusion is to the constantly changing shadows of objects in the sunlight caused by the movement, not of the sun, but of the earth.

So, what does this remind you of? Does He ever change? Does He ever move His gaze? Okay, so yesterday... when you had purposed in your heart to do this or that... and you failed(?) was it God that moved?

Today: Trust Him. His gift for you is perfect. Seek Him. Whatever you are dealing with, He has not moved or shifted His gaze... you can count on it. Trust Him. Seek Him.

James 1.18

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

Adam Clarke’s Commentary:

"Verse 18. [Of his own will begat he us] God’s will here is opposed to the lust of man, Jas 1:15; his truth, the means of human salvation, to the sinful means referred to in the above verse; and the new creatures, to the sin conceived and brought forth, as above. As the will of God is essentially good, all its productions must be good also; as it is infinitely pure, all its productions must be holy. The word or doctrine of truth, what St. Paul calls the word of the truth of the Gospel, Col 1:5, is the means which God uses to convert souls. " -AC

"...be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." Firstfruits[536]aparche: a beginning of sacrifice, i.e. the (Jewish) first fruit.

IPeter 1.23 "Being born again not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."

I would encourage you also to go back and study Ephesians 1.4-11. This will give further insight into the choosing of God by His own Will.

As I understand it, the creatures would be us (gentiles/born again Christians) and the firstfruit would most surely be the Lord Jesus and the kind of first fruits would be the Jewish nation, there are several schools of thought on this, but this is the most prevelant and because of the corresponding scriptures, I tend to look at it this way. Research it further if you’d like, as it makes for a facsinating study.

When you take a look at Romans 8.18-21(creation groaning and the future deliverence from bondage).

And then, Mark 16.15("Go ye into all the world...gospel to every creature."), you see that God has made the most special and most significant way of salvation, through His Son the Lord Jesus, for us: by the preaching and hearing of the Word.

John 1.13 "Which were born not of blood, nor of will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us..."

What does this make you think of what God has done to make a way of salvation for all who would believe?

God’s ways are surely higher than our ways... what does unregenerate man try to accomplish through the flesh?

Are we sometimes not so different?

Today, we can walk humbly---but confidently in the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing we could ever do to meet the requirements of God for holiness outside of the saving faith in Jesus our Lord. It is He alone who is worthy, in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.(Col 1.14)

Remember what we have studied... review your commitments to the Lord... be not double minded, endure temptation, do not err, remember that God never shifts His gaze, and now, remember that it is of His own will that you were chosen... In Him from the foundation of the world.

James 1.19-20

19. Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

20. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Before we get to application for today, I would like to give a little background for this exhortation from James. He is writing this to the ‘twelve tribes...scattered abroad’ (v 1). There was much need for training and exhortation because of the "new" teachings of the New Covenant / Covenant of Grace to people who had lived under the Old Covenant. They are not unlike us in many ways. You can read about their actions/reactions in the Book of Acts. I will be referring to it in a little bit. For now, imagine this: they had no Bibles per se, so everything they knew came from the hearing of the teachings, and tradition(!) and they were being taught an entirely new way of thinking and living. The scribes and Pharisees had the copies of the Old Testament from which the people were instructed. This Epistle to the Jews is thought to be the earliest of the Epistles, and Paul’s letters had not circulated to the churches as yet. So, they were completely dependant upon the teachers and had accepted this New Covenant through the ‘filter’ of the Old Covenant. Again, not unlike us today---except that we have ready access personally to God’s Word. They reacted--- We react! The had their ‘pet’ legalistic rules---we have ours. They had their comfort zone as do we. And here was this totally new way of thinking---new freedom---now hope! And now, new questions!

To refresh your memory, you might want to take a bit of time to read through Acts to get a better feel for the conditions of the early church---additionally, you will have a better perspective as to why James wrote such a detailed and powerful Epistle. For the sake of our specific topic today, I refer to only one verse of the many in Acts, I want to note for you here:

Acts 17.11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

See the eagerness and skepticism James was addressing? Readiness of mind....but skeptical, too.

So, for application for today: How do you handle ‘new’ things you hear from God’s Word? Are you swift to hear and slow to speak... or are you slow to hear and swift to speak? Are you anxious to hear new things the Lord has for you? Do you reject the things that feel uncomfortable?

Are you quickly angered?

Why do you think God has instructed us to be swift to listen and slow to speak?

The answer can be found right here in verse 20, For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

While this is a very simple straightforward answer, it is very complex.

That word wrath[3709] is the Greek word: orge, and it means a reaching forth or excitement of the mind, a violent passion, indignation, anger, vengeance.

It is easily seen why the Lord would have us to guard our emotions of wrath.

Proverbs 17.27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Ecc 5.2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Think about what your lack of listening and quick speaking does to your __________(husband, child, friend, etc.).

Then, add to that lack of listening, quick speaking or reacting: wrath. Now what does that do to your___________ (husband, child, friend...)?

What does that behavior say about you? And in a world seemingly asking the question WhatWouldJesusDo? what does your slow hearing, swift speaking, swift wrath say about Him?

I went to the Proverbs to choose some applicable verses---and I cannot narrow my search enough to select one or two, so...in the days ahead, be looking for verses that apply to slow speaking, swift hearing, and wrath.

I do like that picture though, of a brawling woman in a wide house(25.24)...

Verse 2 of today’s reading (Ch 6) will fit well...

Let’s purpose to honour God today in the ways in which we listen, speak and use discretion regarding our emotions.

Continue working to memorize all of James or portions of the book--- You may want to work on particular verses and then go back another time and put it all together. There is no ‘set way’ or ‘expected way’ of doing it. It’s all just whatever you feel you can do---then stretch a bit further!

The verse we are going to study today is a most important verse for a woman to memorize!

James 1. 21

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Wherefore lay apart This is a voluntary action; our walk with the Lord depends on a daily separation from the 'old' ways---the worldly ways.

Ephesians 4.22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness

II Cor. 7.1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Interesting... the word rendered 'filthiness' is used only here in the New Testament. The specific reference to disgusting or repulsive sin, then add to that, superfluous sin---or abounding, continuing, perpetual sin. This would be voluntarily choosing to sin, making provision for the flesh.

When we were studying Ephesians, we talked about this and about the importance of getting rid of those things in our lives that are not pleasing to God... behaviors, thoughts, habits---things that separated us from God and made provision for sin.

Are there things that you are still hanging on to that you know are displeasing to God?_____________

Isn't is interesting that something that God would render as filthy, the world celebrates and makes glamourous? You've heard people suggest that it's okay (maybe even necessary) to be a little naughty. Looking at this verse, what would you say to them?_____________________

and receive with meekness the engrafted word

Why receive with meekness? ____________________________________

"By meekness he means modesty, and anything that is contrary to a haughty and proud spirit."

(William Burkitt's Notes on the New Testament)

*How do you handle new or different ways of doing things?_____________________

*Are you open to changes? ____________________________

Now, why did I say that this verse is so important for a woman to memorize? Because we so often make exceptions for things, or we think something feels right and it's really not, or we think something is wrong and it's really a preference issue---not what God's Word says. Therefore, we must receive with meekness, God's Word... and apply it!!

*Are you open to obeying God even when it means going totally "against the tide?" ______________________

Romans 6.17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

So, this engrafted word... What is it?

From what I have heard and read, I have come to see this portion of Scripture as one of the most important reasons for Bible memory and for sound Christian teaching/learning. As women, it is imperative that we be very careful in what we read and to whom we listen. It takes very little to influence our opinion; we are so easily swayed and so easily beguiled. We will talk about this again in chapter 3.

Romans 11.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

which is able to save your souls.

You see the power of the engrafted word.

II Tim 3.16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

"It is not, therefore, a weak and powerless thing, merely designed to show its own feebleness, and to give occasion for God to work a miracle; but it has power, and is adapted to save." (Albert Barnes' NT Com.)

James 1.22-25

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer

of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

We are learning to count it all joy when we have trials, to be faithful in asking God for wisdom, to not be double minded, quick to listen and slow to speak, to lay aside superfluous things, to take in or engraft God's Word---all these things are necessary components of our next passage of study.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only

Do you notice that when you begin to do something, there are often things you must stop doing. Looking back on yesterday's study, what things did the Lord prompt you to lay aside? Were you able to quietly listen to Him? Has it been awhile since you have done this? If so, I would humbly suggest that you stop here... turn off the screen and wait before the Lord-----ask Him if there are things that He wants you to lay aside, things that are hindering your walk with Him, things that are preventing you from doing His will.

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass

We may go through years of reading, learning---hearing God's Word; but until we take it in and make it a part of us, we are likened unto a [wo]man who looks in the mirror,

For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

sees his [her] whole appearance...

and turning around: forgets what [s]he looks like. Forgetting to remember what needed attention or correction. That sounds foolish, doesn't it? Yet, that's how we are, you and I, aren't we?

I read an interesting point in JohnWesley's com. That the man beheld himself and went away--- to other business... and forgot-but such forgetting does not excuse.

I'm pretty sure you are like me, in that, sometimes while sitting in church or driving along hearing words of Truth---I will hear something very important and probably life changing(!)... and then an intruding thought comes to mind and seemingly takes over and I forget the message that at the time seemed to be a profound message... and I walk away. Has that been an experience of yours?

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work,

(3879 looketh:parakupto; to bend, lean over, look into, stoop down) to God's Law, God's Word---the Gospel---in His grace... and not a forgetful hearer---one who purposes to remember.

True love to Jesus will produce obedience. See John 14:15 (If ye love me, keep my commandments.) Psalm 19.11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

(2041 work: ergon; act, deed, toil, work doer of the work---notice the change in wording... if you read too quickly you may have mistakenly read word for work. See the difference the word work makes?

this man shall be blessed in his deed.

WilliamBurkitt noted an important point that I will close with... " but in the deed it is an evidence

of our blessedness, not the ground of it, the way, though not the cause of blessedness."

So, did you read on? Do you need to go back and wait before the Lord? Trust me, you will be so thankful for anytime you spend with Him, seeking His face... seeking to be pure before Him.

James 1.26-27

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart,  this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

If any man among you seem to be religious This would be an outward demonstration of piety or of 'religious' acts. Your initial estimation of such a person would be that they are "religious." They may appear to you to be legalistic, proud, righteous.

and bridleth not his tongue (Then you listen to the speech and language of this person...) What do you think this means, or what kind of speech would this be?______________________

I Peter 3.10 "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:"

but deceiveth his own heart You see that this person believes they are doing all the right things and yet the heart changes are not there, thus this person's heart is deceived. Can you remember times when you thought you were doing all the "right" things, but your heart wasn't right?___________________________________________________________

this man's religion is vain. This person's acts of religion or religious piety amount to nothing.

Why do you think the Lord would have us to study this passage?_____________________

Are there things in your life that are a vain show?_______________________

Ways you "seem" to be to others, but you really aren't that way when you are alone or in your own home?___________

How about Monday through Saturday?_____________________

I know... there's some meddling going on here in your life... in mine, too!

(more verses; Ps 34.13; 39.1; 1Pe 3.10)

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, The Lord requirements are simple and few... obedience to him and love for others.

To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, Who are the fatherless or who are the widows in your life?__________

Are there places where you could invest some of your time or money to assist someone who would otherwise go without?

and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

What does it mean to keep oneself unspotted from the world?_______________________________

How do you keep yourself unspotted from the world?___________________________

Why is this so very important for a Christian living under grace?__________________________

Here is what the Lord Jesus said in regards to feeding, clothing and visiting the hungry, poor, and sick:

Matthew 25.34-40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick,and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

So, today are there some "un-lovable" people in your life? Is there someone for whom you could be the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus, today?

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ps 91.1

James 2.1-7  1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;  3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:   4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?  6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

You may be asking yourself, "do I do that?"

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

This jewelry and fine clothing did not indicate any thing about the person's character, faith, moral disposition or place in the church. Rather, it was an outward show. The poor mans' clothing was also an outward show---nothing indicating the heart condition of the man.

And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Truth. Do you do this type of thing? Think of the last time a well dressed man or woman came into the church (or wherever)... What was your initial thought? Then contrast that with your initial thoughts the last time a poorly dressed individual came into your church (or wherever).

Acts 10.34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Proverbs 28.21 To have respect of persons is not good: for, for a piece of bread that man will transgress.

Be honest... it's important to take a moment to consider this, because our response and our opinion is a strong indicator of our hearts' condition.

What commandment do we break by judging or being a respecter of persons?____________________

Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

If God is no respecter of persons, and it is He and He alone who can look on the heart, how can we dare to critique or judge others by their outward appearance?

Have you ever gotten caught up in partiality to a person because of their perceived position, wealth, power? What did you later come to discover?_________________________________________________________

At first glance, it would be easy to think that the well dressed person would be of tremendous benefit to our church, school, community... and they probably could make a significant contribution; however, does that necessarily mean that the poorly dressed person would make a lesser or insignificant contribution?_______________________________________

A wealthy looking person often could be thought to be an enhancement to our agenda or program, what have you; but what more could the poorly dressed person offer?_____________________________________

Does appearance matter?_____________________________

Are you a good judge of outward appearance?___________________________________

Have you taken the time recently to examine or possibly correct your thinking regarding wealth, appearances or "position?" ________________________________________________________________________

Today's final thought... what is the Lord's position on this?

If you have some time... I will suggest some Scriptures to look up... Ecc. 5.10,19; Ps. 52.1-7, Job 31.24-28, Prov. 18.11,23; 23.4-5, Jer. 17.11; 16.13-14, Matt 19.24, Mark 4.18-19, 10.17-27; I Tim. 6.9-10, 17-19.

Luke 12.15-23 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

James 2.5-8

5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

8 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world

Luke 6.20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

(v. 5) "This seems to refer to Mt 11:5: And the poor have the Gospel preached to them. These believed on the Lord Jesus, and found his salvation; while the rich despised, neglected, and persecuted him. These had that faith in Christ which put them in possession of the choicest spiritual blessings, and gave them a right to the kingdom of heaven. While, therefore, they were despised of men, they were highly prized of God.

-AdamClarke

rich in faith

This is not across the board, true, but when you look back on your Christian walk, when were/are you most likely to cry out to God?

and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

I Cor. 2.9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

II Tim 4.8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

When you have or have had plenty, do you or did you sense your utter need of the Lord? __________________

Hath not God chosen the poor of this world? "Those who are poor so far as this world is concerned, or those who have not wealth... the apostle suggests why the poor should not be treated with neglect. It is, that God has had special reference to them in choosing those who should be his children. The meaning is not that he is not as willing to save the rich as the poor, for he has no partiality; but that there are circumstances in the condition of the poor which make it more likely that they will embrace the offers of the gospel than the rich; and that in fact the great mass of believers is taken from those who are in comparatively humble life. Rich in faith... Though poor in this world's goods, they are rich in a higher and more important sense. They have faith in God their Saviour; and in this world of trial and of sin, that is a more valuable possession than piles of hoarded silver or gold. A man who has that is sure that he will have all that is truly needful for him in this world and the next; a man who has it not, though he may have the wealth of Croesus, will be utterly without resources in respect to the great wants of his existence. " -Albert Barnes' NT Com.

But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well

What is this royal law? _____________________________________________________________________

Lev 19.18, Matt. 5.43-44, 19.19; Mk. 12.31; Lk. 10.27; Gal. 5.14

Remember that James was writing initially to Jewish Christians who knew the Law. Now they are hearing the familiar refrain about keeping the Law, but they are now save and living under grace. Read Romans 7. 1-6 for more insight.

(Romans 6 and 8.2-4)

Galatians 6.2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

What does this verse mean to you, "...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...?" _______________________________________________

Is it hard for you to love your neighbor? _______________________________________________

(you might want to do a study on "who is my neighbor?" The Lord has a bit to say about this...)

James 2.9-13

9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.  10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

v.9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

After studying this for a few days, have you begun to look at your thoughts and idle words differently?__________

Have you thought that maybe your treatment of others or lack of Christ's love for others is sinful behavior?__________

This is heavy isn't it?(!) _____________________________

In judgment, or in any other way; ye commit sin against God, and against your brethren, and are convinced, ...and are convicted, by the law; by this royal law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; as transgressors, having shown this sinful acceptance of persons, which has led you to refuse justice to the poor man, and uphold the rich in his oppressive conduct. --AdamClarke

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Matthew 5.19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Have you come to the end of the day and thought that the day had gone pretty well... you hadn't killed anyone, hadn't committed adultery---literally or in your heart---you hadn't stolen, hadn't worshipped idols---had respected your mother and your father---hadn't coveted your neighbors possessions... Oh, but there was that one little thing: you had lied... a small lie... an unimportant lie... it didn't hurt anyone... it wasn't that big a deal...........right? No. See why the Lord Jesus came to redeem you? No matter how much we long to please the Lord and obey His Word, there is no way we can keep the whole law and not offend in one point. What a loving God we serve.

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

You see, it matters not what the sin is: we are as guilty of one as the other.

Have you ever thought of killing as meaning more or having a broader scope than the "point and shoot" type killing? Have you ever thought of it as killing a reputation? killing a joyful hope in a person? Yes this could be taken to the extreme, but for the sake of our study, it seems important to think a little deeper.

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

"Note here, 1. That all we say and do, all our actions and expressions, do fall under the judgment and sentence of the law of God. 2. That the law of God, in the hand of Christ, is the law of liberty; we are freed from it as a covenant, freed from its condemnatory curse, freed from its rigorous exactions, bondage, and terrors. The law to a believer is a law of liberty, and to others a law of bondage and death. 3. That it will be a great help to us in our Christian course, to think often that all our words and actions must come into judgment; it is agreeable to the liberty of the gospel to believe and remember, that all we say and do must be judged by the law of liberty." ---William Burkitt, NewTestament Notes

Believers will be judged (2 Cor. 5.10). The Judge is the Lord Jesus------having the power to judge liberally or generously, or to withhold liberality. This seems to depend on the behavior of the one being judged. If he showed mercy he will receive mercy; if he showed no mercy he will receive no mercy. Matt. 5.7: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

This is a very deep subject, one which I feel I have very little ability to properly convey to you. I trust the Lord for His perfect work in helping us to understand His Word and message for us here today. One more thing... I believe this passage shows us that the believer who has been merciful through life need not fear the judgment because of the Mercy of the Lord toward those who have demonstrated mercy.

Things to think on.............................

James 2: 14-17

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?

A faithful or faith filled life gives glory to God. Think of the passage in Romans 4, where we read the account of Abraham, who believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4.20-21: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

We have studied this in James 1.23-24 (For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.)

Of what value is your faith if it is for yourself only? How do you demonstrate your faith?____________________________________________________________________________________

I have a strong personal view of 'witnessing' or 'evangelism,' and it is this... there is no program, no formula, no presentation you can memorize that will be an effective tool unless you have faith... your own personal faith in God. You cannot be a witness for something you have not witnessed. I trust the Lord will give ample opportunity for each one of us to live out a life of faith. One that is real, evident and bright: to the glory of God.

...can faith save him?

Faith is active! It does not and cannot stand alone...

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11.1

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11.6

There is much profit or much fruit, evident fruit in the life of a faithful woman.

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding

ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Proverbs 3. 27-28 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

The timing of this message amazes me. Christmas is 9 days away... there are countless ways in which your life, your actions could be a blessing to some woman, some family, some unknown person you pass on the street. I pray that the Lord will bless you that you may be a blessing to another.

Can you think of a person or a few people that you might bless in one way or another that would demonstrate the love of the Lord to them? __________________________________________________________________

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Matthew 7.24-27

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

James 2.18-20

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

It may seem like this point is being overly emphasized (that faith without works is dead) and yet, how many times do we need to be reminded to do the important things? I know that for myself, I have need to be continually reminded and fine tuned in order to live out a faith-filled life... It is not manufactured; however, my sin nature prefers to take its own course... I procrastinate... selfishness would prevail were I to neglect the high calling of the Lord Jesus in and through my life. It's probably just the same with you, isn't it?

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Very important: faith shown by works.

Verse 18. [Show me thy faith without thy works] Your pretending to have faith, while you have no works of charity or mercy, is utterly vain: for as faith, which is a principle in the mind, cannot be discerned but by the effects, that is, good works; he who has no good works has, presumptively, no faith.

[I will show thee my faith by my works.] My works of charity and mercy will show that I have faith; and that it is the living tree, whose root is love to God and man, and whose fruit is the good works here contended for. ---Adam Clarke

"...show me thy faith without thy works--if thou canst; but thou canst not SHOW, that is, manifest or evidence thy alleged (Jas 2:14, "say") faith without works."

"Show" does not mean here to prove to me, but exhibit to me. Faith is unseen save by God. To show faith to man, works in some form or other are needed: we are justified judicially by God (Ro 8:33); meritoriously, by Christ (Isa 53:11); immediately, by faith (Ro 5:1); evidentially, by works. The question here is not as to the ground on which believers are justified, but about the demonstration of their faith..." Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Com.

The key phrase (above) I wanted to point out here is, "...exhibit to me. Faith is unseen save by God." ---what do you think of this?

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Acts 19.11-20 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Do you ever feel lifeless? Is the passion waning or fading in your spiritual life? You may wish to answer no... but then upon further reflection the answer is: yes.

How is the passion rekindled?____________________________

How is faith increased?_________________________________

I have come to see that time in the Word and dedication to obedience to God along with giving thanks are key to my steadfast walk with the Lord. He is so merciful and faithful to meet us "where we're at!" Won't you seek Him today and see if there be any way in which your life is needing an adjustment or a change in thinking or a change of behavior... then would you join me in committing this to the Lord and seeking His direction and grace to obey His calling.

What one thing do you need to do today? _________________________________________

 

James 2.20-26

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Lest you think I lean too heavily toward a Wesleyan persuasion, I assure you I am more of a Calvinist than I appear (Works faith vs. Grace faith). But as I have been thinking on this issue of faith and works, I have likened it to child training. Yep, this does break down, but consider: When a child is told what to do, he is expected to obey that "command." For example: coming when called; and if, when called the first time, that child does not respond, that child is reminded to obey. We might give that child many 'chances.' However, we might have to remind that child that he is loved, but also correct that child so that he will not forget to obey. We might say that that child's obedience comes from a desire to please (God) and demonstrate his love to his parents. In the face of continued disobedience, the parent might feel that the child really doesn't care and really isn't sincere in his stated desire to obey. At some point the parent simply wants to see this desire and feeling in action. I think the same might be said of us as believers... we demonstrate our desire and love for Him in the way we are committed to Him. Okay... like I said, this breaks down and isn't totally flawless. Remember, though, this obedience in no way changes His love for us.... for we know that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (Rom. 5.8)

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Gen 22.1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am...

When was the last time you said to the Lord: "Behold, here I am..." _________________________________________

Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect

Gen 22. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together...

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God

Isaiah 41.8-10 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? See Joshua Ch. 2 for this account, perhaps seemingly insignificant at the time, but remembered through the ages.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

So, back to our example of a parent and a child. If that child never demonstrates obedience, it is difficult for that parent to believe that child's sincerity. Or a husband who continually tells his wife that he loves her and yet, if he never demonstrated that love, she would question if it even existed. Or, maybe stepping on toes here, if the wife says over and over again all the things she is going to do/means to do, but never does them, what will the husband think?

The blood is the life of the body. The blood of Jesus is the life of a born again Christian. Before my father died, his skin was rosy and soft, he had life. I was amazed how the colour and softness immediately left his body and how quickly evident it was that he was "gone." The life is in the blood... it can be seen! When there is no life in the body, the body is dead... so faith without works is dead also.

I am thinking one of the best gifts you could give your husband / family is a faithful wife / mother. This gift couldn't come wrapped in beautiful tissue and tied with a golden cord... it probably couldn't be delivered over night, your husband may not initially recognize it, as it wouldn't exactly be measurable.

This gift for him would have to be first given to the Lord and wholly dedicated to Him, so in essence, your husband (children) would really be getting the benefits or the overflow of this gift. While this gift's name is faith... and you'd have to work it out... think of the generations this gift might affect.... one small gift... small as a mustard seed... from you: the gift of a faithful wife.

James 2.26  "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

For as the body without the spirit is dead, This word is interesting---spirit [4151] The Greek word pneuma is commonly used to denote spirit or soul, as referring to the intelligent nature. The meaning here is the obvious one, that the body is animated or kept alive by the presence of the soul, and that when that is withdrawn, hope departs. The body has no life independent of the presence of the soul.

…so faith without works is dead also. There is as much necessity that faith and works should be united to constitute true religion, as there is that the body and soul should be united to constitute a living man. If good works do not follow, it is clear that there is no true and proper faith; none that justifies and saves. If faith produces no fruit of good living, that fact proves that it is dead, that it has no power, and that it is of no value. -Albert Barnes Com.

So, as you are living out you life this day---this week… what outward indication would one see of the inward condition/decision of your heart? I ask this of you, and I have been asking it of myself…

What do we celebrate?

Your life is a message lived out for God.

What is your message?

Does your message seem joyful or joy-filled?

We have but a few more opportunities this year to demonstrate to a lost and lonely world Who Jesus Is, and what He has done for us… and for them…

"James and Paul both agree in the necessity of true faith in order to salvation; they both agree that the tendency of true faith is to produce a holy life; they both agree that where there is not a holy life there is no true religion, and that a man cannot be saved. We may learn, then, from the whole doctrine of the New Testament on the subject, that unless we believe in the Lord Jesus we cannot be justified before God; and that unless our faith is of that kind which will produce holy living, it has no more of the characteristics of true religion than a dead body has of a living man."   ---Albert Barnes

In addition to our review of James 1 & 2, I would like to share with you the gift I received from Laurie K. at the completion of our study in the book of Ephesians. I see it every day and will make it my prayer focus in the coming year. I will type the words here, but you’ll have to imagine how Laurie printed it in calligraphy on beautiful paper and framed it for me. It reads:

I Purpose To

Be angry and not sin.

Let no corrupt communication come,

Out of my mouth.

Lay aside bitterness and wrath.

Be kind and tenderhearted.

Forgiving.

Be a sweet smelling savor.

Use my time wisely.

Make melody to the Lord in my heart.

Give thanks always for all things.

Be in submission to God, to one another and,

To my husband,

Be the wife that is an encouragement to my husband,

That he may be obedient to Christ.

And most of all PRAY.

Ephesians 4-6

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

James 1.17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Here we see, God in the act of giving, and the gift given.

With Christmas just celebrated, you probably had opportunity to give and or receive gifts. Did you find someone ‘the’ perfect gift? Did you have the thrill of anticipating the giving of such a gift? Think of how God feels toward us, think of His good gifts... His perfect gifts. Review a couple of verses:

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

We have just celebrated the giving of the Most Perfect Gift the world has ever known. For us this gift is not a one time historical event, but a gift that is received every day, a gift that frees us from the bondage of sin, the gift that allows us access to God and the gift that means we will spend eternity with Him.

James 1.17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Why do you think that in the verse before (Ja 1.16) this we were exhorted to "not err...?"

Colossians 1.16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

James 1.19-20

19. Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

  1. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Beginning Monday we will be looking again at the importance of controlling the tongue. Maybe you wanted to work on this area and now is an opportunity to renew that commitment.

James 1. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

In order to be ready to receive good things, we must lay aside or be done with foolish things… foolish jesting, foolish talk, foolish attitudes… In order to receive the engrafted word we must sometimes go through some pruning.

James 2.1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

I don’t know if you are going through a pruning time or not… I know that I am, and while the Lord is allowing some hurtful things to be revealed and my responses haven’t been immediately, instantly proper, I see His Hand and am thankful for the pruning. I pray that your responses will be immediately proper and if the Lord is testing and pruning, that you will allow His perfect work to be completed in you.

…Receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls.

Please join me in Bible memory… ><> it will help us in the daily renewing of our minds.

James 2.18

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Very important: faith shown by works.

Verse 18. [Show me thy faith without thy works] Your pretending to have faith, while you have no works of charity or mercy, is utterly vain: for as faith, which is a principle in the mind, cannot be discerned but by the effects, that is, good works; he who has no good works has, presumptively, no faith.

[I will show thee my faith by my works.] My works of charity and mercy will show that I have faith; and that it is the living tree, whose root is love to God and man, and whose fruit is the good works here contended for. ---Adam Clarke

James 2.26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

There is a seeming contradiction in thinking between the Apostle Paul and James… In Romans 3.20 Paul tells us "By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." And then in James, we read that a man is not justified by faith only but also by works. Paul further says in Romans 2.13 that "…the doers of the Law will be justified." We can see the key can be found in a little word "say" in verse 14 (James 2.14). If a man say he hath faith… Now, if this man has no works can his faith save him, James asks? The works then are the evidences of faith.

So… look at your own life. What are the outward evidences in your own life that demonstrate your inward decision or heart of faith? I’m not talking legalism here, or pharisaical conduct…. But real evidences of the Lord Jesus living in and working in and through you.

Like I shared with you yesterday… no matter who we are we are going to fail from time to time. I cannot believe the things in which I continue to fail. I share with you these things because I want you to see that if you fail, you can confess it, be forgiven, and move on to the next plan the Lord has for you. He is ever merciful, ever ready to forgive, to cleanse, and to heal and mend your broken works or shattered plans.

Bible reading of the Psalms and Proverbs are probably the two most key passages in all of Psalms and Proverbs for women. 119 and 31 respectively. To me, they hold the keys or the answers to most any question we might have as to what the Lord requires of us as obedient wives… mothers… women. Remember that Proverbs 31 is a set of ideals, listing the qualities of a virtuous woman---the woman God has created you and me to be. Will we all be getting up while it is night, and all be planting a vineyard, and all be making coverings for our beds today? Read… and seek the Lord. He will prompt you as to what He wants you to apply in this season of your life and what He might have you to do in another season of your life. Seek Him… remember at the beginning of our study in this book we learned that any who lack wisdom need only to ask and the Lord will give it liberally!

In light of this, let’s examine our lives and our thoughts and our actions. Are they in line with what God says about women? About Christian women? Is there anything you need to lay aside, leave behind? Are there plans you need to sit down and make for the days ahead? Not resolutions… but plans of obedience to the Lord.

Would your life be characterized by the words "She is faith in action!" or "Does she have faith?" Lets purpose to join one another in putting the Lord’s design first, faith in action---purposing to be women of faith.

James 3.1-5

1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (condemnation: or, judgment)

2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (a matter: or, wood)

I am mindful that as we study today, I am in a position that could be called a ‘teacher.’ I would humbly tell you that my desire is not to be a teacher to you but that I would be a Bible "applicator" with you. As a mop is to applying floor wax, I am to applying what I see in God’s Word for us as women—wives---homemakers---etc. And you are, too, as you read, study and apply God’s Truths.

So, here goes---I may not wax eloquent, but I will try to apply what I can see. Hopefully it won’t be a bad wax job.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Teachers, masters, leaders in authority would seem to be what is referenced here. Because of their visibility and position, not only their attitudes and actions under scrutiny, it would seem that given the fact that no one is perfect, there would never be a time when this person or these persons would be free of criticism. Given that supposition, why would anyone want to be a leader or a teacher? Only because The Lord leads, I suppose.

1Peter 5.3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (being lords over: or, overruling)

Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

You may have a favourite teacher, Pastor, commentator, or author for whom you have great respect and whose opinions you highly value. You might say that you are obedient to them or that they ‘steer’ your course. They would be under greater scrutiny than a person whose opinion is never voiced or heard. That is why they would receive greater condemnation and also that is why they are at greater risk of offending people. Have you ever listened to a person make a statement and yet you know their lives don’t ‘back up’ what they are saying? This would be the condemnation of their message.

A few of Matthew Henry’s thoughts on this passage: We must not affect to speak and act as those who are continually assuming the chair, we must prescribe to one another so as to make our own sentiments a standard by which to try all others… we are all sinners and were we to think of our own mistakes and offenses, we should be less apt to judge other people. He says, that self-justifiers are commonly self-deceivers…their own faults may prove worse than the faults they condemn in others.

So, how do we wives and mothers apply this to our lives? Think about the "power" you have in your home. You may not admit it or think about it consciously, but if you were to be honest with yourself for a moment, you will see that you hold great power over not only your children, but also over your husband. What?! Yes. Think about the mood of your home…you create it your tongue, your behaviour, the way you speak to your children, the way you talk on the phone, the way you answer the door, the way you answer your husband, the attitude you demonstrate to him. You are steering the ship, so to speak. What is critical for the wise woman is to know that she must never exercise that power in a deceptive or dishonest way. Your kind words or actions must always only be of pure honest motives, never deceitful.

(Prov. 31.11-12 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.)

You are a leader to your children. What kind of example do they see?

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 3.5-8

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! {a matter: or, wood} 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. {course: Gr. wheel} 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: {kind: Gr. nature} {mankind: Gr. nature of man} 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

(5.b)Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

How much of a spark does it take to ignite a forest fire?

Matthew 12.33-37 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

I have often thought that words spoken in haste, tiredness, late hours, or in ignorance have the greatest devastating effect.

Think of snappy answers you have either given or received. Think of words spoken in haste or ignorance. Think of things you have said in the late hours of the day when your defenses were down. Words. Irretrievable words.

(6)And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Isn’t it interesting the contrast of description in verse 5 about the tongue being a little member and now in verse 6 it is referred to as a world of iniquity.

The word ‘hell’ used here in the Greek is Gehenna---found only here and in Matthew 5.22

Prov 16. 27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

You may want to look up Mark 7.14-23, to see further the Lord’s teaching about things that proceed out from us.

I have a book that describes an activity designed to demonstrate the impossibility of retrieving spoken words. A father tells of a time when he gave each of his children a tube of tooth paste and asked them to squeeze out the contents of the tube onto the table. He then told them to try to put the toothpaste neatly back into the tube. The children, unable to comply with the request, soon saw the father’s point. I’d like to add that at the point that the toothpaste was on the table, there was not only the irretrievable product, but there was a mess. Many times when we let loose with our tongues the only product is a mess!

(7)For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind. Think of the progress made in taming a wild animal. Think further of the tremendously powerful restraints used in the taming of ferocious beasts, and yet…

(8)…the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

unruly evil--The Greek, implies that it is at once restless and incapable of restraint. Nay, though nature has hedged it in with a double barrier of the lips and teeth, it bursts from its barriers to assail and ruin men. (JFB commentary)

You know the old saying: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What a falsehood that adage is!

Yesterday, we talked about the influence a woman has in her home. This influence can be manipulative as we mentioned or it can be negative (as we see here) or the in the following verses, we see that our conversation can have ‘life-changing’ effects/results.

1 Peter 3.1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

In a couple of days, we will reference this passage of Scripture again.

Have you seen ways in which one little word has changed the whole course of a conversation or the whole tone of the day? I have seen it in my home, have you seen it in yours?

Pr 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Pr 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Pr 25:23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

Pr 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

The power of the tongue. The incredible power of the tongue to heal or to hurt.

Here are some additional thoughts on this… for a sharper focus, a woman must be certain to establish a cheerful and loving atmosphere with her every word and gesture, because in so doing, she does set the mood of the home. You’ve heard the account: that on which we focus is what we will move toward in our behavior, even if our focus is geared to avoiding that behavior. Let’s focus on what to do, and check occasionally to avoid pitfalls or blind sides.

Where are the potential pitfall areas in your home?_________________________________

What plans can you make to avoid the damage of the powerful tongue? ________________________________

James 3.9-12

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? {place: or, hole}

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

Bless[2129] Gr. Eulogia: fine speaking, elegance of language, commendation---where our word ‘benediction’ comes from.

Curse[2672] Gr. Kataraomai: execrate ---which means to revile, accurse, vilify, denounce.

Is your speech a blessing to God? _____________________________________

How ‘bout to others? ________________________________________________

Has this ever happened to you? You are sitting reading and talking with the Lord and you get up from your quiet place only to say something harsh to the next person you speak to. I have done this and feel so ashamed afterward… and must confess it as sin. I was thinking of the following verse as it demonstrates the necessity for us to value the lives and feelings of others….

Gen 1.26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

"The tongue is capable of rehearsing the praises, and setting forth the glories, of the eternal King: what a pity that it should ever be employed in a contrary work! It can proclaim and vindicate the truth of God, and publish the Gospel of peace and good will among men: what a pity that it should ever be employed in falsehoods, calumny, or in the cause of infidelity!" Adam Clarke’s com.

It ought not be that we speak sweetly to some and harshly to others. Isn’t it amazing that we from time to time speak in a brusque way to those for whom we have the greatest love? ___________________

How about speaking rudely to people we don’t know… That leads us back to being a respecter of persons, that we studied in James 2.---using favourable speech with people with whom we are impressed.

Does pride keep our language pretty clean? ___________________________________________________

Do you see growth in the area of the tongue? __________________________________________________

Then praise the Lord for His marvelous work in your life.

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

What kind of water is going to come forth of a clean vessel?

Pr 18:4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook."

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of what our words ought to be like?

Pr 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

"Can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Such a thing is impossible in nature, and equally absurd in morals. A fig-tree bears only figs; and so the tongue ought to give utterance only to one class of sentiments and emotions. These illustrations are very striking, and show the absurdity of that which the apostle reproves." --Albert Barnes Com.

We have a tree in our yard that (supposedly) bares apples of five varieties. The branches are grafted in, they are not natural to the tree. In a way, good language or good fruit must be ‘grafted’ into our lives.

Think about speech… is it possible to change patterns learned in childhood? Yes! How is it done? By the same method used to have this tree (be capable of) producing mixed varieties of apples: grafting. The engrafting of the living Word, which we just studied (Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.)

James 3.13-16

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

(James 2.18 "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.")

1 Peter 3.2 "While they behold your chaste conversation…"

When you consider what the Lord means here by good conversation, what do you think of? ______________________

How do you describe meekness of wisdom? _______________________________

Titus 2.3 "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;"

John15. 16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Colossians 1. 10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

1 Peter 3.4 "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

*We are clearly going against the Lord, here if we harbour bitterness and envy in our hearts. Our hearts may deceive us into thinking we are ‘justified’ in our hurts and our bitterness. But the Word tells us this is a lie. That this really isn’t wisdom…or at least not the kind we must pursue.

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Wisdom [4678]Gr. Sophia –higher or lower, worldly or spiritual--wisdom

Ps.107.43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

We have carnal tendencies… we have a sin nature that aims to please itself, to feed and nurture itself. This will play out differently from woman to woman, but for the most part our thoughts and our hearts can be easily deceived when our ‘hot button’ is pushed.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Philippians 1.27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

"What are the bitter effects and fruits of envy and strife, namely, confusion, and every evil work; an envious spirit is an unquiet and wicked spirit; the devil worketh by no instruments more than by envious, discontented, and malicious persons; pride and envy were the two first sins that crept into the world; the first man was ruined by pride, the second destroyed by envy, the whole world could not hold two brothers when the one was envied by the other: Cain's envy tasted blood, and verily the sinner's envy thirsts after it; well therefore may the apostle say, Where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work; this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish." (William Burkitt’s Notes)

When you have had bitter envying in your heart, how did you feel about the Lord? _____________________________

What value did you place on the person or situation that caused you bitterness? _______________________________

Romans 6.21-22 "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."

Is there ever any value in envy? _________ What does God say about envy? __________________ (think commandment)

The Word says that with envy and strife there is confusion and every evil work. Has envy ever driven you to places or thoughts you’d never have dreamed you’d go or think? How about strife? What does strife drive you to do.

As wives and/or mothers in the home, we must set the tone and the atmosphere of our homes… we mustn’t get caught up in the latest trends, or in what others have, or how others do things. It will only bring trouble and envy. This envy grows a bitter root and unattended, it will produce strife. To take this thought another step, we then open the door to confusion and every evil work.

Do you remember a time when envy led to all this trouble? ______________________________

What did you do? ______________________________________________________________

Is there a root of bitterness left from that envy? _______________________________________

You know the next thing I might ask you to do…. _______________________________________

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My prayer for you today is this: Hebrews 13.21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

James 3.17-18

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

But the wisdom that is from above is first *pure, then peaceable, *gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of *mercy and *good fruits, without partiality, and *without hypocrisy.

There are many important words here in this description. We could probably spend a year on this verse alone. Let’s break it down and see what the Lord might say to us by way of definition of a few of the *key words and personal application.

This wisdom is from the above, the beginning, from the first. It must be unquestionably from God.

Pure:[53] Gr. hagnos; clean, innocent, chaste, modest.

Gentle:[1933] Gr. epieikhv epieikes, ep-ee-i-kace' from 1909 and 1503; appropriate, i.e. (by implication) mild:--gentle, moderation, patient.

Mercy [1656] eleov eleos, el'-eh-os; of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active):--(+ tender) mercy.

Good [18] agayov agathos, ag-ath-os' a primary word; "good" (in any sense, often as noun):--benefit, good(-s, things), well.

Without hypocrisy [505] anupokritov anupokritos, an-oo-pok'-ree-tos From [1](as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of 5271; undissembled, i.e. sincere:--without dissimulation (hypocrisy), unfeigned.

_____________________________________________________________________________

What a worthy description of character for which to strive: To be a woman who is clean, innocent, modest, gentle, compassionate, good and sincere.

1 Peter 1.22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Colossians 3.12-15 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Are you easily entreated? ______________________________________________

Are you a thankful woman? _____________________________________________

Among other things, would it be your heart’s desire to be described in this way? You know, ________________(your name) is a woman who is patient, clean, innocent, modest, gentle, compassionate, good and sincere; and she is always so peaceful……..

Will you join me in this sincere pursuit?

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Righteousness [1343] dikaiosunh dikaiosune, dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay from 1342; equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification:--righteousness.

Peace [1515] eirhnh eirene, i-ray'-nay; probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity:--one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.

Matthew 5.9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

This role of being a peace maker is an active roll. Seemingly one that requires advanced preparation or planning to accomplish the desired result: peace.

In Titus 2.3, as we saw yesterday, "The aged women likewise… be….. teachers of good things"

Are you a teacher of good things? _______________________________________

While we might consider this to be in the physical realm (cooking, nursing, sewing, etc., etc.), I cannot think of a better thing to ‘teach’ than the biblical truths, righteousness, peace, mercy, obedience. Our lives teach! We are teaching somebody something everyday. What are we teaching? ___________________________________________________________

When you work about your home, serve your family, spend time with others, what do you "sow?"

As an obedient Christian woman, your life must be a message for others. The fruit of righteousness must ever be developing and ‘reproducing.’

Remember how I have share with you about the way you set the tone for your home? The home must be a peaceful haven of rest for your family and for those who come in. One of the messages the Lord has written into my life is the message of having a welcome heart and a welcome home. Thus the title of many things I do. It is my sincere desire to be a welcome/welcoming person… It is not natural to me. It is a process. I have a tendency to be pretty random and so for me part of this process is learning to be disciplined. Discipline is a process. Peace and the fruit of righteousness is a process. It is important to cultivate this fruit and to reproduce it---it takes discipline. Discipline brings peace.

James 4.1-3

1. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Where do the ‘fightings’ and contentions come from? I think two of the key areas are mentioned in the previous chapter… maybe you have a few more ideas. For now let’s remember a couple of things… verses 6 and 16 from chapter three.

Ahhh, that little member: the tongue, and the bitter envying… strife in our hearts.

Commentators suppose different meanings to this reference to "wars and fightings…" there seems to be some good indication that this fighting came form the contentions of the Jews, the different factions, the heathen…all this, because James was writing to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. This is much like current or contemporary fightings and contentions between nations over racial and land occupation differences.

It is easy to agree with Solomon that there is nothing new under the sun.

The previous chapter dealt with man’s "wisdom," rather than God’s wisdom (that wisdom, which is described in verse 17: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy).

When we have "wars and fightings" among us, can you see how they come from our "lusts?" _________________________________________________________________________

When we have "fightings" in the home, it is generally because one feels their ‘rights’ have been trampled.

How is it in your home? ______________________________________________________

When we have "wars and fightings" in our marriages, isn’t it this same thing? ____________

We think that our needs/wants have not been met… our assumptions or (unspoken?) expectations.

Have you caused ‘wars and fightings’ this way? ___________________________________

I know I have… and it has been because I felt someone didn’t meet an assumed expectation…for me, it’s usually wrong assumptions… How ‘bout for you? ______________________________________________

Galatians 5.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Luke 10.41-42 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Are we sometimes guilty of causing a "war and fightings" because we didn’t speak up or because we didn’t ask

someone to do or not do something?

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

When we ask the Lord to provide… do we ask for godly purposes?

Is our primary concern our need or our "desire."

1 Timothy 6.7-11 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Let’s purpose to be wise….to ask the Lord in His name, for His purposes, for His plans for our lives.

1 John 3. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

James 4.4

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses

This is a strong statement of a stark reality. An adulterer is one who breaks trust or separates himself from the bands of marriage---or in this case from the spiritual band of righteousness and allegiance to God. One who sets himself apart for personal gratification---and is outside of the will of God.

1 Thess. 2.4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

Galatians 1. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

1John 2.15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

whosoever ... will be--The Greek is emphatic, "shall be resolved to be." Whether he succeed or not, if his wish be to be the friend of the world, he renders himself, becomes (so the Greek for "is") by the very fact, "the enemy of God." Contrast "Abraham the friend of God."

In what ways might WE be seeking to be ‘friends’ with the world? ________________

When a compromising situation presents itself, do we join in? Remain quiet? Stand alone?

Are there ways in which we might seem to be a "friend of the world?" ______________

Do we sound like we are a "friend of the world?" ______________________________

Do we look like we are a "friend of the world?" ________________________________

These are important questions to ask and to answer.

When you are out and about, ask yourself "what is my behavior saying about Jesus?" ____________________

Or, "What do my responses sound like?" ________________________________________________________

The next time you look in the mirror, take a good look and ask yourself: "What does the "world" see when they look at me?" "What is my message to the world about who Jesus is?" _______________________________________

When you answer the telephone or answer the door, your responses matter…

MOST importantly, in your thought life, are you seeking to be friends with the world? _______________________

Ephesians 2.16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Romans 5.10-11 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

This is our whole chief aim: "…but we also joy in God…" I pray we would each one today renew our commitment to "joy in God" for His wonderful works and for His unfailing love for us.

 

Jude 1. 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

James 4.5-6

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

*Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?*

"[Regarding James 4:5] "Some by the spirit here understand the holy Spirit of God, and make the words run in the form of an interrogation, thus, ‘The Spirit, that dwelleth in us Christians, lusteth he to envy as your's doth? Nay, rather is he not the Spirit of love and goodness?’ Others understand our own spirit; our corrupt nature is mightily carried forth this way, even to envy the good of others; it is usual in scripture to call the bent and propensions of the soul, either to good or evil, by the name of a Spirit. Note hence, that God's own people have much, too much, of a spirit of envy remaining in them, unmortified and unsubdued by them: The spirit that is in us lusteth to envy." William Burkitt’s Notes (com)

 

I quoted Burkitt, because of the seeming contradiction I found in studying several commentators’ notes. I originally read this verse to mean the spirit of man rather that the Holy Spirit. I stand by that thought. You may have some additional insights.

I read it this way: Are the Scriptures untrue when they say that the heart of man is lustful and envious? The undeniable answer to that is no… the Scriptures testify of the vanity of man.

Zodhiates says, "The best possible solution to this difficult verse is to interpret the word spirit not as referring to the Holy Spirit, but to the fallen spirit of man (that which is responsible for man’s fallen propensity to sin; cf. Romans 5.12). The fallen spirit in man lusteth toward envy. This envy manifests itself in selfishness and malice."

Titus 3.3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

*But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.*

Okay, so we have a propensity to sin. What do we do about it? Earlier in our study of chapter one, we learned that if any lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives to all men liberally…

*If* there is an area of your life in which you struggle or battle, when you purpose to give that area to God and let Him be in control, what happens (besides enemy attack?) We receive grace. More grace. Which leads me to surmise that the grace of God is a very personal and uniquely specific prescription----not given in mass production, but rather tailor made to exact specifications to meet the need of the individual believer. Further, it appears to me that as a situation warrants grace to obey or fulfil, the necessary amount of grace for the particular need is matched and then given.

Isn’t God truly miraculous?!

2 Cor. 6.1 "…also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain."

*Grace* [5485] cariv charis, khar'-ece; from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude):--acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).

So, why is grace given? __________________________________________________

And why is it so important to not accept it in vain?______________________________

Today, you may have an area in which you struggle, maybe you have battled a problem for a long time.

Pray to the Lord who loves you, created you, knows more about you than you’ll ever know about yourself…. Seek His face and ask His Divine guidance and assistance. Are you seeking to be obedient? _________________

Are you seeking freedom in obedience to the Lord? _______________________________________

Then ask of God who giveth unto all men liberally… But ask in faith, nothing wavering.

Romans 6.1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? …This might be an excellent time to sit quietly in prayer with the Lord…

James 4.6-7

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

But he giveth more grace. God giveth more grace. To enable us to overcome our love of the world. To overcome our desire to place ‘self’ first (review of yesterday’s study).

Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.*

Proud [5244] uperhfanov huperephanos, hoop-er-ay'-fan-os from 5228 and 5316; appearing above others (conspicuous), i.e. (figuratively) haughty:--proud.

Wherefore the scripture saith. Quoted from Pr 3:34. The passage is quoted to show that the way to secure grace more abundantly is to be humble before the Lord. (Peoples’ New Test. Com.)

"God resisteth the proud. The proud are those who have an inordinate self-esteem; who have a high and unreasonable conceit of their own excellence or importance. This may extend to anything; to beauty, or strength, or attainments, or family, or country, or equipage, or rank, or even religion. A man may be proud of anything that belongs to him, or which can in any way be construed as a part of himself, or as pertaining to him. This does not, of course, apply to a correct estimate of ourselves, or to the mere knowledge that we may excel others. One may know that he has more strength, or higher attainments in learning or in the mechanic arts, or greater wealth than others, and yet have properly no pride in the case. He has only a correct estimate of himself, and he attaches no undue importance to himself on account of it. His heart is not lifted up; he claims no undue deference to himself; he concedes to all others what is their due; and he is humble before God, feeling that all that he has, and is, is nothing in his sight, he is willing to occupy his appropriate place in the sight of God and men, and to be esteemed just as he is. Pride goes beyond this, and gives to a man a degree of self-estimation which is not warranted by anything that he possesses. God looks at things as they are; and hence he abhors and humbles this arrogant claim. This resistance of pride he shows not only in the explicit declarations of his word, but in the arrangements of his providence and grace." Albert Barnes NT Com

Proverbs 3.34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

We all deal with pride in one way or another. Are there areas in your life that the Lord has clearly been working on?

I have had pride in the area of early rising… and didn’t want anything to ‘mess up’ my getting up early. Then came a few things that have turned the schedule upside down and I was unable to get up early. This led to my feeling like the sluggard of Proverbs and then to pride of justifying why I couldn’t get up early. Do you see the cycle of pride? Your area of weakness may be very different. It may be in the area of appearance, intelligence, finances, possessions, whatever it is the Lord will sure one day place His finger on that area and look into it. Join me in asking Him and humbly allowing His

perfect work to be done.

The "what will people think" thoughts will hinder the humble desires of your heart.

Humble [5011] tapeinov tapeinos, tap-i-nos' of uncertain derivation; depressed, i.e. (figuratively) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition):--base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.

Proverbs 29.23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Matthew 23.12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

*Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.*

Submit [5293] upotassw hupotasso, hoop-ot-as'-so from 5259 and 5021; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey:--be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

Resist [436] anyisthmi anthistemi, anth-is'-tay-mee; from 473 and 2476; to stand against, i.e. oppose:--resist, withstand.

Flee [5343] feugw pheugo, fyoo'-go; apparently a primary verb; to run away (literally or figuratively); by implication, to shun; by analogy, to vanish:--escape, flee (away)

What does it mean to you to submit yourself to God? ________________________________________________

Is it hard for you to submit to God? ________________________________________________

.It appears that the ONLY way to flee is to be fully submitted to God.

1 Peter 5.5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Resist the devil--- Commentators have much to say regarding our resisting the devil. More importantly, the Bible is full of exhortations to resist the devil.

By way of application, the reason I like to do Bible studies and letters of encouragement for women, is because the Lord has laid it on my heart to do so. I do confess to you that there are many times I feel awkward about what I feel led to share… I share the joyful stories and the humbling stories because He has impressed on my heart to do so. I cannot recall the number of times I have felt the ‘product’ was so inferior, however the Word does say we are to be subject one to another, and so I do the best I am able and must then leave to God the results of the work. This means not withholding ‘information’ that reveals flaws or is humiliating or humbling; but rather to share what the Lord is doing in our lives and building up and edifying the body with the fruit of the Spirit.

Has the Lord asked you to do things that are hard for you or that (of your own strength) you cannot do? _______________________________________________________

Proverbs 15.33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Would there be an area the Lord has prompted in you where you need to humble yourself Him and change a way you have been behaving or looking at things? _______________________________________________________

James 4.8

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners. And purify your hearts, ye double minded.

(for added insight, a few of the greek words defined.)

Nigh [1448] eggizw eggizo, eng-id'-zo from 1451; to make near, i.e. (reflexively) approach:--approach, be at hand, come (draw) near, be (come, draw) nigh.

Cleanse [2511] kayarizw katharizo, kath-ar-id'-zo from 2513; to cleanse (literally or figuratively):--(make) clean(-se), purge, purify.

Purify [48] agnizw hagnizo, hag-nid'-zo from 53; to make clean, i.e. (figuratively) sanctify (ceremonially or morally):--purify (self).

Hearts [2588] kardia kardia, kar-dee'-ah prolonged from a primary kar (Latin cor, "heart"); the heart, i.e. (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle:--(+ broken-)heart(-ed).

Double-minded [1374] diqucov dipsuchos, dip'-soo-khos from 1364 and 5590; two-spirited, i.e. vacillating (in opinion or purpose):--double minded.

*Draw nigh to God*

Think of Adam, in the Garden of Eden---created by God, close to God and then separated from God by his own sin; and we, being of Adam, also separated by sin from God. He has created you for fellowship with Him, you are precious to Him, He sent His Son to die for the sin that separated you from Him in order that fellowship could be restored with you. This is all of Him, His plan, His preparation and provision for you and for me. That is the Love of God.

*and he will draw nigh to you*

William Burkitt’s Notes "As the duty required, draw nigh to God, so the encouragement annexed, he will draw nigh to you: God will certainly draw nigh to that Christian, in a way of mercy, who prepareth his heart to approach and draw near to him in a way of duty; the Lord is nigh to all them that call upon him; nigh to comfort, nigh to quicken, nigh to guide, nigh to support."

So, how do we draw nigh to God? It is simple, but it is sometimes not easy---what do I mean by this? I mean to say that in order to enjoy the closeness and sweet fellowship with the Lord, we have to make a plan to DO IT, and we have to work that plan… It is not natural for us to get up outta that bed early in the morning before the rest of the family in order to have that sweet fellowship with the Lord, it is not natural for us to read our Bibles and meditate on the Word and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, it is not natural for us to want to climb out of that warm, cozy bed. We like to rest…. we like to sleep… we like to read the paper… we like to fiddle with our toys. We are distracted by the dailies---But what does God say? He says draw nigh unto Me and I will draw nigh unto you.

Before *right now*, I had always seen this as a promise. And now, while I still see it as a promise---I now, for the first time see it as a mandate to me (this may simply be my personal prompting). What do you think??? ____________________________________________________

*Cleanse your hands, ye sinners*

This word ‘cleanse’ has the implication for us to get rid our sins of or clean ourselves. As I type this I am wondering what this might mean for the different ones of us in our group. For one it might be a habit, for another it might mean gossiping, or anger or bitterness. For another it might be that God has called you to do something that you have clearly rejected. Whatever it is, small or great, it would be the right time to clear it up today.

*And purify your hearts*

When we ask God to forgive us He says He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. See the order here? Just like drawing nigh to Him first… we must go to Him and *ask* for the forgiveness and cleansing. Why is this important? _______________________________________________________

Ps 66:18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me"

John 9.31 "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."

See also Isaiah Chapter 1.

Again, William Burkitt: "… That double-minded men have corrupt hearts: double- mindedness is a dividing of the heart between God and something else: whereas God calls for the whole heart, the whole mind, the whole soul, the whole strength...That this double-mindedness hinders both our drawing nigh to God, and God's drawing nigh to us; a heart divided between God and the world, between conscience and lust, between religion and self interest, will hinder all intercourse and sweet communion betwixt God and us in the duty of prayer.

*ye double minded*

James 1.8 "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways"

We studied this ‘double-mindedness’ at length, you might want to review your notes, or that lesson if you have it. Let’s remember that this ‘double-mindedness’ is not hypocrisy (the saying one thing and doing another), but rather, it is the trying to do two things at once. Keeping a foot in the world and a foot in the ‘church’ so to speak. Of the double minded it could be said "too much sin to enjoy God, too much God to enjoy sin." Trying to hang on to the old ways---the old man. But, as we studied in Ephesians, that old man is dead and buried…. We are a new creation. Ironically, yesterday, our Pastor talked of this hanging on to old things… teetering on the edge of right and wrong. He challenged us in many areas… stepped on a few toes! Saying that so many times, we as Christians try to go as close to the line as we can without going over it.

For us, today… Let us fervently serve the Lord. Let us work in our homes, obedient to the LORD, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. Let us not be double minded.

James 4.9-10

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

These two verses deal in true humility---the sincere sorrowing and weeping over sin. Do we consider sin an abomination? Do we mourn over sin? We live in an age of pleasure. Man has always preferred pleasure and fulfilling of fleshly desires over humility and mourning over sin. The world makes sin enticing---even desirable. Touting the benefits of being a little naughty in marriage, being a little sneaky in business, being a little off colour in humor, being a little risky in driving. Instead of repenting and truly mourning over sin, we are encouraged to revel in it. Instead of feeling misery and wailing, we gloat. The world glamourizes sin and we as Christians so often stand on the edge…. teetering on the brink, as it were. And as we studied yesterday… we as Christians try to go as close to the line as we can without stepping over it.

But what does God say?

*Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep*

*let your laughter be turned to mourning*

(Some greek words defined)

afflicted [5003] talaipwrew talaiporeo, tal-ahee-po-reh'-o from 5005; to be wretched, i.e. realize one's own misery:

--be afflicted.

mourn [3996] penyew pentheo, pen-theh'-o from 3997; to grieve (the feeling or the act):--mourn, (be-)wail.

weep [2799] klaiw klaio, klah'-yo of uncertain affinity; to sob, i.e. wail aloud (whereas 1145 is rather to cry silently):--bewail, weep.

*and your joy to heaviness*

Heaviness[2726] kathfeia katepheia, kat-ay'-fi-ah from a compound of 2596 and perhaps a derivative of the base of 5316 (meaning downcast in look); demureness, i.e. (by implication) sadness:--heaviness.

*Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord*

Humble yourselves [5013] tapeinow tapeinoo, tap-i-no'-o from 5011; to depress; figuratively, to humiliate (in condition or heart):--abase, bring low, humble (self).

*and he shall lift you up.*

He shall lift[5312] uqow hupsoo, hoop-so'-o from 5311; to elevate (literally or figuratively):--exalt, lift up.

Matthew 5.4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

My sister in law has a dog who really demonstrates this… pardon me for using an animal illustration---I am not overly fond of animals, especially four legged ones with fur, but this illustration makes the point. Whenever Oscar has been naughty, he creeps into the house with tail between his legs, his head nearly touching the ground and eyes cast down. He slowly makes his way under a table in the corner and stays there a good long while. He demonstrates this heavily bowed down posture and the sincere mourning over sin.

What makes us do less?______________________________________________________

What makes us ignore or even think nothing of sin sometimes? _____________________________________________

I ask myself… do I grieve over sin? ________________________________________________________________

Do I grieve over gossip, slander, speeding, angry outbursts, greed, envy, coarse jesting, crude jokes, movies, immodest dress, blaspheme…………pride? ________________________________________________________________

Do I make a mock at sin? ________________________________________________________________

All these questions are asked keeping in mind and being cognizant of the grace and mercy and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus in our lives. And that all obedience ultimately is because of His grace in our lives.

Any other thoughts? ________________________________________________________________________________

A final thought here from a commentary. " --as continually in the presence of Him who alone is worthy to be exalted: recognizing His presence in all your ways, the truest incentive to humility. The tree, to grow upwards, must strike its roots deep downwards; so man, to be exalted, must have his mind deep-rooted in humility." –JamiesonFaucettBrown

The following is from Spurgeon’s book, "Christ’s Incarnation, the Foundation of Christianity" That is a wonderful text in Galatians 1:4, did you ever meditate upon it?

" ’Who gave Himself for our SINS...’ Jesus never gave Himself for our RIGHTEOUSNESS, but He did give Himself for our SINS! Sin is a horrible evil, a deadly poison, yet it is this which gives Jesus His title of Savior when He overcomes it.

What a wonder this is! The first link between my soul and Christ is- not my goodness, but my badness; not my merit, but my misery; not my standing, but my falling; not my riches, but my need. He comes to visit His people, yet not to

admire their beauties, but to remove their deformities; not to reward their virtues, but to forgive their sins."

James 4.11-12

11 "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."

12 "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?"

Here we are again back to dealing with that "little member" that continually brings dreadful calamity------Do you struggle with saying things from time to time that you regret with such deep remorse, and yet maybe the very same day or the next you say them again? _____________________________________________________________________________

Let’s have instruction from the Lord as to how we should live:

*Speak not evil one of another*, *brethren*

Family Bible Notes: "One lawgiver; Jesus Christ, and only one. All therefore are bound to yield cheerful, prompt, unwavering obedience to him. Who are thou; frail, sinful, dying man, that thou usurpest the place of Christ, and pronouncest sentence of condemnation on his servants, when thou must thyself soon stand before him in judgment and be treated for eternity according to thy works? Christ is the only rightful Lord and Lawgiver of his church. His disciples are all brethren; and when any one undertakes to lord it over others, he rebels against Christ, and exposes himself to be destroyed."

1 Peter 2.1 "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,"

*He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother*

Romans 2.1 "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things."

Just one Greek Definition today---the same word (judge, judgeth) used each time

Judge [2919] krino, kree'-no; properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:--avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

(See how careful we must be to examine situations before we ‘judge’ them?)

Eph. 4.31 "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:"

Hebrews 12.1 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"

I wanted to add this also, as it concisely covers a few of our past lessons.

JamiesonFaucettBrown Com. "Having mentioned sins of the tongue (Jas 3:5-12), he shows here that evil-speaking flows from the same spirit of exalting self at the expense of one's neighbor as caused the "fightings" reprobated in this chapter (Jas 4:1). Speak not evil--literally, "Speak not against" one another…brethren---implying the inconsistency of such depreciatory speaking of one another in brethren."

Another heavy---thought provoking lesson… maybe you have a few thoughts you’d like to record. __________________________________________________________________________

Oh, how it must grieve our Heavenly Father… our nasty thoughts and judgmental behavior toward our loved ones, toward our neighbors, church members, the down and out. We hastily judge others without giving thought to their personal feeling, condition, and more importantly their position before the Living God. We in essence make ourselves high and mighty to judge the position of others.

I quickly add, however, that there are situations that need strong comment or firm words or decisions or actions. As mothers, we must ‘judge’ the bad behavior of our children and correct it. As members of the body we must properly ‘judge’ what to what kind of doctrine or position is held by the leadership of the church we attend or group to which we’re a member, and then we must carefully weigh our decisions. As family members we must carefully ‘judge’ the kind of materials or ‘entertainment’ comes into our homes. We must carefully ‘judge’ activities to assure they are in line with biblical teaching or godly character. As wives, all this is done under the care and safety of our husband which the Lord has provided for our protection.

James 4.13-14

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

(v. 13) *Go to now* (Greek [33] age age, ag'-eh imperative of [71] properly, lead, i.e. come on:--go to.

As is said in the following, this phrase is an “attention-getter” probably used in the same way we might begin a sentence with, “Now, look…” or, “Look, here…” or, “Hey…” when we are trying to grab someone’s attention to make a firm point.

Albert Barnes’ Comm. “Go to now: The apostle here introduces a new subject, and refers to another fault which was doubtless prevalent among them, as it is everywhere, that of a presumptuous confidence respecting the future, or of forming plans stretching into the future, without any proper sense of the uncertainty of life, and of our absolute dependence on God. The phrase "go to now," (age nun,) is a phrase designed to arrest attention, as if there were something that demanded their notice, and especially, as in this case, with the implied thought that that to which the attention is called is wrong.”

*To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:*

Luke 12.18-20 “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

We make these kinds of statements “of fact” all the time… We say we’ll do this or that with such certainty. Many have scheduled paychecks and so say that they will buy or sell… invest or spend at such and such a time. Some buy stocks, trade commodities, invest in land because of the “sure bet” they are, or the “risk free” investment it promises to be. None of us know that this may be our last day on this earth. Disability may force loss of employment. Flood or fire may force a change in residence. Company ‘downsizing’ may force change of position or vocation. What ever the incident, whatever the challenge, whatever the issue… no one knows the hour or the time the Lord may choose. We would be much better served were we to remember to live this day… planning for tomorrow, perhaps, but not conceited or self absorbed with the arrangements.

*Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow*

Proverbs 27.1 “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Heb 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Whereas ye know not what shall be….

What is this saying to you? ____________________________________________________________

*For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.*

Have you thought much about your life? How you’ve spent it, how you’d like to be remembered? _____________________________________________________________________________

I frequently receive great quotes…

Just one life will soon be past…only what’s done for Christ will last.

Live today as if your life depended on it, pray today like eternity depends on it…

This passage we’re studying has been the theme of my thoughts in the last few months. As you know, the recent deaths of my father and father in law have had a profound effect on my life. I have determined not to waste time, not to presume on the future and not to dwell on the past. Amazingly, tucked into the space of both of these deaths came the turn of the century. All the speculations of doom and disaster were seemingly for naught... no ‘prophet’ can know the plans or purposes of God. Death and disaster… I believe God has some lessons for us in both these scenarios. First---death is a reality, of which we can be certain. What we cannot be certain of is the timing, manner and location of death. Second, we cannot presume to know the future, what will or will not happen to us, what we will or won’t have to eat or drink, where we will or won’t live, where we will or will not go, etc. What we can certainly count on is the fact that the Lord has promised to care for us, provide our needs, and affirms He is with us always.

How are you living your days? __________________________________________________________________________

Have you been presuming on the future? ___________________________________________________________________________

Have you been making plans without regard for what the Lord has here or without His direction? ___________________________________________________________________________

I am always comforted by a couple of facts. One is that Nothing ever surprises God, or escapes His gaze. And another is that nothing at all can happen to me that would not first sift through His screen or that would be contrary to His perfect or permissive Will. I need not fear today and I need not fear tomorrow. I am learning day by day that He is completely trustworthy, that all God’s Ways are Good. Plans I make are written in pencil… my faith is etched in stone. My life is in His hands. Your life is in His Hands. He loves You and He cares for You. He has a perfect plan for You. There is no better place than in the Palm of His Hand.

James 4.15-16

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

*For that ye ought to say,* (but we don’t) *If the Lord will* ( we say, it is my will) *we shall live, and do this, or that* (we are going to surely do this thing or get that thing).

As we have been studying this and thinking on these verses, isn’t it interesting how confidently we handle things. For example, continuing on with the thought from yesterday, just one month ago folks were running around gathering and storing and hoarding foodstuffs, water, gas and other such survival ‘gear.’ Now, one month later, I read in the papers how people are trying to figure out how to store or get rid of all the stuff. What I find interesting is the same confidence that existed before the potential ‘problems’ is as strong now---confident that there are no problems, and therefore just as some of the storing was extreme, now the dumping is extreme. We are fickle people. So often like sheep without a shepherd.

If read too quickly, the full significance of these verses will be missed. In order for our thinking to be godly and worshipful, we must be taking in these truths and meditating on them so that they become part of our thinking---our responses…so that our decisions or actions will be totally dependent on, and beautifully reflective of the LORD.

Albert Barnes’ Comm.

"If the Lord will, etc. This is proper, because we are wholly dependent on him for life, and as dependent on him for success, he alone can keep us, and he only can make our plans prosperous. In a thousand ways he can thwart our best-laid schemes, for all things are under his control. We need not travel far in life to see how completely all that we have is in the hands of God, or to learn how easily he can frustrate us if he pleases. There is nothing on which the success of our plans depends over which we have absolute control; there is nothing, therefore, on which we can base the assurance of success but his favour."

*But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.*

Proverbs 27.1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

And Albert Barnes’ thoughts continuing on for the next verse, "All such rejoicing is evil. It is founded on a wrong view of yourselves and of what may occur. It shows a spirit forgetful of our dependence on God; forgetful of the uncertainty of life; forgetful of the many ways by which the best-laid plans may be defeated. We should never boast of any wisdom or skill in regard to the future. A day, an hour may defeat our best-concerted plans, and show us that we have not the slightest power to control coming events."

Psalms 39. 5-6 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

Had you ever considered that it is prideful to boast of tomorrow? ___________________________

Tina wrote and said that God has shown her the importance of learning to live for THIS day. She said, "to cherish each day for itself, and give "no thought" for tomorrow. She continues, that this is NOT easy for her, saying, "You would think that all the times circumstances with David have turned my "schedule" upside down, due to illness, hospitalization, whatever, I would learn! Praise Him, I continue to plug along, but I wish this were easier for me! Planning is one thing, and a necessary one, but I need to learn to not devote my energies in focusing on the future. Just today." The Lord has worked marvelously in this family.

Take no thought for tomorrow… Live today, Love today.

James chapter 5.1-3

1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Remember at the beginning of our study in this book, I mentioned that this is often referred to as the "New Testament book of Proverbs." The 'deceitfulness' of riches is a common theme in Proverbs, and we study it here today.

*Go to now, ye rich men,* (Remember we studied this phrase: "go to now," in the last chapter, verse 13) Again James is pointedly exhorting the rich man ---there can be no mistaking the tone of this statement.

James 5.1

Here are some comments from John Wesley's commentary: "Come now, ye rich-The apostle does not speak this so much for the sake of the rich themselves, as of the poor children of God, who were then groaning under their cruel oppression.

Weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you-Quickly and unexpectedly. This was written not long before the siege of Jerusalem; during which, as well as after it, huge calamities came on the Jewish nation, not only in Judea, but through distant countries. And as these were an awful prelude of that wrath which was to fall upon them in the world to come, so this may likewise refer to the final vengeance which will then be executed on the impenitent."

Go to now, ye rich men, *weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.*

Luke 6.24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

*Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten*

Matthew 6.20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

*Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.*

Proverbs 11.28 "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch."

Have you been putting your trust in things you have? ___________________________________________

Have you trusted in the future worth of "treasures," collections, antiques, *things* of 'value?' _____________________________________________________________________________________

Doesn't it feel awful to throw out things you couldn't use because they became 'spoiled,' or old and useless and yet you had hung on to them for "security?"

With the advent of the new year and all the 'impending doom' of the Y2K---as has been mentioned a few times in the last month, many people were (are) well stocked, 'secure,' ready for "anything." I wonder again, how much of all these treasures will be 'moth eaten,' or rusted, or rotten or stolen?

So then....

What about the matters of the heart? What about laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven...? _______________________________________________________________________________________

My question is---are they/we ready for the most important thing... are we ready for Jesus? _______________

Romans 2.5-6 "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:"

It matters not what your position is regarding the timing of the coming of the LORD, or how He will come, or what it will be like---it matters that He is coming again. Let's not get caught up in divisions that separate us---but rather let's purpose to live in harmony with the 'brethren,' that the Word be not blasphemed. The LORD Jesus: our Hope, our Savior, our Rock, our Redeemer... is coming again. We must needs be ready.

Much like Habbakuk must have felt when he said,(2.3) "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." If the LORD's coming seems to linger... wait for it; because it will surely come..........

Do you have a few extra moments today? If you are memorizing, you might want to study your notes, and if you haven't begun memorizing, with just three verses a week, you could have the whole book of James memorized by Christmas! What a gift to your family! A joyful wife and/or mother, a sweet offering to the Lord and a recitation of the Word!

James 5.4-5

4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

First, Verse 4

*Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.*

Lord of sabaoth: of Hebrew origin (6635 in feminine plural); armies; sabaoth (i.e. tsebaoth), a military epithet of God:--sabaoth.

Remember, these become as a list of sins (looking back on 4.17: the sin of not doing what is known to be good).

So, here we have the sin of oppressing the hired help and then further oppression in not paying them. Ignoring the cries of the poor This is where we can best understand that a workman is worthy of his hire. Matt. 10:10 "Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat."

Then there is the arrogance or pride that the LORD will not know of this, but the cries have entered into His ears..

This may not at all apply, but are there ways might we be fraudulent in our dealings with hired help? ______________________________________________________________________

Are we attentive to the cries of the poor? _______________________________________________________

Pr 14:31 "He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor."

Pr 17:5 "Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished."

Malachi 3.5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

Job 21.13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. {in wealth: or, in mirth}

Verse 5 *Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.* I think you will like the concise notes of William Burkitt:

"James 5:5 The next sin he charges upon them, is sensuality, luxury, lasciviousness, their eating and drinking to excess in their feasts, pampering themselves for the slaughter and the shambles. These are sins very natural to corrupt nature, but chiefly incident to the rich. Pride, idleness, fulness of bread, and living in pleasure, are too frequently sins that do abound in rich men’s houses: though their abundance is no excuse, but rather an aggravation of their sin.

God allows us to use pleasure, but not to live in pleasure; and by calling it pleasure upon earth, he intimates,

1. That sensual delights are only enjoyed here in this world: 2. That their desires ran after these earthly pleasures only:

The pleasures of the beast only pleased them; whereas the delights of sense are so far from being the chief pleasure for which God designed us, that, on the contrary, he intended we should take our chief pleasure, not in gratifying, but in restraining our sensual appetite, in reducing that rebellious power under the government and dominion of reason and religion." WBN

You might want to reread this summary keeping in mind our current social climate. Though it was written many years ago... it is timeless in perspective.

What parallels do you see in these verses and the times in which we live?

We are continually given excuses and allowances for indulgences... "you deserve it..." and, "you’re worth it..." and the list goes on. We all like to have fun... but when and where do we draw the line? ______________________________________________________________________

I ask myself... do I give up my "right" to be self indulgent? Do I voluntarily go without? Do I ever really make sacrifices?

Only because of the LORD Jesus do we not get what we deserve... and it is because of this miraculous provision of God that we are not consumed and so for that reason alone our allegiance must be in humble obedience to the LORD, asking Him to examine our hearts and to reveal ways in which we live for self and self-indulgence.

Are there areas or things for which you have made excuses? ______________________________________________________________

Have you been overindulging because "you are worth it?" ______________________________________________________________

What does the LORD say? ______________________________________________________________

*James 5.6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.*

Acts 3.14 "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;"

Acts 7.52 "Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:"

Acts 22.14 "And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth."

James 5.6 *Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.*

*"condemned"* [2613] katadikazw katadikazo, kat-ad-ik-ad’-zo from 2596 and a derivative of 1349; to adjudge against, i.e. pronounce guilty:--condemn.

*"killed"* [5407] foneuw phoneuo, fon-yoo’-o from 5406; to be a murderer (of):--kill, do murder, slay.

*"the just"*[1342] dikaiov dikaios, dik’-ah-yos from 1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication, innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively):--just, meet, right(-eous).

*"resist"* [498] antitassomai antitassomai, an-tee-tas’-som-ahee from 473 and the middle voice of 5021; to range oneself against, i.e. oppose:--oppose themselves, resist.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

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(I am including this one because of the summary of verses 1-5 & clarification of verse 6)

Albert Barnes Commentary: "The sins, therefore, condemned in these verses, (Jas 5:1-6) and for which it is said the Divine vengeance would come upon those referred to, are these four:

(1) that of hoarding up money when it was unnecessary for their real support and comfort, and when they might do so much good with it, (compare Mt 6:19;)

(2, that of keeping back the wages which was due to those who cultivated their fields; that is, keeping back what would be a fair compensation for their toil—applicable alike to hired men and to slaves;

(3) that of giving themselves up to a life of ease, luxury, and sensual indulgence; and,

(4) that of wronging and oppressing good and just men—men, perhaps in humble life, who were unable to vindicate their rights, and who had none to undertake their cause; men who were too feeble to offer successful resistance, or who were restrained by their principles from attempting it. It is needless to say that there are multitudes of such persons now on the earth, and that they have the same reason to dread the Divine vengeance which the same class had in the time of the apostle James."

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William Burkitt’s Notes [on] James 5.6 (you may want to read both of these men’s comments a couple of times)

"By the just, may be understood Jesus Christ, that just One whom the nation of the Jews condemned and killed; and also such of his members, orthodox Christians, who the judaizing Christians persecuted. By their condemning the just, understand how they proceeded against them under a pretence and colour of law; before they would actually kill, they pretended legally to condemn.

Learn then, that God takes notice not only of the open violences offered to his people, but also of all the injuries done unto them under the form of a legal procedure; it is a mighty provocation when public authority, which is the defense of innocency, is made the pretense of oppression.

It follows, ye have killed the just: This is added to let us know that oppression will preceed as far as death. Wickedness knoweth no bounds; good men are oft-times arraigned, condemned, and killed; they fall a sacrifice to the rage of their persecutors and oppressors.

It is added, He doth not resist you; which if applied to Christ, points at his meekness; he was slain without resistance: he came to suffer, therefore would not resist. If applied to the suffering Christians, it points at their weakness and inability to make resistance, as well as at their meekness and patience under sufferings: Ye have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you."

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Do you think that we "condemn the just?" _______________________________________________________________

Do we meekly accept or not resist "attacks?" ________________________________________________________________

When you are ‘attacked’ with a bad comment or gossip or harsh words, do you fight back or ‘attack’ back? ________________________________________________________________

What about the modern day issues of killing, assisting in killing?

What does the LORD say? ________________________________________________________________

When we attack a person’s character, we are "killing" that part of that person... let’s purpose to watch... to not attack or "kill."

James 5.7 "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."

Be patient....

Patient [3114] makrothumeo, mak-roth-oo-meh’-o; from the same as 3116; to be long-spirited, i.e. (objectively) forbearing or (subjectively) patient:--bear (suffer) long, be longsuffering, have (long) patience, be patient, patiently endure.

Don’t you just love the way James incorporates the very practical with the Spiritual!?

It has long been my humble opinion that every Preacher of the Word ought be a farmer... or at the very least, keep and tend a garden. Seriously. I have shared this thought with women, and have taught our children about the marvelous lessons we can learn in the dirt. I have called them messages from the garden. One thing clear in this text and in literal gardening is the virtue of patience. After waiting, plowing, working and grading the soil, the gardener plants the precious seed... and waits... and waits. Waiting for the rains and for the precious fruit. You see the tremendous Spiritual implications here?

James 5.7 "...Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain....

Not only does the husband man wait... he has long patience...

Are you patient? ______________________________________________________________________

Don’t ever buy into the dumb phrase "don’t pray for patience... or you’ll surely get it!" Do pray for it---patience is a necessary virtue!

Is the LORD dealing with you in the area of patience? _______________________________________________________________________

You may say, you’re not sure... but think for a moment... Is there something that you think really must be done, or should be taken care of, or really should be happening right now? Patience. Is the LORD teaching you about His ways, and you are still trying to do things your way?

____________________________________________________________________________________

I have been in this school quite a lot. The LORD is teaching me a great deal about patience, about waiting, about trusting. I am often very doubtful. I frequently battle hopelessness and despair. I must *continually* affirm what I *know* to be true against what I am *feeling* is true. Remember when we were studying in the book of Ephesians? We studied the importance of being renewed daily in the spirit of our minds. I have come to see this as the key to the Christian walk of Faith. Rehearsing what God has said in His Word, what He has done, what He says He will do. Dying to self daily and taking up what the LORD has called us to do. It is His will that we obey Him and trust Him. I must purpose to be busy, to diligently attend to my husband and our family, and to be about the business the Lord has provided for me to do, to wait on and trust in Him, and to not fear. All of these things are part of the virtue of patience.

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Matthew Henry’s Commentary on James 5:7

"Consider him that waits for a crop of corn; and will not you wait for a crown of glory? If you should be called to wait longer than the husbandman, is not there something more worth waiting for? In every sense the coming of the Lord drew nigh, and all his people’s losses, hardships, and sufferings, would be repaid. Men count time long, because they measure it by their own lives; but all time is as nothing to God; it is as a moment. To short-lived creatures a few years seem an age; but Scripture, measuring all things by the existence of God, reckons thousands of years but so many days..."

Deuteronomy 11.14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

Jeremiah 5.24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

Hosea 6.3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Joel 2.23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Zechariah 10.1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

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Do you see the significance of the early and the latter rain?

It is the indicator of time, specifically seasons. The farmer must needs learn to wait on the seasons. What does this require?

Yep, patience. Patience and Faith. Faith that what God has said---that will He do. 1Thess 5.24, "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."

Your thoughts ___________________________________________________________________________

 

James 5.9 "Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door."

We have studied the idea of groaning or grieving over someone or what someone’s possessions and maybe what we don’t have, but this verse is dealing with our actions and attitudes toward others. Our grumbling about them, our being critical of them or their behavior. Perhaps they have directly or indirectly offended us. In a sense, we then become as judges of them. And we are admonished not to do that... not to be petty or short tempered with the brethren. If we do this, the verse says we will be condemned---because the judge stands at the door. This word "judge" literally [in the greek] is judge, but I surely have the picture that ultimately, taken to the logical end, the judge to whom this verse refers, is the LORD.

Do you see it that way, too? __________________________________________________

Grudge [4727] stenazw, stenazo, sten-ad’-zo; from 4728; to make (intransitively, be) in straits, i.e. (by implication) to sigh, murmur, pray inaudibly:--with grief, groan, grudge, sigh.

1Cor 4. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

So, if we are murmuring or grudging or groaning about another sister in the Lord, what does the LORD say will happen to us? ___________________________________________________________________________

Who will do the condemning? ___________________________________________________

In the end, it would be the LORD.... But in the mean time, what "tools" would be used in the hand of the LORD for our condemnation?

Would our actions condemn us? _______________ What if we were to "grudge" against a sister in the Lord and then were to turn right around and do that very thing which we just condemned in another? _____________________________________________________________________________

Do you ever do this? ____________________________________________________________

We studied in Philippians 2.14-15 (Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke...)

How’s it been going with you lately? Have you been doing things without murmurings or

disputings or grudging? __________________________________________________________

Now if , "the judge standeth before the door," how are we to live? Does it matter how we live?

Do you behave differently if you think there is a "judge" at the door? ______________________

I think this is interesting because the implication here is that we needn’t fuss or fret over things that happen... because the judge is at the door... we shouldn’t have grudges against people or be impatient with them when they "hurt" us, because again, the judge is at the door. It is the business of the "judge" to do the judging!

If you are holding a grudge against a brother or sister in the LORD or anyone else for that matter.... Maybe today would be the day that you would leave it at the LORD’s feet, confess it as sin and you would be free of that burden. He promises to care for you and carry it for you.

James 5.10-11

10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Affliction. It is all around us. As I stood at the sink and kitchen window looking out across the yard today, I noticed an unusual amount of smoke appeared to be coming from the home at the end of the runway of our small airport here in town. As I watched, the smoke became thicker and more intense in colour---I instinctively rushed to the phone to call the fire dept. to report the fire. Shortly, the scene from my window became a spectacular event, the home aflame, the various aid and fire vehicles and personnel and police cars with the endless sound of sirens. An historical site, one of the older homes in this designated historical community... in a matter of moments had been all but destroyed. The owners, no doubt are suffering in their hearts tonight---home and possessions destroyed. And what about the pilot and passenger of the plane that had crashed into the home and had caused the fire. No doubt they are suffering a tremendous amount of affliction tonight---an accidental destruction of their plane and another’s home and the awesome reality of their lives being spared. Affliction.

The prior day brought news of a plane crash...Tragedy and affliction. Then the plane crashing into the home across the way, causing it to burn. Tragedy and affliction. Then, seemingly moments later, another plane crashed into the waters off the coast of California. Tragedy and affliction.

Our study today is about another kind of affliction---the LORD has allowed to bring Himself glory. As we witness affliction of the saints all around us, compassion is kindled in us and we grieve for the lost and those tortured for Christ. I wonder how many of the people in the tragedies above knew the LORD as their Savior. How many knew Him? For how many was this the final suffering before their final rest in Glory? How many of them were ushered into heaven today?

The stories above are the kinds of things we often think of when the word affliction is mentioned. But what about the church...the persecuted church? These verses refer to the afflictions suffered at the point of service and self sacrifice for the LORD.

Again, verse 10: Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

John Wesley’s notes:  (V. 10) "Take the prophets for an example-Once persecuted like you, even for speaking in the name of the Lord. The very men that gloried in having prophets yet could not bear their message: nor did either their holiness or their high commission screen them from suffering."

Is anyone exempt from being called to suffer for the cause of Christ? _____________________________________________________________________

Matthew 5.12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Do you suffer persecution for the cause of Christ? _____________________________

Would others look at your life and see an example of suffering affliction and of patience?

When we see a woman who has suffered hardship with patience, we are encouraged to press on and accept what the LORD may ask of us one day.

We read of missionaries who are kidnapped, beaten, tortured to death for the cause of Christ and we are encouraged to press on and accept the lot the LORD may allow for us one day.

V. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

This Greek word rendered "happy" makarizomen, from makarios (happy), in N.T. only here and Luke 1.48. If you like to do word studies, this is a good one. Remember which verse Luke 1.48 is?

So, here we are admonished to count them happy which endure!

Matthew 5.10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

And then consider Job: (Job 1.20-22) "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

So much is written today about Christians dealing with emotions and anger against God. Consider Job: In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Again, from Job 2.10 "But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips."

And here we see: that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy...

Psalms 103.8 "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy."

Job 42.10 "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."

So, what is the *key* in all this affliction? ____________________

Yes! Do not be afraid to pray to the LORD and thank Him for it.

James Chapter 5, verse 12.

"But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."

I hope the Greek definitions are helpful to you for deeper understanding. I like to look at them and I also like to compare the uses of the same words in other verses. You’ll be able to see the origins of some of our English words as we study the Greek words form time to time. Context is very important, too.

Heaven [3772] ouranos, oo-ran-os’ perhaps from the same as 3735 (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension, heaven (abode of God); by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel (Christianity):--air, heaven(-ly), sky.

Earth [1093] ge, ghay contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application):--country, earth(-ly), ground, land, world.

Oath [3727] horkos, hor’-kos from herkos (a fence; perhaps akin to 3725); a limit, i.e. (sacred) restraint (specially, an oath):--oath.

Condemnation [5272] hupokrisis, hoop-ok’-ree-sis from 5271; acting under a feigned part, i.e. (figuratively) deceit ("hypocrisy"):--condemnation, dissimulation, hypocrisy

The beginning of our verse today: "But above all things..."

James seems to be using a similar approach to this subject that he did when he said in 4.13 and 5.1: "Go to now..."

He seems to be saying, Now hear this, Miss anything else but don’t miss this...

What impresses you about this verse? ________________________________________

When you commit to something or someone, is your yes, yes and your no, no? ____________

Do you feel that it is needful to add to your commitment? ______________________________

In a moment I will quote William Burkitt, who has some pretty strong encouragement for us to be watchful of our speech as he clarifies this verse a bit further.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the LORD gives clear teaching regarding our answers and our commitments.

Matthew 5.33-37

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

You may also want to look at Matthew 23.16, 18, 22

Do we sometimes add to our statements because we aren’t fully prepared with the proper answer and we just say the first thing that comes to our mind? ____________________________________________________

This is why we must study and pray to be wise women who think and speak with discernment.

Colossians 4.6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

We must study our language so that we are able to concisely convey a thought or a commitment with proper wording without feeling the need to make the statement seem stronger by swearing to it.

Do we sometimes say something like "I swear..." or "Honest to God..." because of conditioning rather than because we really mean to be saying it? ______________________________________________________

Another reason to study to have proper answers and proper mindset.

Exodus 20. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Deuteronomy 5. 11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

I quote for you from William Burkitt’s Notes... on James 5:12 "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."

WB: "Observe, that an oath here is not absolutely forbidden, but restrained: Above all things, my brethren.

Note, with what vehemency and earnestness the apostle speaks, Swear not, that is, swear not vainly and rashly, swear not lightly and profanely, swear not unduly, by any of the creatures, (but by the Creator only), which was a sin that the Jews were dreadfully guilty of: But let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay: accustom yourselves to a true simplicity and plainness of speech, in affirming or denying, letting oaths alone, lest ye fall into condemnation; that is, plainly, into the condemnation of hell.

Learn hence, 1. That rash and vain swearing, or profane oaths, are a high abuse of the dreadful name of God, and a mighty provocation to him: verily there is no sin that doth more weary the patience of God, because there is no sin that doth more banish the fear of God out of our hearts.

Learn, 2. That the great end of speech being to communicate the sense of our minds to each other, we ought to use such plainness and simplicity in speaking, that we may believe one another without oaths, or more solemn religious asservations.

But yet, 3. To take an oath upon a solemn occasion, when lawfully called thereunto, is a Christian and necessary duty."

Think of some oaths you might take, or rather a covenant or promise you might make. ____________________________________________________________________

What thoughts do you have or actions do you want to take? ____________________________________________________________________

James 5.13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

It is interesting to note that in both cases, we are admonished to place our attention on the LORD. We are to bring our concerns over afflictions to the LORD in prayer. If we are "merry," we are to bring our praise to the LORD by way of song... and not just any song, but psalms.

Affliction. It is all around us. Maybe we ourselves are experiencing affliction. Make note, in cases of affliction we are to bring these trials to the LORD ourselves. Tomorrow we will look at when to call for the elders.

(Two part question) If the gracious LORD who knows all things, knows of our affliction, then why DO we and why MUST we bring these ‘afflictions’ to the LORD?

__________________________________________________________________

What are the important things to keep in mind regarding prayer?__________________________________________________________________

2 Chron. 33.12 "And when he [Manasseh] was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,"

John 16.33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Trials and tribulations should not/must not surprise us. The Lord tells us we will have afflictions. He also tell us what our position or attitude must be and remain. Good cheer. Why? Because He has overcome the world. There is nothing too great for the LORD our God.

In my thoughts and the different commentaries I daily consult, I am led to summarize that the Lord allows afflictions, trials, and sufferings to draw us to Himself. It is through prayer that we cry out to God. It seems that those who might not ordinarily call upon the Name of the Lord do so in affliction.

Those who are not accustomed to praying do so in trials. Now I am led to ask does God hear all these prayers? Even of those who do not know Him? Does God use the trials and afflictions to draw the unsaved to Himself and thereby bring the conviction of separation, need of forgiveness, and gift of salvation?

__________________________________________________________________

I am pondering these questions as I read and study this and as I think upon the different accounts I have read regarding salvation experiences.

Jeremiah 29.11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

And then...the rest of our verse, "...Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

We read in Proverbs that A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Studies have shown that attitude or good mental health has strong bearing on good physical health. What do you think?

__________________________________________________________________

What is your home life like when YOU are joyful? ___________________________

How about when praise music plays softly in the background? _________________

Ephesians 5.19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Prayer is a tremendously deep and rich subject of study on which many excellent books have been written.

We have barely begun to address the subject. May the LORD bless you in your obedience to Him.

 

James 5.13 "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

It is interesting to note that in both cases, we are admonished to place our attention on the LORD. We are to bring our concerns over afflictions to the LORD in prayer. If we are "merry," we are to bring our praise to the LORD by way of song... and not just any song, but psalms.

Affliction. It is all around us. Maybe we ourselves are experiencing affliction. Make note, in cases of affliction we are to bring these trials to the LORD ourselves. Tomorrow we will look at when to call for the elders.

(Two part question) If the gracious LORD who knows all things, knows of our affliction, then why DO we and why MUST we bring these ‘afflictions’ to the LORD?

__________________________________________________________________

What are the important things to keep in mind regarding prayer? __________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

2 Chron. 33.12 "And when he [Manasseh] was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,"

John 16.33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Trials and tribulations should not/must not surprise us. The Lord tells us we will have afflictions. He also tell us what our position or attitude must be and remain. Good cheer. Why? Because He has overcome the world. There is nothing too great for the LORD our God.

In my thoughts and the different commentaries I daily consult, I am led to summarize that the Lord allows afflictions, trials, and sufferings to draw us to Himself. It is through prayer that we cry out to God. It seems that those who might not ordinarily call upon the Name of the Lord do so in affliction.

Those who are not accustomed to praying do so in trials. Now I am led to ask does God hear all these prayers? Even of those who do not know Him? Does God use the trials and afflictions to draw the unsaved to Himself and thereby bring the conviction of separation, need of forgiveness, and gift of salvation?

__________________________________________________________________

I am pondering these questions as I read and study this and as I think upon the different accounts I have read regarding salvation experiences.

Jeremiah 29.11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

And then...the rest of our verse, "...Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

We read in Proverbs that A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Studies have shown that attitude or good mental health has strong bearing on good physical health. What do you think?

__________________________________________________________________

What is your home life like when YOU are joyful? ___________________________

How about when praise music plays softly in the background? _________________

Ephesians 5.19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Prayer is a tremendously deep and rich subject of study on which many excellent books have been written.

We have barely begun to address the subject. May the LORD bless you in your obedience to Him.

James 5.14

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:"

You will notice that many times I give you quotes from different Bible scholars and commentators; this is primarily because of my position as a student of the Word and my desire to have and to give sound teaching on a matter. I would never want to send you a study that would be questionable (we might not like the topics when they hit so close to home or require our reluctant attention...). If there is debatable doctrine, then I will try to give you Word itself and the clearest interpretation. My chief aim is that we be daily in the Word---that we be diligent students and learn to personally apply what the Word says.

Commentary for today’s lesson comes from Zodhiates Commentary and William Burkitt’s Notes on the New Testament.

I found Zodhiates’ to be particularly interesting, as I hadn’t looked at this verse in this way. Here, Z says: "The key question that arises from this passage is to determine whether Christianity prohibits the use of medicine. In the original Greek text, verse fourteen began with a statement rather than a question, and should be rendered "Someone among you is sick." James begins the discussion with the fact that there is sickness in the world and the Christian is not exempt. In the examination of this verse, one can conclude that the initiative to call the elders of the church to the sick believers’ bedside must come from the believer himself. At the time of the apostolic church, its elders performed many duties. One such task was treating sick people in whatever manner possible. This verse reads ‘...let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord...’ There are qualifying statements to be understood in regard to the application of medicine as opposed to offering of prayer for the sick believer..."

Zodhiates goes on to describe the use and application of medicine, and that before prayer was offered, the elders administered any necessary medical assistance. The elders applied the medicine and/or the oil first and then prayed. The verse says that the prayer is unto the name of the LORD...

Do you notice how important this is? _____________________________________

I pray in the Name of the LORD or in Jesus’ Name---and this verse confirms that act of obedience. This must not be out of a simple habit of doing so, but rather a conscious committing of our prayers to the LORD, to His plans and purposes. I think we are also to make special note of this, as there is no power in the oil... the power is in the Name. Additionally, this would be a prayer of a believer by faith in Jesus.

The LORD says in John 14.13 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Another interesting angle:

WB: James 5:14 "Some observe, 1. That St. James doth not say, "Is any man sick? let him pray;" but let him send for others to pray with him, and for him: plainly supposing, that the sick man is very unfit to pray himself, or to pray for himself; in other afflictions let him pray, but in sickness let others pray for him, he having enough to do to grapple with his grief, and to conflict with his affliction: a diseased body unfits the mind for holy duties."

"Question: But if the sick neglect to send, may the minister neglect to go, if he knows of the sickness?

Ans. Doubtless we ought to go, if we know of it, whether they send or not, for they want our prayers and help most when they desire it least; and by refusing to go, we may lose the last, and perhaps the best opportunity of doing good unto them. If our people, through stupidity and insensibleness, omit their duty in sending for us, God forbid, that either through pride or sluggishness, we should neglect our duty in going to them; too, too often we never hear our people are sick, till the bell tells us they are dead: if therefore by any means we gain the knowlege of their condition, let us apply ourselves with all our might to their condition, lest God be more angry with us for not going to them, than with them for not sending to us, imitating our Lord, who was found of them that sought him not."

We’ll continue our discussion of this important subject-matter on Monday, Lord willing, and we’ll look at another aspect of the prayer of/for the sick.

Until then, something to think on: Do we heed this teaching today?

________________________________________________________________

Do we call for the elders of the church when we or our family members are sick? ________________________________________________________________

How sick is sick? __________________________________________________

James 5.15 "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."

I find it interesting that the Greek word "sick" (kamno) here is different than the word "sick" (astheneo) used in the previous verse.

In 5.15, sick: [2577] kamno, kam’-no; apparently a primary verb; properly, to toil, i.e. (by implication) to tire (figuratively, faint, sicken):--faint, sick, be wearied.

Although it is not significantly different, it is important to note that this "sickness" could be understood as a sickness one has brought on oneself. Can you think of "sicknesses" we bring on ourselves? _____________________________________________________________________

Have you brought sicknesses on yourself? _____________________________________________________________________

John 5.14-15 "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole."

Implied is that the person was in a state of committing sins---therefore the prayer of faith and repentance would be required.

Jesus seems to have both healed his body and his soul.

So what about sicknesses that are not brought about by foolishness or sin?

If this sickness was not brought on by sin or foolishness, then it is understood that the prayer of faith would be offered for healing. Once a person has examined their own life, confessing all known sin, then they would simply go before the LORD and in faith ask. Would the elders be called in this instance? ____________________

Who is asking in faith, here?

I am supposing that this prayer of faith would necessarily be made or initiated by the "sick" individual because of the implied confession of known sin. Regardless of whether the elders are called in this case, it is God that does the healing; there is no power in the oil or the method---it is the LORD’s choosing and His doing.

This word faith is the same word used in the first chapter of this book when dealing with asking in faith---nothing wavering.

Have you ever asked the LORD for healing---and yet you were wavering? ______________

I read in Adam Clark’s commentary that it was common sense that the LORD would not heal the sick person’s body before, or without healing that sick person’s soul---in essence that He cares more about the eternal condition of the soul than the present condition or health of the body that would, unregenerate, be cast into hell.

So, do you think God allows sickness to draw us to Himself?

_____________________________________________________________________

Has God used sickness (regardless of reason) in your life to draw you to Himself? _____________________________________________________________________

Did you have a grateful and repentant heart for the LORD?

_____________________________________________________________________

Another example of the LORD Jesus and His compassion---we serve the same LORD today:

Matthew 9.2-6 "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."

Again: Mark 2:10 "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)"

Our sickness may be of His design used to draw us to Himself and the very thing used to give God glory. There are a couple of women who receive this study who either are sick or are caring for one who is "life-long" sick, and they both acknowledge that they would rather have their current life "condition" because of what it has taught them and how it has drawn them to the LORD, than to be free of it and possibly neglect the LORD. I have seen the LORD do miraculous things for both of these women and for the little son and although the infirmity has not been removed or corrected, they both remain joyful. Let’s learn from these sisters in the LORD and learn to be thankful for what God allows.

James 5.16 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

I thought it wise to look at this verse separately from the previous verse because the conditions are different. In James 15.15 (And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.) the word "sins" is different than the word "faults" in verse 16---which we are looking at today.

Again: James 5.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

After reading this and studying it a bit further, I was immediately reminded of a verse in Matthew which is oft quoted before communion or other such times of self examination and "getting right" with the LORD.

Why do you think it is necessary to confess faults and pray one for another---that we may be healed?

______________________________________________________________

Matthew 5.23-24 "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

I will never forget a time when I had "ought against" a sister in the LORD and had to confess this sin in church before taking communion. It was probably the most difficult time of "confession" I can remember---however, I cannot remember the offence. It was worth the freedom that came as a result of the forgiveness. I was given the necessary grace to obey, and that ‘confession’ has made subsequent ‘confessions’ much easier. In groups of women it is easy to inadvertently offend another... I think whether the offense is intentional or unintentional, we must be sensitive and quick to confess and ask forgiveness. Also, when we are offended, we must clear up matters quickly so that bitterness or resentment doesn’t set in and thereby cause division.

Psalm 145.18 "The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."

Romans 5.19-21 "For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

Do you find it difficult to "confess your faults" to another?

______________________________________________________________

What kind of faults would hinder prayers or healing?

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

Psalm 10.17 "LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt

prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:"

Another portion of our verse: "...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." This would be the "nothing wavering" prayer that we studied in James 1.6. And the ‘righteous man’ is one who is made righteous by faith in Jesus Christ.

Prov. 15.29 "The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous."

Psalm 34.15 "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry."

This "...availeth much" ---what would this mean to you? _______________________________

______________________________________________________________

James 5.17-18

17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

I am quoting this passage of Scripture because it parallels James’ position in the previous verse that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Now we have the example of Elijah who has been heralded as a righteous man in both the Old and the New Testament. Note, also the specific wording of this verse "...Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are..."

(For clarification Elijah: Heb. Elijahu; Greek: Elias) 1 Kings 17.1 "And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." (if you have a moment go to the chapter and read on)

Another example... same chapter: "And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth." The LORD worked in such a way so as to show this woman a miracle as she needed to *see* the LORD’s power in order to believe truth. Can you think of other examples of men God has used to demonstrate faith and the answers to the "fervent prayer of a righteous man?"

____________________________________________

James was saying that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much---not only do we see that the child was revived, but another aspect of why God heals: others see and believe.

Do you have examples of God’s response to effectual fervent prayer in your life? ___________________________________________________________

Do you share these ‘answers’ with others?

___________________________________________________________

This is an example of why I believe that the only person who makes a good witness or a true witness for the LORD Jesus is one who has "witnessed" Him. One who has witnessed what He can do in a life yielded to Him, witnessed His saving grace, witnessed His provision, His protection---whatever the LORD has chosen to do in that life. That is why, to me, it is so important to share your stories with other women....families; they need to see the appreciable difference that the LORD has made in your life. Even today, one maybe needing to hear from you: what is the LORD doing in your life, how is He working around you, what difference does He make in your life? ___________________________________________________________________

*Prayer*

The most important part of the day must then be the time we spend in prayer to the LORD and reading His Word and *listening* to Him. I truly believe He directs through His Word and through prayer as well as through other means. He longs to fellowship with us. He demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Could I encourage you---if you don’t already--- to spend a little more time with Him each day in prayer and meditation on His Word? If you don’t already get up early in the morning, could I encourage you to try to do so? I didn’t feel so in the past, because I hadn’t experienced regular time with Him each day. I thought that any amount of time with Him at any time of the day was good enough, but I have found that the time I spend with the LORD early in the morning is more beneficial than any other time of the day---though those times *are* valuable and profitable. I feel strongly that it’s too important to spend the early time with Him than to settle for good enough. It is hard, it is so uncomfortable because you might be so very tired, and it’s difficult to manage... but I would like to assure you that the blessing is worth the difficulty. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous [wo]man availeth much.

James 5.19-20

19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

These two final verses seem an unlikely way to end the writing of this chapter and book until we stop and examine their meaning and intent. These two verses are often quoted in conjunction with "soul winning" or witnessing, however, I find in my studies that the intent of these verses is a bit different in application. What have you thought these verses mean?

__________________________________________________________

Matthew 18.15 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."

John Wesley’s Notes: "...v. 19. As if he had said, I have now warned you of those sins to which you are most liable; and, in all these respects, watch not only over yourselves, but every one over his brother also. Labour, in particular, to recover those that are fallen."

Albert Barnes’ Notes: "...v. 19. "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth. Either doctrinally and speculatively, by embracing error; or practically, by falling into sinful practices. Either of these may be called "erring from the truth," because they are contrary to what the truth teaches and requires... And one convert him. This does not mean convert him as a sinner, or regenerate him, but turn him from the error of his way; bring him back from his wanderings; re-establish him in the truth, and in the practice of virtue and religion. So far as the word used here is concerned, (epistreqh,) he who had erred from the truth, and who was to be converted, may have been a true Christian before. The word means simply to turn, from his way of error."

Adam Clarke’s Commentary: "...v. 19. Stray away from the Gospel of Christ; and one convert him-reclaim him from his error, and bring him back to the fold of Christ."

I have included the three different commentaries on this verse to show its meaning. After thinking on this, I see why James chose to close with these thoughts ---and why it is so important that we heed what we read in the Word. Why it would be so important for each one of us to give this careful attention. Error or erring from the Truth is at the heart of any disobedience or conflict. Think of your relationships with other believers or relationships in the church---does not the disharmony or disunity always stem from some error in thinking or some form of disobedience to Scripture? Isn’t adherence to Scripture the life and health of the body---the church?

1 Timothy 4.16 "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."

1 Peter 4.8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

Proverbs 10.12 "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins."

Love is the covering that hides the sins, overlooks the offenses, especially once they are confronted and dealt with. Think of your relationships... are not the conflicts usually (always) because of an erring from the truth?

____________________________________________________________

What happens in your marriage or in your home when *you* overlook an offense?

____________________________________________________________

Think if we all *really* lived with each other’s ‘best’ interest at heart... would that change the way you would spend your day today?

_____________________________

"...converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

This "converting" or turning around is often avoided.... We don’t want to be critical of others, hard on them, or appear judgmental.... But what does the Word say? "...shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." This is powerful and, to me, is very sobering. I believe much more meditating on this verse is necessary and more study that should be done here... I pray now that we would each one examine our way and see if there would first be offense in us, and then pray for cleansing and pray for a heart that would be encouraging the Truth in and overlooking the offenses of others.

 

Having completed our study through the book of James, we will spend our time today in the reviewing of the high points of this wonderful book. I have confidence that your relationship with the LORD has deepened as you have studied and learned more of His truths.

I thought I’d recap some of the high points of our study by way of a little ‘quiz’ to jog your memory.

 

James, a servant of God and of the LORD Jesus Christ,

to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, Greeting.

My Brethren [sistren ;-)] ________ count it all ______when you fall into diverse temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your _________worketh______________.

If any of you lack _______________ let him ask of God....

Ask in ____________________________

A__________minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Blessed is the man that endureth _____________: for when he is tried,

he shall receive the _____________of life which the LORD promised

to them that _______ Him.

Do not_______my beloved brethren.

Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be _________ to hear, slow to

__________and slow to ______________.

Wherefore lay apart all _____________ and ______________ of naughtiness,

And receive with _______________ the ______________Word which is able to save your _______________.

Be ye ________of the Word and not ___________only, deceiving your own selves.

My brethren, have not the faith of our_____ ______ ______ the _________ of

Glory, with ____________ of persons.

For whosoever shall keep the ______ law, and yet offend in _____ point, he is _________ of all.

So _________ye, and so __, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

Yea a man may say, thou hast _______, and I have ______: show me thy ______ without thy _______ and I will show you my ________ by my __________.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that _________ without works is __________?

Even so the _________ is a little ________, and boasteth __________ things, behold How great a matter a little________ kindleth.

And the fruit of _____________ is sown in peace of them which make _________.

Ye adulterers and ____________, know ye not that the _________ of the _________

is enmity with _____,? Whosoever therefore will __ a ______ of the world is an ________ of God.

But He giveth more ________ wherefore he saith, God _________ the proud, but

giveth __________ to the __________.

Submit yourselves therefore to _______. Resist the __________ and he will ___________ from you.

Draw _________ unto God and He will __________ _________ unto you.

______________yourselves in the ________ of the LORD and He shall _______ you up.

For that we ought to ____, If the LORD will, we shall _____, and do this or that.

Therefore, to him that ________ to do _____ and _______ it not, to him it is ______.

Be ye also __________; establish your _______: for the coming of the LORD draweth _____.

Behold we count them _____ which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of _____, And have seen the end of the Lord, that the ____ is very ______ and of tender ______.

Is any among you _________? Let him _________. Is any ______? Let him sing ___________.

Is any ________among you? Let him call for the _________ of the _________ and let them ________over him _________him with ____ in the name of the Lord.

And the ____ of faith shall save the ____, and the Lord shall ____him up and if he hath committed ____, they shall be _______ him.

C_________ your faults___ to _____ and ____ for one another that you may be _______ the effectual _________ prayer of a ___________man __________ much.

~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~‘*‘~

I trust the LORD for His perfect work in each one of us in our hearts and in our homes. I pray that you would be filled with the fruit of righteous and that the LORD will abundantly bless you as you endeavor to serve Him---and as always, I pray that you would be a sweet offering, that you would be for God a sweet smelling savour. I pray for you and for me... that we would be joyful and thankful too, and that others would be glad we’ve been around....

Thus endeth the study in the book of James. By pamela spurling 1999-2001

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