James continues his instruction on being doers of the Word, and not just hearers, by correcting the issue of favoritism. Impartiality goes against our human nature, but it matches the heart of God, and replaces the sin of our own favoritism.
(Due to Hurricane Nate, we did not meet on October 8th. We praise God that we suffered no ill effects from the storm.)
When Jesus turned the Passover meal into what we call the Lord’s Supper, He called His disciples to do several different things throughout this meal. Today, our celebration of the Lord’s Supper should follow His model, where it is a time of sorrowful reflection, personal revelation, incredible sacrifice, and hopeful anticipation.
James cautions his readers to not presume positions of leadership in the church; rather, if they are called by God, they should faithfully execute their calling, realizing that they will be judged more strictly. He also reminds them that we all stumble; no one is perfect. This is good advice, both for the newly ordained and installed deacons, and the rest of us as well.
Knowing the Word of God is good, but it is not enough on its own. James explains that those who hear the Word and do not put it into practice are deceiving themselves, leading to missed blessings and unmet needs for themselves and others.
Tempation comes to us, and sometimes it seems that the only thing that would make it go away is actually giving in to it. James says some hard things about temptation, but leaves us with hope as well; God Himself can help us when we are tempted.
Life can be tough, and life as a Christian is no exception to that. As James (the brother of Jesus) opens his letter to the churches, he tells them that trials are a certainty. However, he also encourages them that joy, help, and reward can all be obtained through Christ as we face life’s difficulties.
If you give children what they want, they will be happy and they will like you. While this sounds like a nice sentiment, life does not work quite that way. We do not owe our children the latest devices, the largest house, or the biggest birthday parties; according to Scripture, we owe them spiritual training, discipline, and a living heritage of love.
The book of Proverbs, at times, paints a less-than-flattering view of certain women. However, the book also ends with a description of the ideal woman. This lady fears the Lord, works for the good of her family, has compassion for others, and chooses her words well.
While wisdom is often good for everyone, today we look at a few bits of wisdom directed specifically to husbands. The “man of the house” is to remain faithful to his wife, committed to his home, and always seek what is best for his family.
In our fallen world, relationships become broken. Today’s “pearl of wisdom” tells us that, when this happens, we can choose how to react - either with hate or with love. Hate ensures that the relationship stays broken; only love can restore what has been broken.