James 1:1-18 – September 22
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Parenting Wisdom | Becky Newman
James’ audience was likely Jewish Christians in the church he pastored in Jerusalem and those who were scattered due to persecution (“the twelve tribes scattered among the nations” — from verse 1:1). His book is loaded with practical advice on living a Christian life and maturing faith, likely because the scattered believers were having to take this journey on their own, without a safe church to receive guidance and wisdom from. We should be prepared to do this on our own too, looking at Jesus’ description of the end times in Matthew 24 and Revelation — soon we won’t be able to meet in our comfortable churches too; there will be persecution, scattering, and false prophets, and it will take patient endurance and faithfulness to get through it.
Verse 5 is the same verse I journaled on when we studied James last April, so I went back and read my entry for that day, and I still need the same reminder for the same situation today. I cannot parent on my own; I’m failing in every choice I make on my own without You. I need Godly wisdom to be the best parent for my kids.
I’m asking You, Father, for wisdom in parenting with all of my kids; but most especially with my oldest, please give me the words and actions that he needs right now. He’s not communicating to me, and only Your divine wisdom can help him. I lay this situation at Your feet and admit I have no power on my own. In the name of Jesus, I pray for wisdom.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.