Sunday, April 24, 2005

Reading James

Been reading James this morning... check it out:

James 1: 14The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. 15Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.

James 1: 22Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! 23Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, 24walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God--the free life!-even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

26Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air.

James 2: 14Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

James 2: 17Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

James 3: 5A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything--or destroy it!

James 3: 13Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here's what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It's the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts.

James 3: 17Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. 18You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

James 4: 1Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. 2You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? 3And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

4You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. 5And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." 6And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble."

7So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. 8Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. 9Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. 10Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.

James 5: 10Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. 11What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You've heard, of course, of Job's staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That's because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.

James 5: 16Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. 1

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