Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Exploring the Bible: The Challange of James

Exploring the Bible: The Challenge of James

The letter from James is often an overlooked book. Small in size, it can be read in a mere twenty minutes. Nevertheless, it is packed with a wealth of relevant information. It is a challenging book. Not challanging as in being difficult to understand- on the contrary! I believe the book of James is so simple to understand. While it is clear, and simple, it is difficult to actually obey nevertheless. That is where the challange rests- actually obeying and following the words of the Lord. That is what fascinates me. If James were to have a title, I believe that title would have something to do with the condemnation of hypocracy. If I had to give it a title- a suitable one would be would be: "A Lesson in Integrity- Freedom from the world and hypocracy". Although on the surface God's word seems to be restrictive, it is liberating. Being friends with the world may seem to be easy but in the end, it leads to death.God knows what is best for us, in His wisdom. In contrast, our humanly wisdom is very dim or clouded. Therefore we must put our trust in the Lord. For example, there are specifics in James that are so contrary to the ways of this sinful godless world we live in. For example the sensless accumulation of wealt is condemned. Double mindendedness (which mean dishonesty), pride, competativeness, anger, revenge, slander (untrue accustations/ gosspip), quarrels/ fights and coveting (which means jealousy) are also condmened as well as many other "human" traits that are accepted in this this world and society. Think about the specific examples that I listed and consider how common they are in today. Everyone is guilty of at least one of hese things if not many more! I like this verse: James 5:1-5 Now listen you rich people weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.....You have lived on earth in luxery and self indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter! Think about the emphasis placed on prosperity and wealth by sociey and the media: on TV, in movies and magazines and just in general!!! Think about how many chase after wealth and material possessions like expensive homes, cars, money and other things. Well God condemns this single minded pursuit of wealth!! Conside how wealth is portrayed in a glamerous and appealing way in movies and TV. In today's society, the poor and underclass are treated as if they are second class citisens. Well that is the way of this world, and God wants us to have no part of it.

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