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Always look over your shoulder.

 James #22. The end.


It is vital to cast a glance over your shoulder to remember great things--in this case, great lessons learned from James. 

Remember how he started?

    -Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 1.2-3

    -If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 1.5

    -Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 1.17

    -Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry 1.19

    -Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 1.22-24

    ...judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment! 2.13

    -Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God's friend.  2.23

    -With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.  3.9-10

    -the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  3.17

    -You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  4.2-3

    -But he gives us more grace.  That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  4.6

    -Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  4.7

    -Come near to God and he will come near to you.  4.8

    -Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.  4.17

    -Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise.  Is any one of you sick?  He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  

In the last verses of the little letter, James urges believers to go after those who have fallen away from the faith, and those who have been misled. Ah, the God of second chances, the God who chooses to forgive and promises to forget.   When someone disappears from the radar, reach out to him.  

This is a 'wrap' on James . . . the little book that packs a big punch, written by the brother of our Lord.  I heard it said that James is Christianity with its sleeves rolled up.  It is the working person's practical guide to living the Christian faith.  It spells out what it means to follow Jesus day by day and emphasizes faith in action.  Right living is the evidence AND also the result of faith. We, the church, must serve with mercy (compassion), speak lovingly and truthfully, and live in obedience to God's commands, while loving one another.  If we truly believe God's Word, we will endeavor to live it day by day. God's Word is not merely something we read or think about, but something we do.  Truly, James is chalk-full of practical wisdom for living.

hmmm . . . so grateful.


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