Read James 1
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; James 2:19). He treats everyone, rich or poor, as equals — sinners that need to be saved. The key to bridling (bringing under control) the whole body (3:2) is the tongue (3:1-12). Envying and strife . . . earthly, sensual, devilish (3:14-15). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (4:7). We need patience for the coming of the Lord (5:7-8). Prayer is powerful when you qualify (5:13-18).
When James wrote let every man be swift to hear. . . . and receive with meekness the engrafted Word (James 1:19-21), I cannot tell you whether he meant receive with meekness Christ or His Word. They are the same (John 1:1,14). Christ is manifested in His Word and it has the same authority. He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. 1:3).
One great hindrance to hearing the Voice of God in His Word is preoccupation with our own thoughts. Therefore James cautions: Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak (James 1:19). How often someone is talking to us and we are so taken up with our thoughts that we don't hear or consider what they say since we can't wait to say what we want to say. For all practical purposes, we have tuned them out. When we read the Word of God, are we swift to hear Him, or do we insult Him in a similar way?
We Americans are an independent lot. We don't take kindly to being ordered to do something. We insist on having things the way we want them and when we want them. But, when the King of kings speaks, we are no longer Americans; we are only insignificant sinners needing His mercy. We have the privilege to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of our Creator God and seriously search His perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein (1:25). There is something irresistible about the Word of God. He said: Let there be light (Gen. 1:3), and the light blazed forth. His Word speaks to lost sinners with willing hearts, and they are saved. His Word speaks to all who are swift to hear, slow to speak. If we were as swift to hear the voice of God as we are to express our opinions in prayer, our lives would testify of being changed by the perfect Law of Liberty.
Whoso looketh into the perfect Law of Liberty, and continueth therein . . . this man shall be blessed (James 1:25). As Christians, it is of utmost importance that we listen to what God is saying to us as we read the Bible, for it is through His Word that we learn how to pray. All of us are afflicted with the distresses, burdens, and problems of life. Every affliction we face presents the opportunity, as well as the responsibility, to pray and trust God for the solution. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. . . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:13,16).
Thought for Today:
But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:22).
For James 2:8: See Lev. 19:18. James 2:11: See Ex. 20:13-14. James 2:23: See Gen. 15:6. James 4:6: See Prov. 3:34.
1:27 visit, care for, look after the needs of; 2:11 kill, murder; 3:2 we offend all, we all make mistakes and offend others; 3:4 listeth, determines; 5:3 cankered, tarnished; 5:11 pitiful, full of compassion.
Pray for Staff: Ben Wallace • Government Officials: Gov. Pat Quinn (IL), Rep. Norman Dicks (WA), and Rep. Bill Young (FL) • Country: Jordan (5 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Religious tolerance • 93% Muslim; 5% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Examine yourself. Has prosperity dulled your willingness to sacrifice (Hag. 1:4)?
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Corinthians 13:2