Christians to rejoice in trials and temptations; hearing and heeding the Word; dangers of the tongue; praying for one another.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (James 1:19).
When James wrote let every man be swift to hear . . . and receive with meekness the engrafted Word (1:19-21), he meant receive with meekness Christ and His Word. They are the same. (John 1:1,14). Christ is manifest in His Word and it has the same authority. Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3). The Word of God is God speaking directly to us. Sometimes because of outside influences and all the voices in the world we forget this. When we read God's Word, it is just as if God came down and sat beside us to offer help in making our life decisions according to His will.
One great hindrance to hearing the Voice of God in His Word is being preoccupied 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 God's Word are we swift to hear Him, or do we insult Him in a similar way? It is important to remember all the great things man has accomplished through following God's will. If we belong to Him, His voice is clear. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice (John 10:4).
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. It is through His Word that our faith is built to trust Him to answer our prayers. His Word shows us a multitude of examples of prayer working. 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. He alone has the answers. Why do we look for help in so many places? God is only a prayer away.
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms . . . . Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:13,16).
Thought for the Day: It is God who gives us both the desire to pray and the answer to our prayers.
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 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: Luke 1:50