The letter of James is extremely practical and helpful for believers looking for specific guidance in the Christian life. He did not address the letter to just one single church, but to the twelve tribes of Israel scattered among the nations (1:1). James was Jesus’ half-brother who came to faith in Christ after Jesus’ resurrection. He became an early leader of the Jerusalem Church and died as a martyr in AD 62 or 69. He was known as James “the Just” because of his exceptional virtue.
When the fruit of gentleness or meekness is on display it is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of bridled strength. Meekness is produced by God living in us, but it requires our conscious choice and cooperation with His Spirit. We can choose to remain gentle or not. It is power and courage under control, linked with kindness.
The Bible says that God breathed the breath of life into man. Every human being
regardless of colour, race and background is created by God and that makes every life
sacred. This passage from Genesis came to my mind as I have been thinking and
praying for the United States, watching as people have been protesting against police
brutality, systemic injustice and racism.
God’s voice is always comforting and soothing to the soul of His followers. It expels fear and brings faith. The Words of Christ are spirit and they are life to all who receive them (John 6:63). When God’s people hear His voice, they will follow Him. He gives them eternal life; they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of His hand (John 10:27-28).
As we pursue Christ and continue His mission in the world by sharing the gospel, letting our light shine before people, loving our neighbours, and extending forgiveness to our enemies, we can ask Jesus for whatever we need and He will give it to us. God has promised His children, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.” The condition in this text for this promise is “Ask in my Name!”
Achieving peak performance in our lives is not enough to make us content. No matter how gifted we might be, true contentment cannot be found in our performance. The world grades us and gives us value according to our performance. In contrast, the Bible says we are created by God in His image and He shows His unmerited love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Life comes with seasons of trial and testing. How do we survive and thrive through the storms of life? How do we face fear, pain, addictions, loss, depression, faith crisis and sickness without becoming callused toward God and people? There are no easy and straightforward answers to life’s trials and afflictions, but one thing is sure in the midst of our tribulations – God is able and willing to bring us through storms of life.
If we believe in a personal and sovereign God who created us intentionally out of love, then it follows that there are some logical questions for every person to ask: why did this God create me? Which direction does He want me to go in life? What is the purpose of my brief earthly existence? Where is my destination in this life and will it affect my afterlife?