Scripture text for Thursday, May 13th, 2010: James 1:1-2:26
This letter from James is written as though he is speaking to me in the present day. He knew then that I would be tempted and that my life is likely not the bowl of cherries I would hope for. He predicted that I would talk without listening, judge others as though I am perfect and have faith sometimes without works.
My first reaction to hardship is not usually joy. It’s most often frustration, denial, anger and anguish. James says these are my trials and I am being tested. He advises me to persevere, pray and ask God to intercede and to believe in His ability to do so. By doubting Him we are no different than non-believers. But joy comes in God’s fulfilled promise as we rely totally on Him.
James focuses on our need to turn from temptation and be obedient to God. He serves to dutifully remind us to follow God’s laws, judge not, and have a faith that is lived through works. Most of all we are commanded to love others as ourselves. If we do that who is left to judge?
This passage reminds us that our purpose on earth is to be a light. We are the salt of the earth—ambassadors for Jesus. We were not put on this earth to serve as His judges. God has given us plenty to do without taking on that job. Besides, I think God can probably handle that without our help anyway, don’t you?
Devotion prepared by Randy Bogan