Introduction to the book of James
Welcome to my next attempt at sharing some reflection and bible study, this time in the book of James. To be honest, I am not sure why the Lord has directed me to come to this book, but I am eager to get into it as I have spent a lot of time studying in James through the years.. I also must admit that the last thirteen months working through the Psalms has ministered to me in a very profound way. Doing he Psalms study in conjunction with my recovery from my twin stem cell transplants was a wonderful experience, and I thank the Lord for taking me through that. I expect that the Psalms experience will often give me a renewed perspective to the words of James.
I am not sure yet exactly how I will work through this book, so I am gong to start out a verse at a time and each post will go until I feel a good stopping point has been reached. One thing I want to try and avoid is have posts that are too long. I feel many of the Psalms posts were quite lengthy, as I ignored word count. I will attempt to keep these at a more readable length, but will not stop just to be stopping. Once the Spirit gets hold of me, I just write. That will continue.
I welcome your comments throughout this study. I pray the Lord ministers to you through the words He gives me, and I enjoy reading your thoughts as well. Whether you agree or disagree, please leave your thoughts. I love a good conversation! Now , let’s begin:
James 1:1 KJVGa
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
It s widely accepted that the James who wrote this book is not James the son of Zebedee, who was a disciple of Jesus while He walked this earth. Rather, it is the half brother of Jesus named James who became a Christian after the resurrection. When Paul started His ministry, James was one of the first people to greet him (Galatians 1:19). James had become a leader in the church in Jerusalem and was one of the first to accept Paul’s ministry as authentic. He also worked extensively with Peter once Peter was released from prison and became a pillar of the early church (Gal 2:9). This letter was written between 45 and 48 AD t the Jerusalem council, so it is written to a Jewish Christian audience. That is why he says in the first verse to the twelve tribes.
James considers himself a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. A simple definition of servant is one who performs duties for another. As I look at that definition, I have to ask myself “What duties do I perform for my God and my Savior?” I lead worship at my local church, write a few blogs that I hope express His spirit to all of you, mentor a young evangelist in Nigeria, and I am an encouragement to many others. I am a loving father and husband who does his best to help his family follow God more closely. Sounds like a decent list to me. But what does God think? What does Jesus think? I like to think they are pleased, and I am quite sure they are, but how much more could I do, or should I do? I think these are questions we all ask ourselves.
To me the real question is how hard I am listening Am I hearing God when He asks me to speak to someone about His Son? Am I hearing Jesus when He wants me to help a friend out of a jam and I seem to be ignoring the situation? Am I hearing God when He tells me not to worry or fret about what is going on around me, but instead I try to figure things out myself and become impatient? Am I listening when Jesus tells me to pray for that person in the wheelchair at Walmart, but I am too busy to hear His voice? How often do I get too busy to listen?
A good servant always listens for his master’s voice, He makes sure he hears exactly what the master wants and then sets out to accomplish the task without hesitation. He does not question his (or her, sorry ladies) master. He does not sit and wonder if he should do it or not. He knows his masters voice and does the bidding of his master. He/she does not worry about what others may think of him. Once he is told the task, he does it. Simple.
I want to be that kind of servant for the Lord and for God. I want to hear Him every time He speaks to me, and I want to be willing to do whatever He asks me to do. I wrote a short chorus not to long ago that says it this way:
Wherever you want me to go, I’ll go
Whatever you ask me to do, I’ll do
Whatever you ask me to say, I’ll say
Whatever you want me to give , I’ll give
However you want me to live I’ll live
Whoever you want me to love, II’ll love
Because I am yours, all yours
I have given all my heart and soul to you
Eternally yours, all yours
Help me live my life to glorify your name
That is my prayer, not only for myself, but for you as well.