As we launch into a series on the book of James, there are several things to consider. In my own preparation, my study in the book has raised a number of questions, uncomfortable questions, not least: what is the Lord saying to me about my use of wealth? Where am I not exercising wisdom? Where am I inappropriately discriminating of others?
James says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”, I ask myself, how am I doing with that? Uncomfortable, yes. Not designed to induce guilt, rather to inspire us to a proactive Christian response.
And why is this important to take on board? Because when we have confessed Christ as our Saviour, God has called us to a certain standard: the cross before me the world behind me, die to self to live for him, salt and light, light among darkness…to become like Christ. How do we get there? Not just hear, but do!
What does our worship, our relationship with God look like when we strip all the periphery, all the appearance away? How strong we are individually in our walk with Christ, determines how strong we are as a body. How strong we are as a body, determines our effectiveness in his mission for us…
James’ letter is intensely practical – “do not merely listen to the word…but do what it says” (1:22) It is unambiguous and authoritative, it is grass-roots, roll-up-your-sleeves practical Christianity that will equip us in this endeavour as we fully engage with his teaching.
Be encouraged to:
REFLECT on your Christian Walk
READY yourself for growth and change