Hey Summitview Family,
We’ve begun a study on the book of James, and we believe this is exactly the Scripture we need to be hearing right now. James is a book that surprises us. Out of 108 verses, Jesus is mentioned by name only twice in contrast to an abundant 50+ imperatives (commands). This book is intended to inspire action, intended to call for obedience that comes from faith. As someone who naturally relates more to Paul’s writing style that focuses less on practical application and more on Christ and his gospel, the book of James has been a healthy counterbalance for me.
Have you been moved to action by James’ exhortations?
Are his imperatives transferring from the pew Bible into your life?
In this past Sunday’s sermon, I unpacked the theme of temptations, including their overlap and contrast with trials.
Through my study, I’ve grown more convinced that trials and temptations occur simultaneously, giving us the daily opportunity to grow in faith and love for God or be deceived into sin.
Recently, one of the ways God has been testing me is in my approach to serving others. God has opened up the opportunity for helping a significant number of people at the same time, more than I naturally feel capable of. The Holy Spirit’s words through James are instantly and perfectly practical:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’ … Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…”James 1:13,16–17
Indwelling sin entices me toward one of two tempting lies. Firstly, the lie that I am not capable of handling the load God has given me. And conversely, the lie that I am the savior in a situation, as if I had the wisdom/love/power innately. I believe His intention in this test is to grow me to trust and rely on Him more, such that I become more God-dependent.
So, how about you?
What’s a trial/test you’re currently facing?
What’s the lie you’re being tempted to believe?
Whatever the case, let’s take James’ advice seriously, that we may grow in our faith and love for God, such that we may become complete and love like Jesus.