Pastor Dixon has been using scripture from James in his sermons this month and I’ve been paying attention. His real focus has been on how we read scripture. We can read it, but if we don’t live it then it means nothing. We can take out pieces that we like, but if we don’t understand the context and back story then we are shorting ourselves and God. These aren’t new ideas to me, but the reminder and fresh perspective is much appreciated.
I did a bit of research and have learned that James wrote this book as a message to Christians that had been displaced, scattered and persecuted. He was not speaking to one particular group of people, but instead to Christians as a whole. Of course, he was writing more than 2000 years ago, but the message reads true and is applicable to Christians today.
So, I’ve been using my Bible time lately to really read James… small pieces at a time so that I can really take it in. Today a particular scripture really slapped me in the face. I started to write about it here, but decided that’s not the right thing to do. Not for me. As I wrote, it started sounding like a sermon instead of a testimonial and these verses came to mind from the last few days…
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
That pretty well tells me what I need to know, right? I will only take this moment to say that I am learning and gaining much perspective while reading the book of James. I don’t hesitate to tell you all if how I feel about a piece of fiction, non-fiction or a movie, so why would I hesitate to tell you the same about a book from the Bible? I won’t. The book of James… worth reading.