James - Intro & Chapter one
Background: James was actually called Jacob (There was no greek name for James)
One of the first letters written to the early church (AD 45-47)
Jacob is the oldest of Jesus' younger brothers. He wasn't a follower of Jesus until after the resurrection. He became the presiding the apostle over the Jerusalem church.
He was called "Old Camel Knees" because of how much time he spent in prayer.
He was stoned to death in AD 62
- Wisdom from above - Seek it out
- Testing and Trials - You can do it
- Law of Freedom (Grace) > Law of Moses
- We express our faith through our good works
James 1 (Read in Passion Translation and Mirror)
Joy in knowing who you are leads you out triumphantly every time
Joy in who you are (identity) - Leads to victory
Lead - Postion of authority
Joy of who you are in Christ puts you in control
- You don't have to fake joy (no mask/no front)
Joy is the fruit of what your faith knows to be true about you!
So what is your fait? Where is it pointing to?
Do you see yourself seated with Christ or seated with who you used to be?
This is why James (Jacob) says to ask for Wisdom (VS 5)
A faith that points to a correct view of the Father and the Father's view of you is stabilizing - It's a solid foundation to build life.
Faith in the wrong view of Father and yourself leads to a poor foundation and anything that is built on that foundation will fall and crash on top of you.
VS 12) Temptation: anything that would entice us to see the Father a different or us in a different way.
Our true identity is as a crowned victor - Our lives prove the currency (wealth) and character (announcement of true identity) of our design.
The Father is not the author of temptation because he would never bring anything to you that would taint your picture of him or the true you
He does not tempt to teach us a lesson - We are the ones who wander
What the Father gives is good gifts from above (the same place we originate from)
He has no hidden agenda - He is Good!
VS 19) Ponder the Word (Jesus) - He reveals our true identity
When we believe in any other origin it frustrates us - Like trying to put on clothes you use to wear when you were a baby - James calls that EVIL (Rebellion) and that we need to get rid of it.
Meditate on this verse - Let it marinate in your heart
VS 22) "Give the word (Jesus) your undivided attention: do not underestimate yourself. Make the calculation. There can be only one logical conclusion: Your authentic origin is mirrored in the Word (Jesus). You are God's poem: Let His voice make poetry of your life."
So which life are you going to live: One of a spectator or a participator
Spectator: Life in Grace is to good to be true
Forgets who Jesus is as soon as they walk away from the mirror
Like the narrow way - Easy Way
Participator: Mesmerized by what you see
Captivated by the law of true freedom
Reflection sets you free to be the real you
Real life begins - The poetry of practical living
VS 26) What is meaningless conversations?
The viewpoint of a spectator - It sounds safe but since when was Jesus safe?
Your tongue - Conversations should be attached to what your heart knows about you
The Father is the purest form of practical living - It's one of love and overflows with generosity
That's why James says the "Purest religion" is the one that restores Orphans and Widows - WHY? because those to groups of people forget who they are and who the father says they are due to the circumstances they find themselves in. We should be ones to reach out to the Outcast and Forgotten!
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