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Endurance and Wisdom
- James, a slave of God and the Anointed Lord Jesus, to the twelve tribes in The Dispersion;(1)“The Dispersion” refers to the Jews who were spread across – i.e. dispersed – throughout the Roman Empire. greetings.
- My brothers, consider it all joy when you fall into various trials,
- knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
- And let endurance have its perfect work so you might be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask for it from God – the One who gives generously to all and not while scorning – and it will be given to him.
- Yet let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For the man who doubts *is like a sea wave, being blown by the wind and being tossed by the breeze.
- For that man must not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.
- That man is double-minded, completely unstable in all his ways.
- But let the brother of low position boast in his high position,
- and let the rich man boast in his low estate because he will pass away like a grassy flower.
- For the sun rose with its scorching heat and withered the grass, and its flower fell, and the beauty of its appearance perished. In this way also, the rich man will wither in his pursuits.
- Blessed is the man who endures a trial, because after having become approved, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to the men who show preference(2)“show preference” The Greek word used here is “ἀγαπάω” (agapao), which is the verb form of “ἀγάπη” (agape), typically translated “love”. However, unlike our English word “love” – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agape centers on preference. In the verb form, it literally means “to prefer” or “show preference for”. In the New Testament, that usually means “moral preference”, or “actively preferring what God prefers” in what we do, not just in what we feel. It’s the “love” based on will, choice, decision, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word “φιλέω” (phileó), which properly means “brotherly love/affection”.) to Him.
- Let no one who’s being tempted say: “I’m tempted by God.” For God is unable to be tempted by evil, and He tempts no one.
- But each is tempted, being drawn away and enticed by his own cravings.
- Then having conceived, a craving gives birth to sin. And having been accomplished, sin delivers death.
- Don’t be misled my beloved brothers.
Doers of the word
- Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above; coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there’s no change or shifting shadow.
- And having been resolved, He birthed us by the word of truth, for us to be a kind of firstfruit of His creatures.
- *Know this my beloved brothers, and let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger;
- for man’s anger doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.
- Therefore, having set aside all filthiness and abundant wickedness, welcome the implanted word in gentle strength;(3)“gentle strength” this Greek word is often translated “meek” or “gentle”. However, it doesn’t mean the absence of power as “meek” would suggest. Instead, it specifically refers to strength or power that is gently exercised, without undue harshness. i.e. some who is strong but applies their strength gently. the word which is able to save your souls(4)“soul” The Greek word here is “ψυχή” (psuché). It does not mean the part of us which survives death and goes to reward or punishment (Biblically that’s our spirit. In Revelation 8:9, animals are said to have “psuché”.) Psuché literally means “breath” and is usually translated “life”. It refers to the life; the vital force which – together with the body – enables a person to live. It can also refer to mind, will, emotions, and desires, which together make up a person’s identity.
- And become doers of the word, and not hearers only (who are deceiving themselves.)
- Because if someone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this man *is like a man considering his natural face in a mirror.
- For he considers himself and *departs, and immediately he forgot what kind of man he was.
- But the man who carefully inspects the perfect law (the law of liberty) and remained in it hasn’t become a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This man will be blessed in his deeds.
- If someone appears to be religious while not bridling his tongue (but deceiving his heart), this man’s religion is worthless.
- Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep yourself unsullied by the world.
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