Meditations on James 1:19-25

  • v19-21, Anger is valuable when it is controlled and directed. Anger can move the passion of a person in motivation, such as starting or supporting an organization to prevent drunk driving versus shooting the drunk driver. Uncontrolled anger and not listening, gives people a false impression of God and has an extreme negative impact on others for the faith (Col. 3:8; James 3:18; 5:7). The Bible tells us that our anger has a place, but that we should not allow it to cause us to sin! Jesus saw His Father’s house of worship and prayer turned into a greedy market, and he modeled the correct way to use our hostility (Mat. 18:15-17; 21:12-13). Anger can be a solution or a real problem, depending on how we handle it. Anger can also become evil. Literally, it is the rotten fruit unhitched from our temper and loss of control. The Holy Spirit will restrain us but only in the parameters of our will to control our anger (Rom. 8:11; 2 Thess. 2:6; 1 John 4:4). Temper can be valuable if we submit it to God’s cultivation and care. God created each of us with two ears and one tongue, therefore his design and will is for us to do twice as much listening as we do talking. The lack of listening and the abundance of anger, especially when it is out of control, will create a destructive environment for the Christian and the Church (Prov. 27:9). What we should be listening to above all is God’s message. Why is it a necessity to put the Word of God into our daily life? Have we considered how it affects how we feel, how we are, and how it transforms us in how we treat others?
  • v21 “engrafted” or “implanted” is a very important word which every Christian should completely understand from James. Read 2 Pet. 1: 3-11. God calls us to take His Word and allow Him to plant it in us just like a gardener would plant a vineyard or orchard, then allow our efforts in Him and the work of the Spirit to grow His fruit in order to produce the character of Christ in our lives to impact others around us. How can this transpire more effectively in us?
  •  v23-24, “Doer”, The Greek word poietes is rooted in the idea of performing poetry. Reading poetry in silence to yourself is not as effective as reading it aloud with feeling. The performance of reading as an orator is good for you as well as others who hear. The same can be said for whatever Biblical passage you read, we must make a physical effort to live out the point of a passage, not just parrot it on a Sunday. This kind of performer may, at first attempt, feel hypocritical, but with faithful endurance and prayer, the “doer” will become real and natural as fruit growing and maturing, not because of the quality of my performance but because the passage is living & activated by the Spirit of God in Christ! I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”  Romans 1:16-17  
  • v25, Notice the phrase changes from “doer of the word” into “doer of the work”. One letter makes all the difference. Christians are not just reflecting Christ as the light of the world, we are supposed to be enlightening the world with Christ, that is work!  Do you fully believe when the Bible has impacted us, we will make a response to it?  What would our congregation look like if more people were “doers of the Word?” Please read Matthew 5:14-16.

I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

Meditations on James 1:9-18

  • A Question for poorer Christians, v9, “Exaltation” – a higher position of enlightenment, such as the experience of the forgiven, noted in Luke 1:78. After the birth of John the immersionist, his father Zechariah spoke of how baby John would grow to present the Light of the world to people in darkness. When we realize who we are in Christ, all of our problems and opportunities come into perspective. How has this influenced you, or others in your life as a Christian?
  • A Question for richer Christians, v10, “Humiliation” – the abased position of service, such as the way the virgin Mary saw herself in God’s sight when she fully realized she was pregnant with the Messiah, Luke 1:48.  How can you put yourself in God’s care, to be more of a person of faith and integrity? How can you be one who is surrendered and poured out to Christ and used powerfully in the lives of others? (see John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:10)
  • Do you believe that God’s blessings come to us in ways we cannot always fathom? Do you believe that He is indeed good? If not, what is blocking your view and/or experience?
  • How is perseverance or steadfastness, in v12, a factor in our faith development? What do we need to do to further understand God’s sovereignty so we have more willingness to endure, and not give up?
  • The fact about temptation in v14, should cause us to ask; Why is it important to not be deceived and not cave into false thinking? What happens when we do? What can we do to make sure we have the right view of sin and temptation? 
  • How have you struggled with temptations? How can this passage help focus you on the priority that Christ can and will fill you with Himself so that you will not be pulled into worldly desires? Remember Luke 9:23.
  • If we take v15 personally, then we can see that personally our sin brings upon our self, our own death, not the ability to pass on sin to others, but our own death. The death of a newborn infant is not caused by a parent’s sin, or Adam’s sin being passed on genetically, it is caused by merely being born human with the propensity to sin, whether a baby commits sin or not. Every human being is born capable of sinning, so death is the direct result whether a baby is viewed as a sinner or not, because genetically we don’t pass on sin, we pass on the ABILITY (lust/desire/will) to sin, therefore death is passed on, not sin itself, see Romans 5:12. Do you understand this?
  •  v17,“The Father of Lights” – Are we able to realize that we are witnesses to the Light of Christ to become the light that impacts others? Do we realize that our reliability, in being a reflection or a lampstand of the light to those who are weak in Him or do not know Him, will be the essence of Christ they may see in us? (see John 1:6-9; 1 John 1:7)
  • Is it God’s will to use the word of truth in our being born again, or is it man’s will to use the word of truth in our new creation? Read verse 18 carefully.