James doesn’t mess around. When he writes a letter, he doesn’t hold back. I can only assume that he was the same way in person, maybe even more bold.
The Book of James is a tough one to read, but it is filled with so much spiritual truth that you can’t ignore it, or even skim through it. James demands our attention.
Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Honestly, these aren’t even the most brutal verses in this chapter, let alone the book. But, I feel like they evenly distribute James’ harsh truths and his passion for expressing God’s love for us.
James wasn’t afraid to call people out. I’m sure, like today, many people of the time felt like the scriptures were old news. They were just words on paper that didn’t apply to modern day. Sound familiar? But James reminds us that these words have meaning. They are alive! These words are God speaking to us through the authors whom he chose ahead of time to teach using stories and written words.
We are reminded that the spirit of God lives within us, and that it is our responsibility to allow God to work through us, not block us. We aren’t a slave to our sins. We can overcome them. We can have victory in this life -- in this world.
So many times we let our sins drag us down. We let our guilt, shame, and failures pull us further away from God. But, by God’s grace, we can let go of all of that, and live the life God desperately wants us to live; a life of peace, joy, victory, and love.
Let us focus on God, not the world. Let us live in victory, not fear.
Join us this Sunday as we continue through the Book of James. Bring a friend. It’ll be worth it.