Growing up, I would spend time in the garage with “Mr. Fix-It,” AKA my dad. We would tackle all kinds of car issues and other miscellaneous household needs. Let’s be real: I had no idea what I was doing, and I probably got in the way a whole lot more than I helped. My dad, though, is a sage in the garage. Anything I didn’t know, he usually did, or he knew where to find the right answer. He could always see around the bend, at least a little further ahead than I could.
That’s how I see James. He has answers we didn’t even know we were looking for. He’s the sage in the garage of life & faith.
James is known as “The Proverbs of the New Testament.” It’s been called that for so long, and for good reason. This short book gives us so much wisdom on many of life’s most important subjects. As we read it over the next few days, I challenge you to ask God for wisdom, and consider adding it as a regular part of your prayer life (v. 5: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.).
Today’s reading addresses who James is and what his short book is all about. As the half-brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55), He was a leader in the Jerusalem church and aimed to give practical instruction on following Christ. He wrote to the Jewish believers in the dispersion, which meant the ones outside of Israel (see video below).
But today’s reading also gives us great insight into the trials we go through. Life might hand us some lemons from time to time, but we can go through them with different perspective as Christians. We can be joyful in them because we can trust the heart of God. What does God do in our trials? Well, He is near to us (James 4:8), and in His nearness, God teaches us to endure, and He makes us more like Jesus (you will be perfect and complete).
Today’s reflection: In the comments section below, tell us how God used a trial in your life to draw you closer to Him and make you a more solid Christ follower.
As we begin James, I encourage you to check out this video that gives great insight to the context and style of this short book.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor