Tuesday 16 February 2010

Bible Book:

"Do not be deceived, my beloved. Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." (v.16-17)

James 1:12-18 Tuesday 16 February 2010


James knows that his readers are subject to temptation. He knowsthat despite best intentions, problems sometimes occur. Temptation,he says, gives birth to sin and eventually to death. For instance,if someone gives in to the temptation of a white lie, that candevelop into the habit of lying and perhaps eventually to theinability to distinguish truth from fantasy. When that happenssomething has died within. Something within the soul is no longeralive to God.

James explores the source of this temptation. He seems to be clearthat it derives from "one's own desire" and not from God. Evil, heargues, cannot come from God, so God cannot tempt. Is James makinga subtle distinction between tempting with evil intent and beingtested so that the Christian might be strong?

He now makes a contrast. On the one side there is the fickleness ofhuman nature which can wax and wane like the moon. James arguesthat God's nature has a permanence and dependability which does notshift or alter. When faced with temptation he encourages hisreaders to allow the steadfast light of God to fill their minds andhearts.

But note the tenderness with which James addresses his readers. Heknows they may be fickle but he addresses them as "my beloved". Hisvoice does not carry judgement, criticism or disappointment - justgood practical advice to keep on the straight and narrow. Have youwondered whether James was speaking from experience? We can wonderwhat his Achilles heel might have been...

To Ponder

I heard recently that most burglars don't enterthrough the front door that is locked and checked. They come inthrough the side window when no one is looking. Are you aware of aside window to your soul that needs closing? What could you do?

Most of us respond better to kind words ofconstructive criticism. How can you speak to others with James'emphasis of "my beloved"?

Next time you see the moon, why not remember thatGod's love does not wax and wane but is always consistent.

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