JAMES

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:1    James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
         To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.

    Since I've already written about most of the other verses in James 1, I thought I'd better write something about verse one. But what?
    According to the introduction to this book, James, the writer, was probably Jesus' brother. Certainly he had a high position in the church at the time of writing (c. 48-50), so, at least, knew Jesus and His ministry. (DRM 4/9/12)

1:2-3    Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

    This answers the following question: {Why has God allowed my faith to be tested?} God wants us to grow in our faith towards Him. I don't know why He has allowed me to be alone, without human encouragement, except to depend only on Him and His direction. (DRM 3/3/02)

    I don't like trials, and I imagine no one else does either. There seems to be so many things that can happen to change "our" plans for the day which can include phone calls, family problems and accidents among many more.
    Why does God allow these things to happen? Sometimes it's easy to see He has another plan for our day, month, or year, but other times it takes longer and only makes sense much later in time.
    We have to understand that God has a reason for what happened. He wants us to learn something - and it's always to increase our faith and dependence on Him. (DRM 3/4/16)

    Dear Lord, it's hard to endure times of illness and suffering. Comfort me and help me to trust You.
    When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort. (from Our Daily Bread 3/4/16)

1:4    And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

    Just yesterday, my neighbor told me I was a perfectionist, and I will admit that I try to do things correctly - which is why it takes me so long! God seems to want us to try hard, and ask Him for wisdom [verse 5] in making decisions, and learning more about Him. 
    I pray that I will continue to grow more like Jesus every day - and make the right decisions! {Jesus was perfect} (DRM 11/7/04)

1:5, 6    But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith [for wisdom] without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

    Where does wisdom come from? Solomon asked for wisdom from the Lord God - that's where it ultimately comes from. The wisdom spoken of here is spiritual wisdom - but all of our capabilities including earthly wisdom are a result of the abilities God gave us.
    When I/we want spiritual wisdom before reading a Bible passage, it only makes sense to pray for God's wisdom - given by the Holy Spirit - for His understanding and not our own.
    God=Jesus will make passages clearer as we ask in faith for His assistance. (DRM 9/21/16)

    [Re 1:5]    This answers the following question: {What wisdom have I gained because of my trials and testings?} While God never let me be a success in business, He gave me more confidence in talking to the customers who came in the store. I became less intimidated by people of wealth, etc. (DRM 3/4/02)

    [Re 1:6]    When I pray to the Lord Jesus=God for ANYTHING - including wisdom - I must pray in confidence that He will provide for my needs. No doubting. Why pray and ask for something and then doubt that He will provide? It might not be an immediate reply - but I truly believe that the Lord will answer ALL of my prayers in His time. (DRM 2/24/08)

1:7, 8    For that [doubting] man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

    Why ask God for something if you (I) don't believe He can do it? What can't God do? If He wants to, He can move mountains!
    In my current situation, I have had to wait a long time, but I can see evidence that God is working "behind the scenes."
    We (I) need patience and faith that He will meet all my (our) needs. (DRM 11/7/10)

1:9, 10    But let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position; 10and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.   

    This answers the following question: {What is my attitude when I don't have money? When I do have it?} In many ways the Kingdom of heaven is opposite that of earth. In heaven the earthly poor will be exalted. I think the point is that material richness on earth is not equal to spiritual richness. (DRM 3/5/02)

1:11    For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.

    We have a very limited time on earth. Only God knows the number of days we will be here. As we age, we will wither like overheated grass and our "beauty" (external) will be destroyed. While our external body will change, our soul won't. Rich or poor, our pursuits while on earth will end someday, but our soul will be transported to be with Jesus. (DRM 11/8/10)

    Most people would like to be rich and work for that goal in life. As they acquire more money, they acquire more "good things" like the beautiful flower in this verse.
    As time progresses, the flower fades and all the work used to accumulate "more" sets in. The person gets tired and the riches can fade away with one "mistake" or illness.
    You can't take these riches to Heaven. Reality sets in - only the things done for Jesus while on earth will last forever. If God grants you anything extra, use it to advance His Kingdom. (DRM 3/31/17)

1:12    Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

    This answers the following question: {Is the trial or testing I am experiencing now worth it?} The two trials that I have now lack of patience and fear both have answers. I need to wait on the Lord to tell me my next steps and I need to depend on the Lord to end fear. (DRM 3/6/02)

1:13    Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, but He Himself does not tempt anyone.

    I'm sure that we all have thoughts to do something that God might not approve of - I know I have been tempted a LOT of times. At those times, I have to remember that God is NOT the tempter. If the thought is not God honoring, it probably is from Satan. I should think of that each time I have to choose between these two options. (DRM 2/25/08)

    There are so many temptations in life. While they may not seem wrong at the time, just being classified as a temptation is a warning to consider every aspect of the thought before continuing.
    This verse clearly states God "does not tempt anyone," so the tempter might be the devil, like happened to Jesus in the wilderness (Mark 1:13).
    When tempted by anything, consider the source, then make the right decision. God is watching what happens. {Think of 1 Corinthians 10:13} (DRM 8/28/17)

    Though we may be tempted to blame God or even Satan for our problems, our real danger lies within. (from Our Daily Bread 8/25/17)

1:14    But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

    This really goes with verse 13 above - which says that God does not tempt anyone.
    Temptation can be one of several things - but it is caused by our fleshly nature - which is controlled by the prince of this world - the devil, or Satan.
    How can this be stopped? Like sin, the only logical answer to me is prayer. When God is for you, who can be against you? I (we) just have to pray that the temptation will go away - and keep ourselves from it as much as possible. (DRM 2/6/12)

    When we succumb to temptation and stumble (or willfully enter) into sin, we are often quick to blame Satan ("the devil made me do it") or even blame God. James 1 makes it clear that we can make no such excuses ( v.13). So then, where does this temptation to sin come from? It is born in our fallen nature that responds to our worst inclinations. In verse 14, James says we are enticed as a result of being "drawn away" by our own desires. If we are to live lives that are meaningful and pleasing to Christ, we must start by recognizing that we are our own worse enemies and must depend on Christ if we are to do good. (Insight from Our Daily Bread, 2/6/12)

1:15    Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 

    This answers the following question: {In what ways are my desires trying to lure me away into sin?} I've wanted a strong body for many years. Now that I'm exercising more, God has allowed me to look and feel better. I should NEVER think that this change is due to self, but always remember that GOD is the One that is the Creator of all. (DRM 3/7/02)

1:16    Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

    This verse goes with v. 17 as one thought. In v. 17, we are told/reminded that every good thing comes from God Himself. He knows our needs, trials and situations. He knows everything and we are to give Him all the thanks for the good and the learning trials.
    Back to v. 16: We are not to be deceived into thinking we produced these good things - it couldn't have occurred if He didn't allow it. (DRM 4/16/13)

1:17    Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.

    This answers the following question: {What gift am I most thankful for? Why?} God has given me good health. He knows my fears and has been very kind to me! I try to dedicate my time and devotion to Him now and pray that He will continue to keep me healthy. (DRM 3/8/02)

    God loves me. God loves me! He wants only good things to come and for me to be someone who loves Him and worships Him. He loves everyone equally, even if they don't return His love. I also know He hears the prayers of the faithful believers, so wonder how that fits here. PTL His love endures forever. (DRM 11/8/04)

[Re: 1:16, 17]    In life, good things happen some days and bad things happen on other days. That's how it goes. When we/I have a bad day, I may be tempted to blame God, but sometimes (often) it's not God's fault. Think of the book of Job. God loves each of us and only wants the best for us. Even things that don't go as we planned have a purpose to God.
    On the other hand, when things go well, it's not because we did it, but that God=Jesus allowed it to happen.
    God is in control of EVERYTHING. He knows all about our lives and ultimately will lead us to a closer walk with Him. (DRM 4/4/16)

1:18    In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

    This is a more difficult verse for me (as an untrained Christ follower).
    In my first thought I recalled that Jesus as Creator brought us (as humans) forth just by His speaking forth in Genesis.
    After looking at some cross-references (e.g. Eph. 1:13), His will could be the Holy Spirit's will that we become followers of Christ (predestination?) and after we read and comprehend the Bible (word of truth) that we, as Christians, became a part of the "first fruit" of future inhabitants of Heaven.
    Hopefully one of these is accurate in what He wants us to learn from this verse. (DRM 9/5/12)

1:19    This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

    I think the first six words refer to earlier verses.
    As Christians we should be hearing the word of God preached - preferably in a church with other believers. We (I) should be slow to speak, measuring our thoughts before stating them (That's harder for me in conversation.), and slow to anger - not getting emotional when things don't go the way "we" want them to. Anger just increases heart beat and blood pressure and gets us nowhere. . . relax, it will work out. (DRM 4/26/12)

    James is not saying that anger itself is always wrong; he is warning us that an unbridled tongue (v. 26) leads to harsh words, explosive tempers, and unloving actions (v. 20). The apostle Paul reminds us to judiciously speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). We can be angry, but we are to be "slow to wrath" (James 1:19), not allowing our anger to simmer, degenerate into grudges or hate, and lead us into sin (Eph. 4:26) (Insight from Our Daily Bread 4/26/12)

1:20    for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 

    This answers the following question: {How do I get rid of my anger?} Being angry at someone, anyone, gets me nowhere. I must forgive their actions and perhaps learn from it. If I get angry at God, I must learn that He has planned a new direction for me. (DRM 3/9/02)

1:21    Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

    God=Jesus is the source of our salvation. We (I) have to make the decision to follow Him and to do His will. At that point, we will desire to put away "filthiness" of thoughts and to read the Bible (Word) and follow its instructions. (DRM 11/9/10)

1:22    But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 

    This answers the following question: {What one way can I prove that I am responsive to God's Word?} Everyone has a job to do for the Kingdom. My job is to plant seeds of bookmarks . . . right now. If no one talks or tells people about Christ, how will they know? I need to share more. (DRM 3/10/02) 

    I've been guilty of this at times. I've gone to church, participated in the service, listened to the sermon, then went home. I had listened to the Word, but did nothing with the knowledge I had.
    In this verse and the next one, James emphasized the need to act upon our faith. There are plenty of things to do for the Lord Jesus - both in the church and in the world when we talk to others in one way or another.
    Jesus died for our sins and every one else also. He wants them to know how He loves them. Our job is to share the good news in some way. (DRM 12/5/16)

1:23    For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;  . . .

    This verse goes with v. 24. It's only of the thought.
    Obviously the first thought about "hearing" the word is at a church or revival tent meeting, but we can also "hear" the word silently by our reading it.
    God=Jesus doesn't just want us to be knowledgeable on what He said or did in the past. He wants us to see His example (and others who had faith in the Bible) and do likewise.
    When people see us, they should also see Christ in us and feel comfortable asking us about our faith. (DRM 7/1/13)

1:24    . . .for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

    This verse goes with verse 23 and doesn't make sense by itself.
    So many of us (including me) can go to church and listen to a sermon ( or read the Bible) then forget what was heard and never implement what was taught.
    God wants us to act on His words, not just listen to them.
    This verse is an example of how quickly we forget and go on with our regular daily routine. (DRM 4/6/13)

1:25    But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

    Obviously the law is the Law of the Bible, or the Ten Commandments and the whole complete instruction of the Bible. As believers we (I) am to attempt to live by this Book. We are to hear (and read) then do as instructed; which is easier to say sometimes than to do. This process is really the sanctification process. (DRM 2/26/08)

    Only Jesus was sinless. As humans, it is impossible to be sinless throughout life . . . but after becoming Christians, we can and should try to be as sinless as possible. The Bible is our law and tells and shows us how God wants us to run our lives.
    We "hear" the law when we hear sermons at Bible teaching churches - and now we can also hear it on radio and some television programs - but we need to go to a church to meet and share with other believers also.
    Christians have eternity sealed by faith in Jesus, but trying to obey the Law is a guideline on how to run our lives after this occurs. (DRM 5/20/16)

1:26    If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

    When I get to talk to a single person or two, quite often I talk too much mostly about myself. I know that I must learn to listen to others more and not tell them everything that they don't even want to know. 
    Lord, help me learn how to listen and receive Your wisdom from others.  (DRM 11/30/86)

1:26    If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.

    This answers the following question: {If I consider myself religious, what three things will I do?} The passage indicates: Controlling my tongue, visit orphans and widows in distress and not to be stained by the world. I am to be in the world, but not of it. (DRM 3/11/02)

1:27    This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. 

    I agree that it would be nice to visit the orphans and widows, but I don't know any. With all of the wars in that era, probably many men died. It's even harder to associate with the world of non-believers and not try to be like them to be accepted. I always need help and encouragement on both of these aspects of my faith. (DRM 11/9/04)

2:1    My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious LORD Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. 

    This answers the following question: {What are some ways I show partiality at church? at home?} Sometimes I look at the outside appearance of people to decide who I want to talk to - which is wrong. The Lord Jesus loves ALL of the people on the earth, and I should also. (DRM 3/12/02)

2:2    For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, . . .

    This refers to "the sin of partiality" - where the natural tendency in this world is to give honor to the rich and powerful and ignore or hide the poor.
    During the past 10 years, I have had the "opportunity" to be treated both ways, so know what it feels like. People pay more attention to a person's outward appearance than their heart attitude - which is harder to discern.
    In God's eyes it's the soul that counts, not the outward appearance. We should do the same. (DRM 3/4/14)

2:3, 4    and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

    This has happened to me in a slightly different way recently. The title to this section is "The sin of partiality," and now I have been more convicted of this. Still, I gave the homeless man assistance and listened to his story, but wouldn't let him stay in my motel room. If this was a trial of my faith, I failed. (DRM 2/27/08)

2:5    Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised too those who love Him?

    The world honors and favors the rich. We think that the rich people have everything and we have nothing in comparison. But what is the truth? Generally the rich don't know Christ and the poor do. I'm certainly closer to the poor category financially, but praise Jesus that He has made me rich in His love and an heir to His Kingdom. (DRM 11/10/04)

2:6    But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court?

    This answers the following question: {What is my perspective about the poor people of this world?} I don't give them enough. While I am not rich in the world's terms, like others, I wonder how the poor got in the state they are. Giving to the rescue mission directs them in the right direction. (DRM 3/13/02)

2:7    Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?

    This verse makes no sense without verse six above.
    Very often unbelievers are the richest people. They often (not always) are the ones who take people to court.
    As believers, we are told not to take other believers to court - no matter the offense - as God will make all things right in His timing.
    Following the deduction that most rich are unbelievers, they are also blaspheming the Lord Jesus by their ungodly actions. We have to be especially vigilant to show the Lord to them by our actions and words. (DRM 6/15/14)

2:8, 9    If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF," you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.    

    This is like a summary verse about the previous verses. We are not to show partiality for the rich over the poor; in church or anywhere else. The world system seems to be the opposite. While never rich, I have certainly seen people ignore me more; now that I am poor. (DRM 11/10/10)

2:10    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 

    This answers the following question: {In what ways will I apply the "royal law" today?} The "royal law" is [v.8] "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." I must remember that my neighbor is EVERYONE. Not to hold grudges and to praise their good works more. (DRM 3/14/02)

2:11    For He who said, "Do NOT COMMIT ADULTERY," also said, "DO NOT COMMIT MURDER." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

    Sin is sin. No matter what sin we commit, how big or how small, we are not worthy to enter God's Heaven. There are over 600 laws in the Old Testament that we are told to follow and more clearly listed in the New Testament.
    Certainly the two sins mentioned here are major sins, but there are others that are harder to obey for most people today.
    There IS a solution. Jesus died for our sins. He paid the price so we would be able to enter Heaven. All we need to do is to accept His free gift. Why people make this so complicated is beyond me. Confess our sins and trust in Jesus! (DRM 2/18/15)

2:12, 13    So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

    The previous verses in this paragraph refer to loving our neighbors as ourselves (v. 8), not showing partiality (v. 9), and obeying every aspect of the Law. (v. 10).
    Our goal is not to sin. The Holy Spirit should convict us of our sin when we commit it. Reality is that we will sin in some respect. We will be judged in the future, so when others sin, have compassion for their sin, and remind ourselves that we all sin, and don't judge them - that's God's job.
    By not judging others, we are showing mercy, just like God will do for us so long as we confess our sins to Him. (DRM 8/10/15)

2:14    What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

    When the Holy Spirit comes into a person, it is the result of their faith in the Lord God=Jesus and His dying for their sins. Faith was needed. After that occurred, the Holy Spirit took over and should have caused a desire in the person to do "works" that advance the Kingdom. Works should be the result of salvation - and not a way to obtain it. (DRM 2/28/08)

2:15, 16    If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

    Not too long ago, this happened to me. I had lost twenty pounds and went to an elder of my church and cried for help. He said to trust in the Lord and He would provide. . . but the church didn't - what good was that?
    God wants us to be His help in times of need. When my finances get better, I'll always remember this incident, and try to help more people in need. (DRM 11/11/10)

2:17    Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 

    This answers the following question: {How will I demonstrate my faith today?} When the Holy Spirit enters a person's life, they grow to love the Lord. They should want others to know the experience. I feel I must tell others, even if it is via a bookmark to a website. (DRM 3/15/02)

    When I think back to the day of my conversion to Christ, I think that I really gained faith that day. Starting that day, whatever I said or did for the Lord would be considered works. A person who claims that they have faith in our Lord Jesus and never shares or encourages others in the faith is suspect of never having had faith in the first place [dead]. There is never enough that I can do to show my gratefulness for Jesus' saving me from my sins. (DRM 11/11/04)

2:18    But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."

    When we become Christians, we have faith in the Lord Jesus and all the He did to save us from our sins. We do works in appreciation for all that He has done for us.
    To have faith without works is like not appreciating what Jesus did to keep us out of Hell.
    Works can be any of many things. We all don't have the same gifts. We shouldn't feel guilty if we can't do "that" work for the Lord, so long as we do something that shows our appreciation for His giving His life for our sins. {gratefulness} (DRM 11/20/14)

2:19    You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

    The context of this verse is "faith and works."
    The point is that a person can claim that they have faith in the Lord God, but have no works to show what is in their heart. With no works, faith is dead. (v. 17)
    This verse points out this fact by example. Demons know there is a God, and believe Him to exist, but they aren't doing works for Him, but rather for Satan - and against Him.
    Christian works are necessary and important! (DRM 8/3/12)

2:20    But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

    When a person decides to trust in Jesus, the heart is changed and the worship of Him begins. There should also be the desire to share this new "wisdom."
    God has given each of us different gifts=talents that we can use for His honor and glory. These "works" for the Lord are an evidence of what is in our heart. (DRM 11/12/10)

    Many people believe they will get to Heaven if they do good things for others, then God will allow them into Heaven due to the good things they have done in this life. But they won't get in. They lacked faith in the Lord Jesus and what He did on the cross, then rose from the dead.
    This verse tells us that having faith in Jesus and not having works is also useless. What we really need first is the faith, then we will want to do good works as a result of the grace that we have received. There are many options on works to do. Choose something you enjoy. (DRM 7/2/17)

    Authentic trust in God will always manifest itself in loving and caring for others. (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT 6/29/17 DENNIS FISHER)

2:21    Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 

    This example of Abraham reminds me that Abraham truly had faith before he went to the mountaintop with Isaac. He believed that God would provide the sacrifice. Abraham's work of putting his son on the block - showed his faith in whatever the Lord told him to do. I need the same commitment to do WHATEVER the Lord leads me to do - no matter the consequences. (DRM 11/12/04)

2:22, 23    You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.

    "Faith without works is useless" (v. 20).
    In this section of James, we are reminded of the works of Abraham. Abraham had faith that God would provide a sacrifice when he took Isaac to the mountain, but the point this time was the action of Abraham. He had faith, yes, but he also had the works to actually go physically to the mountain. He had faith in action.
    Having faith in our mind with no action, doesn't show much faith. We also have to do things to serve our Savior as a result of our faith. There are many choices what that can be. (DRM 4/10/15)

2:24    You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

    Faith is the most important, but after the initial faith has come into our bodies, we need to do works to justify our faith. What good is knowing all about Jesus and not sharing the Good News to others? People need other people. We need to share our experiences with others. Without sharing, who would know what Jesus did for them? (DRM 2/29/08)

2:25    In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

    "Faith without works is useless" (James 2:20). If God truly gave us faith to trust in Him, as He did, then we should want others to know Him also. We should do some type of work to share His love. We can't just say we have faith, learn about faith and not want others to also have faith.
    In this verse we are given the example of Rahab who lived in Jericho when Joshua arrived. She allowed the Israelite spies to come in and see Jericho , but sent them out a different way (Joshua 2:14-15). She had faith they would protect her when the city was attacked. (DRM 3/17/15)

2:26    For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. 

    This answers the following question: {What evidence would prove me guilty of being a Christian?} Sometimes it seems that I don't do enough works for the Lord, because it is not in the church format. Who would create a web site about Christianity and tell people about it, if they didn't love the Lord? PTL {Praise the Lord] for the idea! (DRM 3/16/02)

    A person becomes a Christian because they have faith that Jesus truly came to save them personally, died for their sins and rose from the dead.
    Having this faith is the first part. The next part is doing something about it. These are called works - which come after faith and not before - you can't do works to earn a place in Heaven.
    There are various works that we can do after we have faith - even just telling someone else about your faith is one.
    We all need to implement our Christian faith in some "work."  Let the Holy Spirit lead you in what direction to serve Jesus.  (DRM 7/28/16)

3:1    Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

    For many years I have wanted to be a teacher and to share the insights that the Lord has given me. In nearly all of my attempts, I have failed at this goal. Perhaps the Lord wanted me to read this verse for special understanding. While I have read the Bible several times, I don't have the education or insight that trained students have. God has to tell me what to do - or say. (DRM 3/1/08)

3:2    For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 

    This answers the following question: {In what particular area of my life do I struggle to be self-controlled?} Like the writer, too often I say something that I wish I hadn't. I know what I meant to say, but it comes out or is taken another way. . . but silence is Satan's success. (DRM 3/17/02)

    This section on James is about the tongue. When I know the topic I'm talking about, I have confidence and stumble over my words less; but when the topic is unfamiliar, then I stutter and stumble. Certainly I'm not a perfect man! The point of this verse seems to be if you can control your tongue you can control your body as well - but nobody can do it! It's another goal than can never be reached, but aim for it. (DRM 11/13/04)

3:3    Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.

    This is an illustration on controlling the tongue. When the tongue is controlled, the whole body follows.
    The Lord God = Jesus wants us to control the words that we say. We are to honor Him in all that we say and do - thus, like the horse, we are to have our tongue controlled.
    What we read and watch and hear controls our thoughts. What we allow to go into our brain is transferred to what comes out in the form of words. May the things that we take in, and the words that come out, be honoring to You, our Lord. (DRM 6/3/12)

3:4, 5    Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

    In these two verses we are told to compare a ship's rudder to the tongue. Both are small in comparison to the importance of the work they do.
    What we say to others is very important. If we have bad remarks or criticize people they certainly won't want to listen to any other comments we have - no matter what they are . . . so we can't say both bad things and good things - like telling them about Jesus.
    We have to be careful what we say all the time, then, God willing, they will also want to hear (and see) how Jesus changed our lives. (DRM 3/21/17)

    Jesus said that our words come from our hearts and reveal if we are good or evil. "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things our of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of" (Luke 6:45) (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT SIM KAY TEE 3/19/17)

    [Re: 3:4]    This section is about the control of the tongue. In this verse is the comparison of the tongue's size to that of a boat rudder - and how small parts have importance.
    We (I) am to control our tongues and say things that Jesus=God would approve of. We can only do this through the Holy Spirit that lives within us. (DRM 11/13/10) 

    [Re: 3:5]    This answers the following question: {What is my reaction when my tongue has been used wrongly?} Regret. Sometimes the words come out in anger and frustration, then I regret that I ever said anything. Sometimes I say what I think and it is misunderstood, which is similar.  (DRM 3/18/02)

3:6    And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

    Taming the tongue is very trying. Certainly I would like to just take back some of the words that I've said on several occasions!
    How can I (we) improve? It's what's in our mind that causes what we say to others. If our mind is filled with the words of God, then the words that I say will reflect His thoughts.
    Fill me Lord with Your Holy Spirit and Words that You have given me (us) through the Bible. (DRM 7/25/13)

    Sometimes things don't go our way or people disagree with our views. It can be hard NOT to express our point of view, and to sit silently and let it pass.
    This verse seems to indicate that it is better not to stir up an argument with our tongue and let the Lord take care of the offender. The result is a much more peaceful life - so long as we don't hold the problem within ourselves and truly give it to the Lord Jesus.
    When we complain constantly, we lose friends. Keeping quiet (holding our tongue) can be the better way! (DRM 1/25/16)

3:7    For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.

    This thought goes with the next verse (v. 8). The point is that we can tame the other animals on the earth, but we can't tame our own tongue from all the evil things that can come from it. We can bless a person with what we say, then curse the next person we see.
    The tongue is controlled by the spirit that lives within us. With the Holy Spirit, our words to others should be better than those who have the spirit of the world (demons) living within them. (DRM 3/11/14)

3:8    But no one can tame the tongue, it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 

    This answers the following question: {What have I found helpful to control my tongue?} I feel that I get in less "trouble" when I don't talk. I keep my feelings to myself and people think I'm smarter than I am. Fortunately, I also have a FEW friends I can talk to honestly. (DRM 3/19/02)

3:9    With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;

    This section refers to the tongue. It is very hard to control the tongue. Quite often we (I) speak before I think and regret it later.
    As we bless the Lord with our tongue, we should also bless others by saying good things about them - in front of them and also when they aren't present. (DRM 2/10/13)

3:10    from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 

    This answers the following question: {How am I currently using my tongue?} While I don't go out and curse people, certainly I've said some critical things about them! I think the Lord wants us to build others up and not criticize when they don't do as I think they should. (DRM 3/20/02)

[Re: 3:9, 10]    The uncontrollable tongue. I think the problem is that we speak before we think, and it should be the other way around.
    When we go to church we say more 'holy' words than we do when talking to someone on the sidewalk.
    While the Bible doesn't seem to advocate a "holier than thou" attitude in our speech to others, James points out that we shouldn't be cursing others when they do wrong in our eyes. We are to show the love of Christ to ALL people - including those we don't agree with. (DRM 7/10/16)

3:11    Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?

    This chapter begins with a discussion on the tongue and how it can both praise and curse people. The fountain mentioned in this verse is an example of how we should live. The fountain can only 'send out' one type of water - whatever the source provides.
    If our Source (Holy Spirit) lives within us, we should not produce the bitter water/talk of Satan and his demons. We have a free will, but clearly God's desire is for us to praise others and not curse them. (DRM 2/16/15)

3:12    Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

    This is an illustration of the previous thoughts about the tongue.
    Going back to verse ten, the point is that the tongue both blesses and curses people, and our nature, as Christians, should not be to curse others', but just emphasize their good points.
    Our tongue should be only honoring the Lord and proclaiming Him in various ways. The fig tree should produce only figs and the olive vine only olives. Salt water today CAN produce fresh, but only by special processing not done in Bible times. (DRM 7/2/15)

3:13    Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 

    This answers the following question: {How can I show that I am a wise and understanding person?} Meek comes to mind, but I'm not sure of the definition. Lord, let me show people that I care about them, listen to their needs and pray for them. (DRM 3/21/02)

3:14, 15    But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

    [Re: 3:14]  This answers the following question: {What selfish ambition is in my life and what must I do about it?} I can only think of two examples: Making lots of money at the store and trying to get physically strong. I gave up trying to make LOTS of money and trust in the Lord to keep me healthy and strong. (DRM 3/22/02)

    [Re: 3:14, 15]    The symptoms are "bitter jealousy" and "selfish ambition" in your heart. You want to get ahead in this world and don't care about your competitors and want to drive them away. Your "one-track mind" is arrogant, and is against God's will.
    Then what is God's will in this respect? It has to be the opposite. Love your enemies - well, that may be hard, but don't talk to others about them and say they're no good.
    If God wants you to succeed in any aspect in life, He will provide the customers or other needs. You have to work, but not attack your 'neighbors'. (DRM 7/5/13)

3:16    For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing

    This is easy to see today. The USA society seems to run on "getting more stuff." In the process people have ambition to get better jobs that pay more money, so they can get bigger houses and more stuff. There is jealousy when others are doing better. It seems that people (including some Christians) will do anything to "get ahead." (DRM 3/2/08)

3:17    But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 

    This answers the following question: {In what ways can I apply God's wisdom to my life?} As I pray for God's wisdom, He seems to give me some gradually. After I get some, as listed here, it's always kind and not critical. My life should be the same. (DRM 3/23/02)

    Generally, before I read the Bible each day, I pray for wisdom. Here is a definition of wisdom; so I'm really praying for all of these things. Since wisdom is God-given, I would say these items are also - or at least the desire to fulfill the list. Lord, give me wisdom - and all of the other gifts listed here. Thank you! (DRM 11/14/04)

3:18    And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    I think this means that Christians aren't argumentative. Like Jesus, we don't want to make wars, disagreements or conflicts. We want others to understand our position - which is to trust in Jesus - who is God. (DRM 11/14/10)

4:1    What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

    This COULD refer to differences of opinion among members of the church or the inside battle that occurs between the physical and spiritual bodies. Based on the context, I think it's our interior battle between our physical desires and spiritual desire to serve Jesus - and do what's pleasing to Him. The goal is always to yield to "what would Jesus do?" (DRM 11/15/10)

4:2a    You lust and do not have, so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. 

    This answers the following question: {What battles am I experiencing within that cause me to quarrel?} I don't have anyone to quarrel with. Perhaps that is the problem when I want to talk to someone, they are with their spouse and I get envious and just don't want to try to talk to them. (DRM 3/24/02)

4:3    You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 

    This answers the following question: {Why am I lacking answers to prayer in my life?} When I don't receive an answer, according to this verse, it is because of selfishness. If my prayers are for the salvation of others - I think God just wants me to wait. (DRM 3/25/02)

    I understand what James was referring to in this verse, as many people ask God for more material goods. But what about people like me who keep praying for an opportunity to serve Him in employment? I must be missing something - and as time progressed, I realized that I can serve God wherever He places me - it doesn't have to be in a ministry. (DRM 3/3/08)

    God doesn't promise us everything we desire. He is willing to give us things that bring honor to His name. He wants us to be dependent on Him and not our own abilities.
    Our motives must match His will, or we won't get all we want. (DRM 3/22/12)

4:4    You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

    I still have a problem telling others exactly how I feel on certain subjects. If I tell them that my judgments are based on the Word of God and the Bible, they would think I was crazy and not worldly, as they are, so I don't explain.
    I MUST LEARN to act more like Jesus every day, and not care about how the people in the world want me to act. (DRM 11/21/86)

    This answers the following question: {How is friendship with the world evident in my life?} I still consider unbelievers my friends. I talk to them, consult with them and try to show them how I am different. I consider this witnessing - but this verse doesn't refer to that. (DRM 3/26/02)

    I certainly don't want to be an enemy of God, but I have friends who are "of the world," who I constantly show what it is like for Christ to be in me. Hopefully this means that I should not desire to do worldly things that have no eternal reward - like drinking, gambling and sporting entertainment. I need to keep a one track mind - to serve the Lord Jesus with as much time as I am able. (DRM 11/15/04)

4:5    Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?

    "He" is God. God made the Holy Spirit (really an equal to Him) and placed it in each believer at the time of conversion. He wants His Spirit to control our lives so we can honor Him and love Him as He loves us.
    This is a purpose of the Scripture (Bible). (DRM 10/9/11)

4:6    But He gives a greater grace, Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."

    This answers the following question: {What does God want to give me today?} Through His grace, He has allowed me to be in His family. I must be humble with this gift - not proud. Lord, keep me humble and able to accept your gift of grace. (DRM 3/27/02)

4:7a    Submit therefore to God.

    This answers the following question: {What in my life indicates that I am submitting to God?} Listening for directions. Willing to change my plans. Accepting mid-course corrections. Listening to others opinions. Depending on Him for good health. (DRM 3/31/02)

4:7b    Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

    This answers the following question: {What steps am I taking to resist the devil?} Praying specifically to Jesus has been repulsive to him, so I do that when I feel that the devil is trying to attract me. Otherwise I try to keep away. (DRM 4/1/02)

4:8a    Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

    This answers the following question: {What would help me draw nearer to God today?} Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. I try to totally depend on Him for all of my needs, knowing that He will provide. (DRM 4/2/02)

4:8b    Cleanse your hands, you sinners; 

    This answers the following question: {How am I keeping clear of sin in my life?} Prayer and devotion to the Lord. I must pray for forgiveness of my sins, when I am convicted, and know that He will forgive my sins. (DRM 4/3/02)

4:8c    and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

    This answers the following question: {What steps am I actively taking to purify my heart?} As I wrote yesterday, I must avoid temptation. I must be totally devoted to Jesus as Lord. I try to immerse myself in reading Christian books and hearing Christian music. (DRM 4/4/02)

    [re: 4:8]    Prayer is my way of drawing near to God. The longer I pray - eventually I relax and listen, then hear His still small voice - generally of His assurance of His love. The second sentence makes me think how I give a problem to the Lord and keep taking it back - which He doesn't like. My problem (fear) is sin - and I need to give it to the Lord AND LET HIM TAKE CARE OF IT. (DRM 11/16/10)

4:9    Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 

    This answers the following question: {What is my true response to sin in my life?} After I am convicted of the sin, I immediately pray for forgiveness and try not to do it again. It's a learning process. Like this verse, I'm sorry for my error and repent. (DRM 4/5/02)

4:10    Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 

    This answers the following question: {How am I experiencing God's uplifting power in my life?} When I pray for forgiveness (humbly) from the Lord, I often feel that a load has been taken away. It's the "feeling" of being made spiritually clean. It's an assurance that He is here and listening to me. (DRM 4/6/02)

    God has a plan, and I need to hear it. How can I do His will, if I don't know what it is? Lately, it seems that I am going without direction. I need to just be quiet before the Lord and LISTEN to His direction instead of continuing on the same path - not knowing if it is the right one. (DRM 11/16/04)

    Following His way, His direction, is a whole lot better than my way. Sometimes it's hard for me to know which way He wants. To humble yourself in submission to His direction and to listen for His leading - admitting that "my way" isn't the best way. (DRM 3/4/08)

    Each one of us probably have thought: I've worked on this project for a very long time and now it's over. I've finally done it! "Look at me, I've done it!"
    Did you do it, or did God=Jesus allow you to do it? Who gave you the idea to do it in the first place? He also gave you the ability to do it.
    God wants us to remember that He is the One who allows everything that happens in our life - including the good things.
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow. . . Thank You, Jesus, for allowing me to do this. (DRM 7/14/17)

    Humility allows us to submit naturally to God and His plan (v. 8). submitting to God means we are "friends" with Him, instead of the world (v. 4). When we are friends with God, we naturally live according to His kingdom and values, not the world's (3:15, 17). As we live and walk humbly with our God (see Micah 6:8), He lifts us up (James 4:10), draws near to us (v. 8) and makes the devil powerless. (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT 7/11/17 MONICA BRANDS)

4:11a,b    Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law, . . . 

    This answers the following question: {In what ways can I avoid speaking evil about my friends?} Don't talk. Think of the good things and talk about them - which is emphasizing the positive. Offer them suggestions - corrections . . . if they are willing to listen. Pray before speaking. (DRM 3/28/02)

4:12    There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

    There are two things that came to my mind with this verse. When I have conflicts with other believers, it isn't my job to judge them, but rather to give the result to the Lord God.
    I also wonder about the true spiritual condition of some friends and relatives. Only God knows their heart. My job is to show them how I feel and hope they will see "The Light" in me. (DRM 3/5/08) Glowing is not all non-verbal; it also requires some talking about our faith. (DRM 8/7/08)

4:13    Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."

    The following verses remind me (us) that we can make all the plans we want, but God is in control. Admit it. If God wills  - we will/can do these things, if God doesn't want these things to happen, they won't. (v. 15)
    When planning for the future, be sure to include God, as He will truly determine what will come of your plan. (DRM 1/5/12)

    I feel like I have a lot of experience in this regard, as I have done nearly the same thing - but the point is that I can't determine the outcome.
    God is in control of our future - all aspects of it. I (we) must realize that our plans are not necessarily His plans. As stated in v. 15, we must pray that the Lord's will be fulfilled rather than our will. If it's not God's will, it won't succeed. (DRM 6/7/12)

4:14    Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

    This answers the following question: {How do these verses relate to your future plans?} This is a reminder that God is in control of everything. I can make all the plans I want, but He can change them all in an instant. To be flexible and change at these times is most important. (DRM 3/29/02)

4:15, 16    Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." 16But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

    All we have to do is live a few days and realize that plans can change through no "fault" of our own. People can surprise our plans by their arrival, etc.
    God knows everything and He is the One who makes our hopes/plans a success or failure. When we talk of these plans, we have to admit that God can change them at any time. (DRM 11/17/10)

4:17    Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin. 

    This answers the following question: {What am I doing wrong in my life that I know I need to make right?} I'm not telling enough people about Jesus, and their need for Him. I'm too self-centered and need to be more of a servant. (DRM 3/30/02)

    The Bible is for the problems of today. It's not an old book! Earlier this year, I felt that the Lord was leading me to help organize a series of revival meetings. I did everything that I felt He was leading me to do - at considerable expense - then had no results that I can see. Since the final outcome never happened, did I sin, or was this part of the learning process? (DRM 11/17/04)

5:1    Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.

    Who are the rich here? At first it seems like the materially rich, but most are spiritually poor as they are missing the riches of knowing and trusting in Jesus. They take advantage of others to gain more financial wealth - and will lose it all in the end. It is SO much better to be poor and to trust in Jesus Christ our Savior! (DRM 3/6/08)

5:2    Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.

    This is a prophecy about the end times. (v. 3) The rich people will have lost their assets. Their clothes will have holes and they won't be able to buy more with no money.
    People can be totally dependent on their money to get them through life, so that's why they always want more of it. As Christians, our dependence should be on the Lord Jesus and not on the material world.
    When we trust in Jesus - it requires TRUST in every aspect of life. (DRM 2/2/14)

5:3    Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

    This answers the following question: {What priority do I put upon making money and using my money?} I have to make money to pay the bills. I try not to use the money foolishly and try to save for the future in a comparatively small way. I agree that I'm saving and these are the "last days." (DRM 4/7/02)

5:4    Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 

    This answers the following question: {What action can I take to treat the poor properly?} In this verse, the guilty party wasn't paying high enough wages to the workers. While that is not my current status, I know that my gifts to the poor (directly) aren't adequate. I need to share more. (DRM 4/8/02)

5:5    You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 

    To most people on earth, Americans are considered rich, and we generally don't realize how good we have it. While others are dying, sometimes for their faith, we continue to live a life of leisure. How can we change? We need a heart of compassion for others - and perhaps a foreign Christian cause to support. I know I need to learn more about, then give to these organizations. (DRM 11/18/04)

5:6    You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.

    This refers to the rich (v. 1) who have taken advantage of the poor (v. 4) to advance their lifestyles. The poor are generally the righteous; and the righteous do not resist, as they know the Lord is in control of their situation.
    The great mystery (to me) is how to have the "rich" come to know the Savior? Perhaps by God's trials? (DRM 11/18/10)

5:7    Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

    I don't think I'm very patient. I want to get on with life and not "waste" time. With the Lord's return so near ( I REALLY believe that!) I want to be a productive Christian to the last second I'm here on earth. Apparently the Lord has plans that I don't know yet, so I'm trying to be patient and allowing Him to arrange my next assignment. It's not easy. (DRM 3/7/08)

5:8    You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 

    This answers the following question: {What can I do to remain patient during the struggles I face?} When the Lord gives me a problem, I know that He is in charge. I must remember to trust totally in Him. I have confidence that I will meet the Lord at the rapture or my death; either way, it's always "at hand." (DRM 4/9/02)

5:9    Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

    This answers the following question: {In what way might I be bitter or holding a grudge against someone?} If someone doesn't do something "my" way, then I am likely to be critical. I have to realize that they might feel the same. I must strive to do things the Lord's way. (DRM 4/10/02)

    I think I'm guilty of this. I realize that all Christians don't have the same views on different aspects of our faith. What I understand as true [e.g. the rapture of the church] others don't think will ever happen. Are they still Christians? YES. I have to be better at listening to other views. (DRM 11/19/04)

5:10    As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

    This paragraph is about patience in our waiting for the Lord's return (v. 7).
    Some people think I'm patient, but I don't. It seems that all of life is waiting for another event to occur. Sometimes the wait is only a month, but when it's a year or more I lose patience.
    The example given here is of the Old Testament prophets. The prophesized and never saw the events come in their lifetimes - that was harder than we who see the Lord's work nearly every day.
    All the signs are here, we won't have to wait much longer - Jesus is coming SOON! (DRM 9/5/14)

5:11    We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

    The first two verses of this section refer to patience (v. 7-8). I think this refers back to patience also. We have to endure waiting for the Lord's return. Job had to endure all of his pain - but after all that, God=Jesus made it all worthwhile.
    I am trying to follow this example currently, but it is difficult and truly a test of my faith! (DRM 11/19/10)

5:12    But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

    I can think of two meanings for swearing. One is saying bad words and the other is when a person is in court, swearing to tell the truth. I think this was intended for the second, but could be appropriate for both.
    I think the point is to always tell the truth, then there will never be an issue. If I say "yes, I'll do that," then do it. If I say "no, I'm not able," then don't change your mind. Don't say one thing and do another.
    Think before you commit yourself to any big project - is that what God=Jesus would want me to do? (DRM 1/10/14)

5:13    Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

    This comes naturally to me.. If I don't feel good, then I would pray to the Lord Jesus to heal the problem. Sometimes the answer is immediate (like for a bloody nose) and other times I've waited for years for an answer - which really is the answer - wait. God can also choose not to heal the problem - which is the most difficult to understand at the time.
    When things go well - also with answered prayers - then I/we should praise Him and thank Him for what He has done. The best way to praise Him is to sing Him one of hundreds of songs/hymns that have been written. (DRM 1/15/13)

5:14    Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

    With today's medicine, few people pay attention to this verse, I think. People would change the name elders to doctor and depend on the doctor's advice instead of going to the Healer first. I believe faith has a lot to do with healing and think both options should be used if possible. The Lord DOES use doctors. (DRM 3/8/08) James could also be referring to spiritual illness (sin), according to the Word of Life Diary (8/7/08)

5:15    and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

    I believe anything that is in the Bible, and that includes this verse. When I don't feel good - physically or mentally - I go to the Lord in prayer for healing first. If the problem obviously needs more attention, I go to a doctor - with the faith that God=Jesus will work through the physicians. (DRM 11/20/10)

5:16a    Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. 

    This answers the following question: {What is the course of action during my good and difficult times?} Prayer is needed for ALL things. I pray in thankfulness and in times of need. Sometimes I feel that I'm praying continuously by my thoughts. I know that He determines my path. (DRM 4/11/02)

5:16b    The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 

    This answers the following question: {What evidence do I have that my prayers are effective?} Results. I know that the Lord Jesus is listening to my prayers when I get answers that only He can provide. The hard part is waiting for unanswered prayer, but I know that He is in control. (DRM 4/12/02)

    [re: 5:16]    "That's not the way we do things," I'm sure someone would say about this first sentence. People would have to be very close friends to admit their sins/faults. In my experience, people are "too busy" to be close friends. Thankfully, I can ask others for prayer - and know that prayer to the Lord Jesus changes things. It's just awesome to think how He hears our prayers - and answers them. (DRM 11/20/04)

5:17, 18    Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

    Prayer changes things. I believe this to be true because I've had many prayers answered - sometimes within a minute.
    God and Elijah were closer than the average citizens of earth, so I think God understood why Elijah prayed for the rain to stop and later start again. God agreed to the logic and granted Elijah's request.
    If God agrees to our reasoning for the request - and He knows that - then He also will fulfill our requests - only if He agrees - which is the whole point. (DRM 9/19/14)

    Prayer is powerful. The Bible clearly states and I truly believe God hears our prayers, so long as we put all our faith in Him.
    Elijah was a true man of God, and when he prayed (1 Kings 17) and God agreed to answer his prayers, the whole area had no rain for 3 years; then when King Ahab was ready to compare Baal to the Lord (1 Kings 18), Elijah demonstrated that the true God was/is in control, then the rain came back.
    When God shows us signs today of His power, many still don't believe. We need to put all our faith in Him, through prayer, and He can do amazing things. (DRM 6/30/17)

5:19    My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,

    This verse makes no sense unless added to verse 20 below. It's only half of the sentence.
    Even though we are Christians, we still sin. Sometimes it's a blatant sin that dishonors God. If someone (at our church) sees this sin, they are to correct us. I know sometimes the person committing sin isn't even aware of what they are doing.
    The person who corrects the sinner will receive a reward according to verse 20, but that shouldn't necessarily be our motivation, rather unity in the body of Christ. (DRM 10/25/14)

5:20    let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins. 

    This answers the following question: {How can I help a Christian who wanders from the truth?} First pray, then when the opportunity comes, direct him/her from the error of their ways with compassion and understanding. Hopefully someone will tell me when I am wandering from the truth. I try not to. (DRM 4/13/02)