Trade It In

What is it you talk about the most? What is it, if you were to go back across your social media feeds that would be the main focus of your presence on the internet? What do you talk about the most, spend the most on, or think about the most? Whatever that thing (those things) are, I can say from personal experience, are your gods. This does not necessarily mean that the things we focus more are bad things, they might even be blessings we've received, convictions we hold, or whatever else it may be. But do you ever wonder if all of these good things we worship distract us from what is most important? Even good things become distractions from the best, and there is only one best. Jesus Christ gave all for us, and how often do we repay Him in kind? I am not saying this with an accusatory finger pointed in anyone in particular's direction, but am speaking from my own personal experience. The God of the Universe gets cloudy when we place all of these things in front of Him, and He is a Jealous God who will not share us with anyone or anything else. We place so much hope in marriages, kids, jobs, success, entertainment and other things, things which, in and of themselves are not bad, but the only lasting being in this universe is God Himself. He sent His Son to die for us, sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, so that we may be eternally with Him forever, restored to what we were meant to become. I don't know about you, but I don't want to wait for eternity to have that peace, joy, and everything else I am promised. I want it now. It's time to trade some things in, tht my view of the Holy Uncreated One is clear and focused.

James 1 English Standard Version 

Greeting

1James, a servanta of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings.


Testing of Your Faith

2Count it all joy, my brothers,b when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.


9Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grassc he will pass away. 11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.


16Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.d 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.


Hearing and Doing the Word

19Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.


22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.


26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.


Footnotes: a 1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see >Preface b 2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated "brothers") may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19 c 10 Or a wild flower d 17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning



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