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A Detailed Study of Wisdom in the Book of James (Chapter 1)

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

-Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; the Redeemer!

A Detailed Study of Wisdom in the Book of James
​(Chapter 1)

(Not yet edited, but I have been asked by the Lord to publish as is (for now) enjoy!)
Today we will be studying chapter one of the book of James! The book of James focuses on wisdom! In my opinion the book of James is one of the most beneficial books in the Bible! Even after this study we do together I would encourage you to study the book of James further on your own, prayerfully! May it be a blessing to you and to those around you as you live out your life with wisdom!

In proverbs 8:11, the Lord proclaims, “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” Clearly wisdom is a big deal! But what is it?! The dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” We see here that wisdom is difference than knowledge, with knowledge being defined as, “information gained through experience, reasoning, or acquaintance.” Wisdom gives us the ability to discern what is right, true, and lasting, and knowledge is merely information gained over time.

So let’s begin in our study of what the book of James has to say on wisdom. Today we will focus on chapter one. James opens line one with a greeting, and the first piece of wisdom he delivers is in line two. Line two holds one of the most essential pieces of wisdom to not only have, but to live by, saying:

“2 My brethren [my comrades, my brothers, my associates], count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations!

Joy from temptation?! If this is true (which it is!) this is a game changer! You mean I don’t have to wallow around in self-pity when the enemy is attacking me in the most vulnerable places of my life?! Assuredly I don’t, and you don’t have to either! Immediately, we can glean several aspects of the Christian life from this first piece of wisdom! Firstly, we as Christians are not immune to temptation, nor will we ever be, so don’t expect to be! Instead expect an indefinite (indefinite meaning, not definite; without fixed or specified limit), amount of temptation. Not only is this to be expected, but during hours of temptation, we can (and should) glean JOY from it! And why is this? Well there’s a number of reasons, to discuss a few, we know from the Bible that God, although He does not tempt us, will allow us to be tempted, He even allowed His son to be tempted, and what great glory did it bring Him that His son didn’t fall once?! We can and do glorify God as well as we overcome our temptations by relying on Him! We also know that God will never allow us to be tempted us beyond what we can handle, so every time we overcome a temptation we not only shame the devil, but we also glorify God!!! Now this is a beautiful thing, and makes temptation something worth celebrating, because when we choose rebuke the temptation in Jesus’ name, and ask God to show us the way out, and take the way out, through the valley and back into the light, not only do we not fall to the temptation, but we glorify God in the process! To truly take joy from your temptation makes such a difference! I would attest most people get bitter and self-pitying when they are tempted. Don’t! The devil loves this! Because it’s counterintuitive, actively remind yourself to count all your temptation as joy! I would suggest making a note, and putting it somewhere where you can see it often throughout your day! Not only will this frustrate the enemy, it will increase the joy in your life and make dealing with temptation a whole new ball game! One that you can not only win, but enjoy as well! So make the note and put it somewhere you can see it! I’m sure you’ll be tempted not to, so here is a great time to rebuke it, count that temptation as joy and glorify God by doing so! So go ahead! Practice makes perfect and you can’t practice something that isn’t on your mind! Grab a piece of paper and a pen, some tape, or a sticky note and pen, and make the note, “I will find joy in overcoming the temptations the enemy brings, for it glorifies God to do so!”

It should be noted that all temptation should be rebuked in the Lord’s name! If you disagree with this, you should consider that when the Arch Angel Michael was confronted by Satan when returning the body of Moses to the Lord, the Arch Angel Michael did not choose to fight Satan on his own and Michael is a third Heaven arch angel, instead, Michael chose to rebuke Satan in the name of the Lord! We should do the same! If it’s good for a third level arch angel, it should be good for us! I can say from experience, life changes when you actively rebuke your temptation, ask the Lord for the way out, and then follow Him out of it! Being joyful about the temptation takes this concept to the next level! This is truly the way to live and walk righteously!

James continues on saying, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Another benefit to overcoming temptation is that it will strengthen your patience by trying your faith. He continues, saying, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” A beautiful passage, showing that when we allow patience to complete its works, in other words, when we are truly practicing patience, we will want nothing. Why is this? I think we can all agree that God wishes to give us a good life and prosper us, the Bible says so, God’s nature confirms this. If you’ve been around the Christian community long enough you’ve likely heard many testimonies of people talking about when they had little that they never did want or go hungry! This is a promise of God, that when we focus on the things of Heaven (His will) we will not want for anything that everyone in the world worries about (from food to clothing to shelter, etc.)! So if we really apply our faith and our patience, there should be no point where we are ever wanting, physically, spiritually, or mentally, and to worry about our needs is fruitless and a waste of time and energy that could be devoted to God instead.

the Lord has a great destiny for us, and along the way, He will be teaching us many things! It’s hard to learn faith when everything is grand in your life. It’s easier to learn when things look impossible and God keeps coming though time and time again! But overall, God wishes to prosper us, that’s His plan, trust this, trust Him! God also makes all things work for good (including the bad which He did not cause)! What’s the caveat? He does this for those who love Him and who are following His will! Which makes sense, how could He make something work for good if you are not following Him for Him to do so? God never forces His will, you must actively seek Him and His will out for your life! It’s never too late. If you are here, there is a great purpose for you! May you seek it out moment by moment and fulfill it day by day!

It’s a beautiful thing, patience! Practice patience through all things; adapt it into your life style, as with all of the Fruits of the Spirit! I’d suggest writing down and placing the Fruits of the Spirit where you can see them as well. This has been extraordinarily beneficial for me, I highly recommend it! The fruits of the spirit are faithfulness, patience, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, goodness, love, and self-control! And I do believe in that order, one unlocks the next! From faith through love to self-control! Realize when you were saved the seeds of the Fruit of the Spirit were planted. It is your job to water them and allow them to grow within you! Allow how you react to life water those seeds and you will be transformed into the human being God created you to be! Be patient with yourself as well!

Line 5 of the book of James states boldly, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” The key part of this verse is, “ask!” It’s also important to note that the Lord, upbraideth not, upbraideth meaning to severely rebuke or blame, to reprimand. Now does this mean that the Lord will not correct us when we are wrong? No. It means that when the Holy Spirit convicts us it will be in a way that is not harsh and not condemning, the conviction will bring hope and a way out, a way to change! This is good news! It is also one way we decipher the Holy Spirit’s conviction from Satan’s condemnation! There is a difference! And if it’s bringing lasting guilt it’s not from God!

So again, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” He continues, saying, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Again, it all comes back to faith, faithfulness is the foundation that gets you to love and self-control, as you progress through the rest of the Fruits of the Spirit! The foundation is faith, it’s always faith! And without faith, God will not move, because without faith you will not be able to complete God’s will for your life, so His moving in your lack of faith would be a disservice to you! That being said, make sure you do not put limits on God! If your faith says that God takes a long time to move, God will take a long time to move! God will move by your faith and your faith alone! God will always move in His time, but by your faith. Ask yourself, are you delaying God by not believing He will move soon? Where else are you limiting God by your faith (or lack thereof)?

There is no way. Life will get too hard at times without faith, and there will be times where what God is asking you to do looks impossible and again, without faith, you will crumble. So God must work on this with you, and you must rebuke your fear, worry, and doubt, and continually come into agreeance with the Lord and it will get easier and easier to have faith! The longer you have faith, and the more you will see God do what He said He would do because of your faith, and then the easier your faith will be! But you have to start by taking that step of faith, even if you don’t believe you have ever seen God work for you before! (You have, we all have, you just might not know it yet!) So ask according to God’s will, have faith, and you will receive it!

In verses 9 James goes on to say, “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” What we glean from this is that the poor should rejoice, for they will be exalted by the Lord and are blessed! The poor should not pray with a focus on the removal of difficultly in their lives but instead for the wisdom to make a good and pleasing use of the difficulty for the Lord, made joyful that the Lord is forming them through their trials and tribulations! Likewise, the rich should also rejoice for they have been made humble by the Lord and shall continue to remain meek and humble by the grace of God, remembering to seek their happiness from the Lord, as they did when they were poor, not from the fleeting pleasures of the world which truly only bring short term pleasure and long term pain, knowing it was through their humility that the Lord was willing and able to bless them how He wishes to bless us all!

James continues saying, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.” Again, enduring temptation blesses you, for it not only glorifies God, but by succeeding in enduring your temptation, you shall receive eternal life with the Lord! It’s also good to note that it says the crown is promised to those who love the Lord! Our love for the Lord is another powerful tool against the enemy, and against sin and temptation! Without love for the Lord, all your ways will fail and bring death upon you! Ask the Lord to teach you how to love Him, and then rely on this love to take the proper steps to both rebuke and take the path away from temptation that the Lord provides for you!

James continues, saying: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.”

God cannot be tempted and will not tempt you! Allowing yourself to be drawn away by your own lust is when you will fall to temptation. But it’s made cleat that this lust has to conceive! That tells me that it will take some time (although it may not be long) for that original lustful thought to take root inside of you and then cause you to sin. Repetitive thinking on a lustful thought, not rebuking and turning away from a lustful thought, anything that causes you to allow that thought to grow; those habits must be done away with! For it is only through acknowledging and immediately turning from the enemy that we conquer the enemy. The longer we let a long thought ruminate, the easier it will be for the enemy to cause us to fall! Be diligent in rebuking your temptation! As James said, “Do not err, my beloved brethren.” Knowing how to fight the battle is more than half the battle!

This next verse, verse 17, is so very beautiful, saying, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” God does not change! He will not take away His promises, nor will He be anything but love! Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord, so more the reason to know the Lord, learn His voice, and follow Him in all of the details of your life! Allow Him to take control, He knows what’s best for you and your life, He knows the deepest desires of your heart that are hidden even unto you! He knew you from before your birth! Trust the Lord! Trust He knows what’s best for you and your life. Ask Him to show you what you can do for those around you as well. We love because He loved us first, after all!

Verse 18: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” The Lord begat [begat meaning to produce offspring] us with the word of truth, the word of truth being one of the way the Messiah is described in the Old Testament. Looking at Biblical Prophecy, it becomes clear Jesus is undoubtedly the Messiah. So God gave us His sound so His son could spread His truth, a truth that will allow us, Christ’s followers to be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures, firstfruits meaning not only are we fruitful, but the firstfruits of the harvest were always the ones offered up to God, and it pleased Him.
 
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

It is amazing what happens when one applies this mindset. Be swift to hear, in other words, be willing to be a true and engaged listening ear to others. Slow to speak, in other words, instead of focusing what you are going to say next and trying to hold onto those words instead of truly listening to what the person in front of you is saying, let your thoughts go, be engaged, fully, trust when it is your turn to speak, the Lord will prompt you and give you the opportunity to say what needs to be said. It is amazing to see when you are slow to speak, how much more people will talk, and how much deeper the conversation will go. Just because there is a pause doesn’t not mean you need to fill it. Allow the person to think, process their thoughts, phrase their words as they are trying to phrase them. If God is not prompting you to fill the space, don’t. Also be slow to anger. Focus on yourself not others! Consider that before His crucifixion, Jesus said to His Father, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do!” When someone offends us, are we quick to take offense because of the pain they are inflicting, or do we have a mindset like Jesus, where instead, we realize they are hurting us out of their ignorance, that they are hurting us out of a place of lack in their walk with God? Have pity, for it is in the Lord’s glory for us to overlook, and I mean truly overlook, and forgive an offense. You know you’ve forgiven when you need nothing back from the person who offended you, no apology, no sorrow, no revelation of what they did, nothing. From this place you will find peace!

Continuing on, verse 21, this verse is very important, engage this fully, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness [in other words excessively luxurious living habits that are in disobedience to God], , and receive with meekness the engrafted word [engrafted meaning the surgery of living tissue to be inserted, a metaphorically reference to the living Christ who dwells within us!], which [who] is able to save your souls! [Now this is amazing news! Those in the old testament did not have God dwelling in them, but the New Covenant, the sacrifice of Jesus and faith in Him and all His sacrifice means, has allowed God to come and dwell within us!!!] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” In other words, those who hear the word but do not do it, following themselves, and the Bible says that our deeds are like filthy rags to God, it does not specify righteous or unrighteous deeds, but all deeds. The Bible also says no man is good, no not one! So does that include Christ? Well yes and no. Technically, He was in flesh that was no good, but Christ never let the enemy in, He only followed the will of the Father, and therefore Christ’s life was pleasing to the Father! This gives us hope, for we are also in fallen flesh, but we can also hear God’s voice and discern the will of the Father like Christ did! Therefore, when we accomplish the will of the Father in obedience, we please God, and our works are pleasing to God. It has nothing to do with righteous or unrighteous, but all to do with the will of God vs. the will of self. The will of God is clearly and undoubtedly superior, and the only thing that is pleasing to God, because only He knows what is best! If you are presented with two righteous career paths simultaneously, do you take the first, the second, or neither? What is the best choice for the Kingdom of Heaven? Well, only God can answer that question in such a situation! We can fill our lives with all sorts of things that would be considered good by the world and ourselves, but if it’s not the will of God, what’s the point? If He needs you elsewhere, do it!

Verse 25: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” And a part of this law is obedience to God, which Jesus fully displayed in every little moment of His life. He spoke nothing God didn’t ask Him to speak, He did nothing God didn’t ask Him to do. What a life, of full obedience! A beautiful display of how our lives should be! To live out this verse, one must study the word of God to understand the nature of God, but more importantly, one must form a relationship with the Lord through prayer and thankfulness, ideally, learn to discern the Lord’s voice, or at the very least, walk righteously so the Lord can lead you in the spirit. But honestly, from experience, there is nothing more valuable than being able to hear the Lord’s voice. The amount of time and worry it saves me is innumerable. The confidence it gives me in my walk and my path is vast! The love He shows me through the words He speaks to me is immeasurable! There’s nothing better, in my opinion. I would encourage you to make learning the Lord’s voice and discerning what He has to say, along with developing the ability to quiet your mind (Yes, this is something that can be developed, and if I can with how active my mind is, then you can too! There are no excuses, God wouldn’t give you something to do that you could not accomplish, and Jesus did say that His sheep hear His voice, know it, and follow!).

This verse is important and has been so very important throughout the ages! It’s the number one category of rebuke I get from non-Christians, is the hypocrisy of fallen man in the church. But you cannot judge anything by it’s abuse, and you surely cannot judge the perfect living Christ by His followers. Our fallen nature is why we need a savior in the first place! Not to justify some of the horrific actions carried out by those in the church, but again, they must be separated from the true people of God and even the true people of God from God Himself and His son! With that said, we continue into verse 26, which states: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This passage is saying, walk the walk, walk the talk, walk the will of God!

Let’s take a moment to reflect together:
Do you talk like a Christian? Or do you talk like the world?
(reflect)
Do you follow God’s will or do you follow your own heart?
(reflect)
Are you slow to anger?
(reflect)
Are you quick to listen?
(reflect)
Are you slow to speak?
(reflect)
Do you follow God for all of your promptings? Do you wait on the Lord and not move unless He tells you to?
(reflect)
Do you love the Lord God with all of your heart and try your best to show the love He has shown you to others? Have you drawn close enough to God to truly know His true love and His true nature?
(reflect)
Are you trying to represent the Lord your God the best you can?
(reflect)
Where should you focus?
(reflect)
Do you keep yourself unspotted (without sin)?
(reflect)
The outside might be pure, but is your heart and inner man as well?
(reflect)
Have you truly repented [repented in the Greek meaning, turned away from, to change one’s mind, to change one’s spirit] from your sin?

What have you been unwilling to surrender to God?
(reflect)

Lord, I thank you for this teaching! I thank you that your people will take what they have learned today to you in prayer! I thank you that we have the wisdom to bring everything to you Lord, including all preaching and teachings to discern the truth directly from you Lord! Please show us what you are specifically saying to us through others! Lord, reveal to us what is right, and what is not of you as well, as we walk with you Lord. I thank you Lord that we can lean on each other, because no other person can cause us to fall if we are in you, Lord! You will correct all that is wrong as we follow your will Lord, and we thank you for that! We know that no one is perfect Lord, even ourselves. May you help us stay focused on where we need to grow and not on other’s transgressions! We ask that you increase our forgiveness and our ability to overlook…truly overlook an offense to glorify you! May we not sin. May we be truly repentant and turn away from our sins in full! Show us the way, Lord! May the strongholds of the enemy be broken, in Jesus’ name! May we remember to rebuke temptation in your son’s name and ask for the way out and take the way out, Lord! May we count our temptation as joy, for you always give us a way out and overcoming temptation glorifies you! We thank you Lord that you gave your son dominion over everything, and you gave your son to us, to not only die for us, but also to live in us, and we thank you that you live in us too, Father and Holy Spirit! Lord, we have so much in our lives to be thankful for, no matter where we are in life! Undoubtedly, knowing the truth of you and your son and your loving nature is the greatest blessing of all and allows for all other blessings, we are so very grateful for this, that we know the truth of the universe! May you show us all we have to be grateful for and may we proclaim it with a singing heart, in praise! May you complete the good work you have started in us! May you reignite the fire for works that you put in us that we have quelled! May we be comforted that it is never too late, you are the all-powerful, and one blessing from you can set us ahead lifetimes of what we can do on our own as we follow your will! May we be comforted that if we are still here, we still have a real and important purpose! May your purpose in our lives never be diminished by the enemy! May we walk by faith when we cannot see! May you teach us how to learn and discern your voice, and may we follow you all of the moments of our lives! Guide us Lord, we thank you that you will never leave our side! We thank you for who you are Lord and all of the things you have and will do in our lives and in the lives of others! We ask this all in Jesus name and through your son, our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!

May your path be blessed, in Jesus’ name! Amen!

About

"God is not hiding!"

  1. Daniel Quartararo
    A disciple of Jesus Christ, Christ being the Word of God, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Redeemer, the Teacher, the Rock, the Fortress; all things LOVE!!! I rejoice that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life! I look forward to be called a good and faithful servant by my Father in Heaven! As I say, "Jesus Christ came to be the example, not the exception." For Jesus came to show us how to have a relationship with our Father and we are called to be "imitators of God." (Ephesians 5:1) I love, spread the gospel, and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Like Paul, I do not come to you with persuasive words but in a demonstration of the Spirit's power! I take full surrender to our Father's will with deep reverence and respect by discerning the Lord's voice and following what He asks, moment by moment, all day, every day. I am called to equip others to walk in faithfulness just the same! That is the heart of this ministry; faithfulness to Christ, in Christ, in love!

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