May 6th, 2007
What kind of person do you want to be? When you’re young, maybe you want to be good looking and popular. When you’re older, good-looking isn’t such a realistic option. Regardless of how hard you try and how much Botox and cosmetic surgery you use, time is going to wreak havoc on your appearance. If you want to be an attractive older person, you’ll need to aim to be attractive in other ways. The question is, how do you become the sort of older person you want to be — someone that really knows how to live life well, that other people respect and look up to?
The Letter from James — Chapter 1
1:1 Greetings from James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are dispersed throughout the world. 1:2 Friends, whenever you run into problems, think of it as nothing but joy, 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work to make you mature and whole, lacking nothing. 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, ask God, who gives generously to everyone without criticising, and it will be given to you. 1:6 But ask in faith, without doubting, because someone who doubts is blown and tossed around by the wind like a wave in the sea. 1:7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 1:8 They can never make up their minds, and are uncertain about everything they do.
1:9 Believers who are humble should be pleased about their importance, 1:10 and the wealthy should be pleased to be made humble, because they will pass away like flowers in the garden. 1:11 The sun rises and scorches the grass with its burning heat. The flower wilts and the beauty of its appearance dies. Wealthy people will go the same way, in the midst of their busyness.
1:12 Blessed are people who stand firm in the face of trials. When they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. 1:13 When being tempted, no-one should say, “I’m being tempted by God,” because God is not tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 1:14 People are tempted when they are carried away and seduced by their own hungers. 1:15 Once a hunger has been created it produces sin, and the sin grows until it leads to death. 1:16 Do not go astray, my dear friends. 1:17 Every act of generosity and every perfect gift is from above, from the Father of lights, who is unchanging and casts no moving shadows. 1:18 In accordance with his will he created us by the word of truth, to make us specially valued amongst his creatures.
1:19 Dear friends, everyone should be quick to listen, but slow to speak, and slow to become angry, 1:20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness of God. 1:21 Get rid of all greed and wickedness, and humbly accept the word which has been planted in you, which can save you. 1:22 Become obeyers of the message, and not just hearers who delude themselves. 1:23 Someone who hears the message but does not obey it is like a man who looks at the face he was born with in a mirror — 1:24 he sees himself, but as soon as he goes away he forgets what he looks like. 1:25 But someone who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and perseveres — someone who does the work and does not just hear and forget — will be blessed in that work.
1:26 If you think you are religious but you do not control your tongue, you are deceiving yourself and your religion is worthless. 1:27 Religion which our God and Father regards as clean and pure is this: caring for orphans and widows in their troubles, and keeping yourself uncontaminated by the world.
Entry Filed under: Perseverance