Monday, June 27, 2011

James: Chapter 5

v. 13-16
Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you ill? He should summon the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up - and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.

It is essential for us to have a spiritual partner or better yet to be part of a small spiritual group. For it is best that we confess our sins with one another, for a righteous person's prayer is effective - and being in the prayer of righteous persons; our faith and spirituality are strengthened way beyond our capabilities. For Christianity is not a path made to be traveled alone but together with a multitude of people sharing the same goal.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

James: Chapter 4

v. 1-4
Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passion that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.

Isn't it that what we hate most is seeing others doing freely what we strive not to do? Isn't it what we envy most is seeing others have what we do not have? Therefore brothers and sisters, if we ask out of righteousness, and most importantly from God's will, it shall be given to us. For anything else, we should not want such; for our own passions can only lead us to sin or worst death.

James: Chapter 3

v. 14-18
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.

It is important that we be mindful of the things that come out of our mouths. For even if it is through our mouths that we are able to deliver God's words and be able to praise His holy name, it is also through our mouths that we are able to bring the greatest of destruction. So let us cleanse our hearts so that our wisdom may come from above and that we may speak only what God wants us to speak.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

James: Chapter 2

v. 24-26
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them but by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

It is through our faith that we are saved, but faith without work is dead. For if we have faith in God, we do not only believe in Him, but we also obey Him with all our might. Thus, everything we do, we do for the sake of love. For God has commanded us to follow two things - to love God above all, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

James: Chapter 1

v. 12-16
Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. Do not be lead astray my dear brothers and sisters.

Indeed, overcoming temptation makes us stronger in our faith. Though, we should not be mislead as to say that temptation comes from God. For temptation is a product of our own desires and is indeed a work from the devil. Thus, temptation does not come from God, but our strong faith in God saves us from temptation. And as we nurture our faith it finds a way to endure the greatest of temptations.