Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: James 1-3
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
1. From James, a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes dispersed abroad. Greetings!
Joy in Trials
2. My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,
3. because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.
5. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.
6. But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind.
7. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8. since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways.
9. Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position.
10. But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow.
11. For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.
15. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.
16. Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters.
17. All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.
18. By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Living Out the Message
19. Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.
20. For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.
21. So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls.
22. But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves.
23. For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror.
24. For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
25. But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out – he will be blessed in what he does.
26. If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.
27. Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Prejudice and the Law of Love
1. My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
2. For if someone comes into your assembly wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes,
3. do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”?
4. If so, have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives?
5. Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?
6. But you have dishonored the poor! Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts?
7. Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one you belong to?
8. But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
9. But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators.
10. For the one who obeys the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
11. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law.
12. Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom.
13. For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Works Together
14. What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him?
15. If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food,
16. and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it?
17. So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself.
18. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works.
19. You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear.
20. But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless?
21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
22. You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works.
23. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.
24. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
25. And similarly, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another way?
26. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
The Power of the Tongue
1. Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.
2. For we all stumble in many ways. If someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual, able to control the entire body as well.
3. And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies.
4. Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs.
5. So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze.
6. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell.
7. For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind.
8. But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image.
10. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.
11. A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it?
12. Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water.
13. Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings.
14. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth.
15. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.
16. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice.
17. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.
18. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace.