“My beloved brothers (and sisters)”
Scripture reading for March 30th: James 1, Psalm 64, Proverbs 2
James 1:19-22 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For 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. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But 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.”
Humility, obedience, and integrity are marks of those who follow Jesus Christ and love His Word. James was the half-brother of Jesus and was chosen to be the pastor of the Jerusalem church. He addressed the believers as ‘my beloved brothers’, a sign of humble respect. He shared godly instruction with the church that is written down for us today as well. Hearing requires focus and a quiet and calm spirit. Anger tends to hinder our ability to hear. As we receive God’s Word, faith comes by hearing. We must humbly listen in order to apply and obey. James likens our hearing as looking into a mirror and then forgetting what we look like. We must concentrate intently with a quiet spirit and receive the Word as a seed that can find good soil and grow, producing corresponding actions. True faith always produces good works.
Psalm 64:10 “Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him! Let all the upright in heart exult!”
Prayer: Holy Father, I rejoice in the Word of Truth You have given to Your ‘beloved’ people. Help me to hear and receive Your Word like seed. Empower me by Your Holy Spirit to understand and apply all Your Truth to my life. Forgive me when I have looked into Your Word like that mirror, and then immediately forgot what You had said about my identity and new character in Your Son Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 2:21-22 “For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.”