The New Testament book of James is poignant. Convicting. Very, very practical! Only 5 short chapters with 108 verses, but it contains 54 imperatives, one for every 2 verses. Described as a series of pearls on a string, it does not flow with neat transitions, but it does encourage and challenge. For this devotional, I am offering my 250-word summary of James. I have left out some wonderful truths, I know, but hopefully, this will prompt you to read the whole letter. It occurs to me that perhaps more than any other part of God’s Word, this one speaks to those of us in the legal profession.
“When things go wrong, don’t go sour. Focus on the positive, because God is at work and can make you a better person through the experience. Ask Him for wisdom and He will give it to you, no doubt. Persevere through pain and watch out for seductive temptations. Be a better listener than talker. Listen most to God’s Word and be sure also to obey it. Focus on helping others in distress and don’t let the world lower your standards. Treat everyone, rich or poor, with the same kindness and mercy you desire for yourself. Don’t just profess your faith. Prove it in how you trust God and treat others. Control your tongue. It’s hard, perhaps impossible for humans to tame it to perfection, but don’t stop trying. It reveals your heart. You may be smart, but are you wise…with heavenly wisdom? If you are, you will be humble, unselfish and peace loving. Make your choice! Friendship with the world or with God? You cannot pursue both. Submit humbly to God; resist the devil. Do not slander or judge others. When you make plans, consult God first. Your life is so very brief. Make it count by letting the Lord guide every day. If you are rich and got rich by oppressing others, repent! If you are poor and oppressed, be patient because The Judge is coming! No matter what you face, pray about it diligently and get others to pray with you. Prayer is a very powerful privilege!”
Article copyright (c) 2009 by Charles G. Mickey. All rights reserved.