James – The Fathers Heart Bible Commentary & translation

James Commentary

James 1

1 I James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, write this letter to everyone in the church across the earth.

2My friends, greatly rejoice when you encounter challenging circumstances;

3Thank God for these incredible opportunities to develop your patience and faith, challenging you to completing depend on God and learn to wait for his perfect timing and intervention in every situation.

When you first encounter a challenge in life what is your immediate reaction? The notion of rejoice in difficult circumstances seems ridiculous because from our perspective these circumstances have absolutely no benefit to us. When we learn to see from God’s perspective we will actually rejoice in challenging circumstances because we know they force us to develop a greater dependence on and relationship to our heavenly Father.

4As you learn to be patient and always wait on God’s perfect timing, you will learn to live in God’s perfect plan. Your life will be complete and you will always be content.

Have you learned God’s timing is always perfect. Often we try to run ahead of God instead of waiting on his perfect time. Like Martha and Mary sometimes we feel Lord if you had just intervened in this situation a few days earlier I would not be in the difficult situation today! Do you realize God could divinely provide your every need before you asked or were even aware you needed it. Though our Father deeply cares for us his ultimate goal for our earthly lives is not to make us comfortable but to lead us to fully depend on Him!

He is continually showing us when we depend ourselves our life is miserable and incomplete. However when we depend on our Father we will always be complete and content. God’s plan for our lives is so perfect. There is no such thing as a deadend. Roadblocks along our paths are only route markers leading us to encounter and live in an even greater plan. Since God’s plans are so much greater than we can possibly comprehend as we follow God’s path for our lives we will hit many roadblocks because our understanding of God’s plan is so limited. God uses roadblocks to awaken us from our limited understanding and lead us onto God’s plan far beyond our understand. When God closes a door in an area of our lives, he opens a window of opportunity far greeted and more fulfilling than our preconceived plan.

The key to following God’s plan for your life is being moldable and flexible because our understanding of God’s plan for our life is so limited it will daily unravel and metamorphosize into a more complete picture. For this reason we must live in a continual state of flux daily adapting our life plans and goals as Our Father reveals further details of His plan.

Father what changes do I need to make today to follow your perfect plan for my life?

How can I live more flexible an daily inquire of you for an update and continual revelation of your plan for my life.

You said ask and the door will be opened. Show us how to be persistent yet flexible at the same time. As you continue to reveal your plan this may lead us to different doors but help us to continually live our lives knocking and inquiring of your perfect plan for our lives.

5If need wisdom, ask your heavenly Father. If you simply ask, he will freely give it to you.

Every moment of your life your Father has been waiting and yearning to give you wisdom to live most eternally effectively. How often do you ask your Father for wisdom? In a parable he tells us we do not have things from our Father because we do not ask. How can you begin to daily seek God and require His wisdom?

6When you ask completely depend on God and do not waver by scheming up your own solution to your problems. Those who make their own plans waver and are tossed like an ocean wave by every whimsical emotion you feel.

Faith is not mental determination or dependent on your ability to do anything. True faith is complete dependence on God alone. God wants to help you but he cannot help people who waver from following His plan to trying to scheme up your own solution to your problems. When you takeover control you effectively are preventing God from accomplishing His perfect plan for this area of your life.

7Self dependent people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Self dependent people simply cannot receive God’s blessing and walk in His plan because they are depending on themselves and inhibiting God from accomplishing His perfect plan.

Those who try to live in their own ability are rejecting God’s help. Though your Father yearns to accomplish His perfect plan, He can only work in your life to the degree you surrender and allow Him to.

8Asking God to help you, then trying to fix the problem yourself is like having multiple personalities. Such a person is insane and unstable in everything they do.

Sometimes we pray and ask God for help but instead waiting for His help and timing we try to solve the problem in our own strength. We ask God to take the wheel and complete control of our lives but then we kick Him out of the drivers seat when we try to solve our own problems.

9Let the believer who is lowly esteemed rejoice because God will honor and exalted them.

So often we desire the approval and praise of man more than we desire the approval of God.

10Let the wealthy believer clearly understand his lowly state: because his temporal riches will fade like the flower of the grass.

Though describing a person as wealthy and lowly may seem like an anomaly but wealthy individuals desperately need to realize his sobering reality because wealth provides the illusion of importance and security. Though God yearns to bless his children and use us as distributors of his infinite wealth but he cannot bless most Christians because prosperity would lead them to depend on money instead of God.

11From the moment the sun rises, the grass begins to wither, the flower falls and its beauty is forever forgotten. In the same way, the rich will fade away and their legacy will be completely forgotten.

We need to daily remind ourselves of this truth. The mindset of our society is to labor all your life to build an earthly legacy. In many subtle ways this thought infiltrates our mind daily. For this reason we must continually remind ourselves any earthly legacy we build will be destroyed and forgotten. The only significant and meaningful thing I can do with my life is to live for eternity and take daily practical steps to live build an eternal legacy today. How can you rearrange your life to live the greatest eternal life you possibly can today?

12Blessed is the man that endures difficult circumstances: For when he is challenged, he will receive the crown of life, that God promises to all who love him.

13When you are tempted don’t you dare think God is tempting you. For since God is holy, he cannot be tempted with evil and he would never tempt his children.

It is very important to understand as a loving Father, God would never tempt you or inflict harm on you in anyway. Until you understand the fundamental nature of God as a loving Father, you will never be able enter into relationship with Him.

14 An individual is only tempted and drawn away by their own desires.

Ironically, the famous saying the devil made me do it is completely false. Though the he is daily at work trying to influence our lives, the devil cannot force you to do anything. He can only tempt us in areas where we have desires that we have not completely surrendered to God. If you have completely surrendered and crucified you every desire then the devil will have absolutely no place in your life.

15If followed through desires will lead to sin: and if sin is allowed to continually grow it will lead to death.

16My friends do not be mislead.

17Everything great in your life came directly from your heavenly Father who is unchanging. He will always be your Father and there is no possible way he will ever change.

Often times we wonder if we can actually trust God. Over the years an innumerable numbers of individuals of asked for help because they were struggling to trust God. In reality God is the only in the entire universe person we can really trust. Everyone else will inevitably change, break promises and let us down. There a one hundred percent chance every other individual in our lives will change and a zero percent chance of God changing. In light of this, our struggle to trust God is so illogical. How can we completely trust finite humans who will inevitably let us down but we can’t trust our infinite Creator who is unchanging, in control of the entire universe and will always do exactly what He promises?

18By his perfect will and by the power of His word He created us to be his children. God recreated us in Christ to begin a new race beings who are capable of walking in relationship with their heavenly Father. This is a preview or first fruits of the eternal experience all his creatures will share.

Our redeemed, overcoming lives as born again believers are only a preview of God’s eternal plan for all of creation. Our minds cannot even begin to fathom how incredible this will be.

19So dear friends, in view of who we are in Christ, let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.

As Christians we are part of Christ Himself. As part of Christ’s body you are the physical expression of Jesus Christ today on this earth. The Greek term for Christian literally translates “little christ”. How can you literally live this way today?

20For the human anger is in opposition to God’s nature and character.

God does not arbitrarily command us not to get angry. The reason He commands to live this way is because He does not want to live in opposition to Him.

21So separate yourself from anything contrary to God’s character and humbling allow God’s word to be planted in your heart, for within it resides the power to save your soul.

Any darkness in our lives is separating us from our Father and preventing His power from working in our lives.

22 Actively allow God’s word so your life will become a living fulfillment of Scripture. Those who hear but do not allow God’s word to take action in their lives are very deceived.

Are you merely listening and reading God’s Word or are you allow it become complete reality in your daily life?

23If you only hear the word and do nothing, you are looking into the mirror of God’s word but forget everything you see because you do not put it into practice.

24This would be no different than a person who looks in the mirror and only a few seconds later completely forgets what they look like. To this individual looking into the mirror was a waste of time. Likewise if you only listen to God’s word and do not put it into action you are wasting your time and will be greatly deceived!

It’s a waste of time listening to God’s word unless we have prepared the soil of our hearts to receive His Word and allow them to completely transform our lives.

25But those who spends their entire lifetime investigating God’s law of freedom will be blessed in all of their ways.

What do you spend your time pursuing and searching for in your daily earthly life?

26If any person thinks they are godly, and cannot control their tongue, they are deceived and their “godly life” is completely worthless.

27Pure and authentic religion in the eyes of the Father is pursuing God and passionately caring for others. Our beliefs are demonstrated by caring for orphans,widows and those who are in need help. Our devotion to God is reflected by living a pure, holy life refusing to compromise with the world one bit.

James 2

1 My friends, how can you be like our Lord Jesus Christ if you show favoritism to people?

2Imagine a rich person comes to your church wearing expensive clothes and jewelry and a then homeless person comes wearing rags.

3If you offer special treatment to the rich person and do not treat the poor person the same,

4Your are showing favoritism and your treatment of others is guided by selfish motives.

Think about every person you met yesterday. Did you treat your boss, the clerk in the grocery store and the homeless man on the street with the same amount of dignity and respect?

5Listen carefully my friends. Hasn’t God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith? the poor also heirs of the kingdom God has promised all those that love him?

In the words of C.S. Lewis There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. When this life ends you will be judged based on how you have treated every person you encountered in your earthly life.

6Yet you have despised the poor and admire the rich. How ironic since it is he rich people who oppress you, and take you to court?

7 And don’t the rich blaspheme you for bearing the name of Jesus Christ?

8You will do very well if you fulfill the royal law of scripture and love you neighbour as yourself.

9But if you show favoritism, you are willfully disobeying God and are guilty of breaking His law.

10Even if you keep the whole law, but make one small mistake, you are guilty of breaking the entire law.

I created the law only to prove to humanity it is impossible to please me or follow me in your own human ability. The law is designed only to reveal your inability and compel you to seek a Savior who could rescue you.

11For God said Do not commit adultery, but he also said, Do not kill. If you avoid committing adultery, but then kill someone, you are guilty of breaking God’s whole law.

12Understading you will be judged by the law of freedom, live circumspectly wisely considering every thought, word and action.

If you love every moment fully aware you are living in my presence, you will not waste a moment! The reality of my presence will compel you to live circumspectly.

13For those who refuse to give mercy, no mercy will be given to you on judgment day. But those who show mercy, God will also show mercy to you.

I am merciful. When you become fully aware I will treat you based on how you treat others, you will treat others differently.

14My friends, is it possible for a person to say they have “faith”, but have no corresponding actions as result of their “faith”? Can such a “faith” save a person?

If a child has faith in their parents, will they not be compelled to expression their love and devotion. In like manner of you have faith in me, won’t you naturally expression your love and devotion to me in corresponding actions.

15If a brother or sister has no clothes to wear and nothing to eat,

16And one of you exercise you so called “faith” by saying, go in peace, may God keep you warm and fill your stomach; and yet not give anything to fulfill their body’s basic needs; did their words benefit the situation at all?

17So you can clearly see that without corresponding action, faith cannot and does not exist.

18If an individual argues, some people have faith, and others have do good deeds, I contest how can you demonstrate the reality of your faith without corresponding actions? I can only show you the reality of faith by corresponding actions.

The reality of your faith is expressed through your corresponding actions. If you are striving to do good works to validate your faith you have completely missed the point. Just like a child who has faith in their parents they naturally take action as a result of a sincere love for their parents. The resulting actions from true faith is not motivated by works but rather a result of a passionate love for your Father.

19If you claim to have faith because you believe there is one God; This is great but even the devils believe God exists and they even tremble.

You must not merely believe in Jesus. Instead you must personally encounter Christ because only a relationship with Him will awaken within your heart a desire to take action.

20Know for certain you who are confused or mislead, that “faith” without corresponding action is no faith at all.

21Our ancestor Abraham was made right with God by his actions, when he offered Isaac his son on the altar.

Faith is fullness of trust. God kept intervening and proving Himself to Abraham over and over again until Abraham could trust God with his future. Isaac represented the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Until we come to the place where we completely trust God with our future our faith is incomplete.

Just like Abraham, God wants to prove Himself to you to bring you to the place where you fully trust Him with you future. How can you grow in trust and dependence on you Father today?

22Can you see how his faith combined with corresponding actions, actually made his faith complete?

23Scripture record the result of Abraham’s true faith, Because Abraham believed God with corresponding actions of obedience, God considered him righteous and he was a close friend of God.

Those who arrive at the place of fullness of trust discover a close friendship with God they never imagined possible!

24The evidence is clear, “faith” cannot exist alone. A righteous person always has corresponding actions that accompany their faith.

The corresponding actions of faith are never self motivated from a works mentality but are only a result of intimate relationship with God. Similar to marriage, the corresponding actions of faith are motivated by love and not obligation.

25Additionally, Rahab the harlot pleased God by her actions, when she rescued Joshua’s reconnaissance team, and safely guided them a different direction.

26Just as the physical body cannot exist apart from the human spirit inside of it, faith cannot exist apart from corresponding action.

Faith is dependence on and relationship with God. As you intimately know God and fully depend Him, He divinely empowers you to corresponding action. The more deeply we know and depend on God the more open we are to His Spirit moving us to action.

So often we focus on corresponding action instead of our relationship with God. Yet God alone can empower and compel you to action. The sole focus of faith must be complete dependence on God. As we depend on and grow in relationship with Him the corresponding actions will naturally take place.

Today your Father is calling you to grow in your faith. To grow in faith means to grow in greater dependence on and a deeper relationship with your heavenly Father!

James 3

1My friends, unless God has called you do not be a teacher in the church because teachers will judged by a much higher standard.

Your heavenly Father is called to lay aside all self made plans and follow His calling for your life. The only place you will be effective in serving God, serving others and actually experience fulfillment in life is following God’s calling for your life. Anywhere else will feel empty and incomplete!

2Everyone makes mistakes. But if any person has total control over their words, they are complete and able to responsibly manage every area of their life.

3Farmers use and bit and bridle to maintain complete control over their horses.

4Enormous airplanes have incredible size and momentum and there is not a person on earth strong enough to control them. Yet the pilot uses small rudders to
control and determine the course of the entire aircraft.

5 Im the same way, the tongue is a very small part of the body that controls individuals and determines the course of their life. The tongue is also a very dangerous weapon capable of excessive boasting. One little spark is capable of creating a very destructive fire!

I prayed, Father how do words have this great of an impact on my life? God showed me words are the deepest expressions of our hearts, will and desire. With the heart we believe but by confession of the our words we are saved. Words are the expression of our freewill to our heavenly Father. Understand this is the context of why words are so important. Words are the rudder of your life because with your words you expression your freewill of you want to surrender and follow God’s will or follow your own.

6The tongue is like a destructive forest fire fueled by wicked thoughts and words. Uncontrolled, the tongue will poison your entire body with wickedness. Your entire life will go up in flames, set on fire by hell itself.

7Human beings are able to domesticate and train all living creatures on earth and in the ocean

8But no one can fully bring the tongue under control. The tongue is like an lethal double agent and you never know when it will turn on you.

9With our tongue bless our Father, God but then in the next breath we curse a person who is made in God’s image.

10My friends, this is not right! For though you bless God, in the next breath you are actually cursing him when you curse people who are made in his image!

11Does a mountain river contain salt and fresh water?

12Have you seen a fig tree with olive berries on it? Or can a grape vine produce figs? Of course not! Neither can a river yield salt water and fresh.

13Those who are wise and have received understanding from God, live a pure and humble life, daily engaged in actions that are pleasing to God.

14But if there is a of trace bitterness, jealous or selfish ambition in your hearts, your wisdom is compromised. Do not think you are wise and deceive yourself.

15If your wisdom leads to pride it is not from God but is from world, your own mind or even from the devil.

16For anytime pride, jealousy and self ambition are involved, there will be chaos and all kinds of evil.

17But wisdom from God is at its very core pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle, full of mercy, shows no favoritism, is genuine and always leads to a fruitful life of good deeds. Those who have wisdom from God will not argue, but are willing consider other perspective and will humbly submit their own thoughts in a peaceful manner.

18For peacemakers plant seeds of peace that will germinate and grow into pure lives of integrity that are pleasing to God.

James 4

1What causes the quarrelling and feuds among you? All conflict is caused by your own desires.

2Sometimes selfish desires are so strong, people are even willing to kill someone to fulfill their own desires. This may sound extreme but even when you are jealous of someone, you always fight and struggle with them. If you would simply ask your heavenly Father to provide for you, it would save all of this trouble!

3But when you ask, make sure the motives of your heart are right. If your request is only for your own personal benefit then clearly your motives are wrong and

4 dont act like a gold-digging wife and use your relationship with God to try to get the riches of the world. Don’t you realize if you are in love or pursuing the things of the world you are living in way that is in direct contrast or opposition to God? Anyone who deliberately chooses to live the world makes themselves God’s enemy.

5Why does scripture use such graphic language, God’s spirit who lives in you possess a passionate jealousy for your whole heart?

6For this reason God’s spirit continually provides you with progressively increasing divine empowerment. For God has said he opposes the proud, but continually increases divine empowerment to the humble.

7Fully surrender every area of your life to God. The devil can only attack you in areas you are not fully surrendered to God, so he will no longer have access to any area of your life, and he will be forced to flee from you.

8Seek a closer personal relationship with Heavenly Father and he personally make himself known to you. Live a pure life, purify your hearts and mind to only think thoughts your Heavenly Father would think.

9Repent with complete sincerity. Do not merely tell God you are sorry and continually live in sin.

10Live every moment of your life humbled in God’s presence, and he will honor and exult you.

Let God Alone Judge

11My friends do not dare to say one negative thing about another believer. You are playing God when you judge other believers. Don’t worry about other people, just make sure are completely obeying God’s commands.

12What right do you have to judge? This is God’s law, so He is the only judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy.

The Instability of Earthly Plans

13Every person thinks about their future and makes plans for their life. They make plans like finding beautiful wife, having a nice family, getting a good job and working really hard at it so I can fully enjoy my retirement thirty years from now.

14But how do you know you will even be alive tomorrow? For what is your life? Human existence is like the morning dew, it is present for a brief moment in time but in the blink of an eye it disappears forever.

This life is so short. Compared to the length of eternity are you aware regardless of your age your earthly life is almost over? Do you realize we are all terminal and have only a few short days to live? So often we spend the majority of or loves trying to run from such a thought. However you need to daily reflect on the brevity of this life to ensure you seize every moment to invest into eternity. At the beginning of each day think of at least two practical steps you can employ to ensure you live a more eternally significant life today.

Father this life is so short. I don’t want to waste a moment thinking about school or life. How can I completely throw away my life in total abandonment and live everyday as a terminal patient dying. Time is too short to do anything else.

15Realizing God is sustaining your every breath, you should preface all of your plans with, Lord willing, I will do this.

Don’t make your own plans or take for granted the time you have. Recognize and honor your Father as sovereign king in your life by allowing Him to make all of he plans for your life.

16Otherwise you will become prideful about your life’s achievements and forget it is only God enables your plans to succeed.

Everything you have in life is from God alone and only by His mercy. The moment you think you are entitled to or deserve anything you have in life your fail to be mature and quickly become conceited. I is very important to daily reminder yourself apart from God you have nothing and you have no potential or future in life.

17Remember if you know what is right but fail to do it, you are willfully disobeying God.

James 5

1Those who are rich should weep and be in great agony for your worst nightmare is on the way.

2Your riches are rotting away, and expensive possessions are already falling apart.

Do you realize with every passing day your earthly life is drawing to a an end. If you do not seize this very moment, life will pass you by.

3Your investments will become worthless and your very treasures will consume your flesh like fire. The fact you lived your life only to maximize personal will be evidence against you on the day of judgment.

If your life ended would the evidence of your life reveal you lived for personal gain or for God’s kingdom?

4On that day God will hear and justly avenge the cries of every person you used or took advantage of for personal gain.

5You have lived in opulence and great excess on the earth, indulging your hearts every desire.

6You have taken advantage of and exploited honorable individuals who could not protect themselves.

Do you realize God will treat you based on how you have treated others? How will this realization change the way you sincerely care for others. Our Father desires us to become very intention to seize every opportunity with every individual we encounter on a daily basis.

Be Patient

7My friends be patient while you live in great anticipation of the Lord’s coming. Farmers patiently wait for the early and latter rains to provide the necessary rain to mature their crops.

8In like manner wait for God’s empowerment to mature his chidren. Fix your hearts on God because the coming of the Lord is near.

As a farmer desperately requires and prays for rain, do you seek after and constantly pursue God’s divine empowerment. Ancient cultures were so desperate for rain, they did rain dances and were willing to do anything to get rain. Are you that desperate for God’s presence and empowerment in your daily life?

9My friends, do not hold grudges against anyone because will be judged. The Judge is very close now and He is standing at the door about to come in.

Do you realize in on the grand scale of time our Lord’s return is so close He is literally turning the knob of the door right now about to come in. Imagine your spouse has been on duty in the military for over two years on the other side of world. They have arrived home and as you see the for knob turning your entire being is overcome with emotion fully aware you are about to see your beloved. Though you can’t see him yet your heart is beating out of your chest fully aware he is literally a moment away.

Are you aware our Lord is at the door of your heart and knocking this very moment! He is only a heartbeat away and ready to fully return. If He is so close, doesn’t my heart beat faster and why am I not nearly as excited as I should be? Father forgive me I have fallen asleep and I do not realize you are so very close at the door of my year and knocking. Awaken my heart to realize that in light of eternity your return is only a moment of time away! Father awaken my heart to live with a greater sense of purpose and urgency knowing you are so close and I will see you in he blink of an eye.

10Let the prophets who have spoken in the Lord’s name be an example to you of patience and enduring tribulation until the Lord come.

11For they were blessed by the presence and favor of God for enduring difficult circumstances Remember how God rewarded and blessed Job for his patience and know for certain your heavenly Father is full of mercy and is tenderly shepherding you.

Whenever you are going through a rough time remember the life of Job. In Job 42:6, Job is thankful because before he knew God at a distance but through these difficult experiences he personally encountered God in a far deeper way than ever before.

12My friends do not make complicated or vague promises that you cannot keep. Instead speak simply and always keep your word to ensure you are not subject to condemnation from God or man.

The Power of Prayer

13Is anyone facing difficult circumstances? You need to pray. Is anyone happy? You need to praise and worship God.

14Is anyone sick? You need to ask the church elders to pray over you and anoint you with oil the Lord’s name.

Oil is representation of the Holy Spirit. It serves a reminder that Holy Spirit is permeating your being and making while every molecule in your body.

15For the prayers of those completely dependent on God will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise them up. And such a person has committed any sins, they will be forgiven.

Living a pure life and completely depending on God are the keys to effective prayer.

16Share with trusted friends your areas of weakness or personal struggles, so you can pray and encourage each and walk in complete victory. Individuals whose hearts are aligned with God evoke all the power and authority of heaven when they prayer. For this reason their prayers accomplish incredible results.

Prayer is a two way conversation where you are continually aligning your thoughts, words and actions with to become more like your Father. The more your heart is aligned with God’s heart, the more powerful and effective your prayers are. God is just waiting for you to pray according to His will, so He can fulfill His perfect plan for your life. God will not supersede your freewill, so prayer is paramount to life because it enables you to line up your will with God’s and declare His will be done in your life.

17Elijah was human being just like us, but when he prayed earnestly for no rain to fall, Not one raindrop fell for three years and six months.

18Then he prayed for rain, and the heavens responded watering the earth to make it fruitful again.

19My friends if someone deviates from the path of truth and you brings them back to the right path,

20Take great joy in knowing you have saved a soul from death, and your loving action was a catalyst for the forgiveness of many sins.

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