I am not sure what "sparked" me recently to read the Book of James (maybe.... God?), but one day I decided that this was the book of the Bible that I wanted to read and study. It was probably after a devotion that I read. I'm not sure.
I know that I have read all (or at least most of it) at one time or another, because there are a LOT of verses that are highlighted in my Bible from times when I have read it before.
The Book of James is a short book in the Bible. It is only 5 chapters long. According to my New Living Translation Life Application Bible, the purpose of the Book of James was to expose hypocritical practices and to teach right Christian behavior. It is most likely written by James, the brother of my Lord Jesus. James was a leader in the Jerusalem church.
I also learned from reading in my Believer's Bible Commentary that James drew heavily on the teachings of the Lord Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, which is found in Matthew, chapters 5-7. I guess that may be why I like the Book of James so much. In this Book, James reminds us of how to be a GENUINE CHRISTIAN.
Here are some lessons that James reminds us of that Jesus also taught us on the Sermon on the Mount:
- Whenever trouble comes your way, be joyful - James 1:2 / Matthew 5:10-12
- When your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything - James 1:4 / Matthew 5:48
- Ask God, and he will answer. - James 1:5; 5:15 / Matthew 7:7-12
- Those who are poor (who don't amount to much by the world's standards) should be glad, for God has honored them. - James 1:9 / Matthew 5:3
- Watch out for your anger ... It can be dangerous. - James 1:20 / Matthew 5:22
- Be merciful to others, as God is merciful to you. - James 2:13 / Matthew 5:7; 6:14
- Your faith must express itself in your actions. - James 2:14-16 / Mattew 7:21-23
- Blessed are the peacemakers; they plant in peace and reap a harvest of goodness. - James 3:17, 18 / Matthew 5:9
- Friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God. - James 4:4 / Matthew 6:24
- When you humble yourself and realize your dependence on God, he will lift you up. - James 4:10 / Matthew 5:3,4
- Don't speak evil against each other. If you do, you are criticizing God's law. - James 4:11 / Matthew 7:1,2
- Treasures on earth will only rot away and be eaten by moths. Store up eternal treasures in heaven. - James 5:2,3 / Matthew 6:19.
- Be patient in suffering, as God's prophets were patient. - James 5:10 / Matthew 5:12
- Be honest in your speech; just say a simple yes or not so that you will not sin. - James 5:12 / Matthew 5:33-37