Lesson 3

The Epistle of James

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; 1:10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. 1:11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits.

Today's Lesson 

Our various temptations, when tempered by the Spirit of God, lead us toward righteousness. Through temptations we learn patience and endurance. When we have persevered in our trials, God will use them to make us complete and mature in Christ. The basis of maturity and in being complete is wisdom. James tells his readers that if any of them lacks wisdom, they should ask of God and He will give them wisdom without reproach. But, He also warns them that if they should ask this of God, they must ask without doubting. The man who gives life to his doubting is unstable and double-minded.


The wisdom that God gives and the perfection of our faith that comes through trial and tribulation comes to all of God's people. It does not matter whether they are rich or poor - in God's household they are brothers. God gives His gifts to them irrespective of their outward circumstance.


To the brother in humble circumstance God grants a high position. He is translated from his poverty on earth into the kingdom of the Father of Heaven - rich beyond measure. All the things of this world and the next are his inheritance. The heavens and the earth declare the glory of God and that glory resides within the least of God's children in full measure.


To the brother who is rich, God gives the humility of Christ. He is the one who being in the very form of God counted it all as nothing. He laid aside His majesty and privilege and took upon Himself the form of a servant. The riches of this world are like the flower of the grasses on the hillside. They are beautiful in their prime and fragrant, but the scorching winds blow and the sun beats down upon them and they wither. So it is with riches and the pursuits of wealth.


Throughout this letter James has some difficult words for those brothers in Christ that have prospered with the wealth of this world. In this he is following the words of Christ who taught that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. With God all things are possible and in the early church there were men of wealth and prestige that were called "brothers" by the early apostles. But, even so, the teachings of Christ and the apostles are clear that the riches of this world are a hindrance to spiritual development. It is more difficult for the rich man to rely solely on Christ than it is for the poor man.


God's blessings are for the rich and the poor alike. All men stand in need of a savior, but there can be no doubt that there is a special place in the heart of God for those that are downtrodden and who live in humble circumstances. God's heart goes out to the poor and the impoverished. He is a God that lifts up the downtrodden and protects the widows and orphans.


Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position and let the rich brother glory in the humility of Christ. 


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