13 June 2018


By John Ollis

We are going to look at some of the GEMS in the Book of James, but who was this man? He was the half brother of Jesus (like Jude) he did not recognise Jesus as the Messiah until after the death of Christ. Paul tells us James  was a witness to the resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7) James became the leader of the church in Jerusalem, and at the Jerusalem Council prophesied about the “Restoration of the Tabernacle of David” Acts 15:13-17. James was a Godly man, who spent much time in prayer, he became known as “The Man with the camel’s knees” he was martyred by the Scribes and Pharisees, he was thrown down from the pinnacle of the Temple, but this did not kill him, so they then stoned him to death. He did not boast of the fact that he was the son of Joseph, but humbly describes himself as a bondservant (slave)  of the Lord Jesus Christ. James 1:1.
James’s epistle is written specifically to those Jews who had embraced Christ as Messiah and were scattered throughout the known world. These gems are not limited to Messianic Jews but to every Believer in every generation until Jesus returns. James was committed to the Sovereignty of God, and that nothing happens by accident but always for a purpose. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing James 1:2-4 NKJV  The MESSAGE Bible expresses it like this: Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. I must admit when I come under pressure and temptations and trials I don’t get excited and joyful, I need to realise more and more  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose Romans 8:28 NKJV  The Passion translation interprets it like this: So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purposeI WANT AND NEED MY FAITH LIFE TO GROW MORE AND MORE.
So when the pressure comes what do we  need to do?  Sadly we can become IMPATIENT as James suggests in verse 4, so we need immediately to cry out to God. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him James 1:5 NKJV My translation here is God will not give you a thimble full of wisdom, but will give you a 44 gallon barrel full of wisdom, JUST ASK. We must ask in a particular way, we must ask in FAITH, not doubting. I am so glad I am convinced that God is not the Author of Confusion, but is ALWAYS TRUE TO HIS NAME,HIS NATURE AND HIS PROMISES. So in these first few verses of chapter one of James’s letter, we have such GEMS of truth. Let this be a reminder to us all today,that as temptations and trials and pressures are all part of life, let us not forget these glorious truths.
May this simple devotion be a blessing to you.