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October 1, 2022 - James 1

Others have written about it, It’s a regular theme in the Scriptures. We all are aware of it, at least, intellectually. But no one, it seems to me, puts the matter quite so succinctly, clearly, and directly as James: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you met trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (1:2-4).

What does it mean to be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing? Well, it means that we are to become like Jesus. As James counsels his readers to be this or to do that, it’s almost as if he is recounting a picture of Jesus: wise, ask in faith, steadfast under trial, tempted (but without sin), doer of the word, visiting orphans and widows, keeping unstained from this world. Jesus never showed partiality to the wealthy or high society folks simply because of their social standing. He reached out to the poor. James continues: mercy, slow to judge, faith that works, a careful tongue, humble, submitting to the Father's will, content in the Father’s will for today, patience in suffering. There it is. All that James encourages and directs us to is that which is found in our Savior. When we become fully like him, then we will be “lacking in nothing” (1:4).

More like Jesus would I be,

Let my Savior dwell with me;

Fill my soul with peace and love,

Make me gentle as a dove;

More like Jesus, while I go,

Pilgrim in this world below;

Poor in spirit would I be;

Let my Savior dwell in me. –Fanny Crosby (19th century)

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