Thursday: Saved by Receiving
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Read James 1:21. What role does the word have in what James is saying?

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This verse concludes all that has been said so far about faith and salvation. It is an appeal to put away all impurity and separate ourselves from wickedness. The command put away (RSV) is used seven out of nine times in the New Testament for detaching oneself from the evil habits that have no place in a life submitted to [...]

Wednesday: Slow to Speak
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Read James 1:19-20. What important point is he making there?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

God’s Word is powerful. But so are human words. How often have we spoken words that later we wish we could take back? Unfortunately, just being aware of how hurtful wrong words can be, and how destructive anger is, does little to help us get ourselves under control. Left to our own devices, we can never really change. That is why we need to [...]

Tuesday: Every Good and Perfect Gift
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Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:16-17).

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Although sin gives birth to death, God is the source of life. He is the Father of lights (James 1:17), a reference to the Creation (Gen. 1:14-18). God gives us birth to a new life, which is the greatest gift [...]

Monday: When Lust Conceives
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read James 1:13-15 again. When does temptation become sin?

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Several Greek words are used in this passage to describe how sin begins, and all of them are connected with giving birth. When a wrong desire is nurtured, sin is conceived, like a baby in the womb. Sin, when it is completely grown, gives birth to death (James 1:15, author’s literal translation).

The picture is paradoxical. The process that is supposed to give life results only [...]

Sunday: Root of Temptation
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Read James 1:13-14. Why is it important that God does not tempt anyone? Where does temptation originate, and how can this knowledge be helpful in our own struggle with sin?

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James is emphatic. Not only is God not the author of evil, He is not the source of temptation either. Evil itself is the source of temptation. According to this passage, the problem lies within us, which is the main reason it’s so hard [...]

Sabbath: Enduring Temptation
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Read for This Week’s Study: James 1:12-21, Ps. 119:11, Gen. 3:1-6, Titus 3:5-7, Rom. 13:12, Eph. 4:22.

Memory Text: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (James 1:12).

We all have experienced it. We resolve not to give in to temptation, but in the heat of the battle, our resolve melts and-much to our own sense of shame [...]

Inside Story: Heidy’s Hope
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Juan Caicedo Solis

When 13-year-old Heidy Moreno and her cousin, Mirella began questioning their mothers’ rules, Heidy’s mother decided to stop their rebelliousness before it got out of hand. She took Heidy to a spirit medium-a witch.

The medium claimed that Heidy had a bad spirit. “I see a gold feather over your head,” the medium told Heidy. “The spirit that possesses you is powerful.” The medium performed a ritual to remove Heidy’s rebelliousness. Suddenly Heidy felt as if her body [...]

Friday: Further Study: The Perfecting of Our Faith
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studymore

Further Study: Ellen G. White, “The Sermon on the Mount,” p. 298-314, in The Desire of Ages.

God would have his servants become acquainted with their own hearts. In order to bring to them a true knowledge of their condition, he permits the fire of affliction to assail them, so that they may be purified. The trials of life are God’s workmen to remove the impurities, infirmities, and roughness from our characters, and fit them for the society of pure, [...]

Thursday: The Rich and the Poor
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In this short letter, James shows great concern for poor people; some even consider it his major theme. But to modern ears, his diatribes against the rich and in favor of the poor seem extreme, even shocking. At the same time, however, James isn’t saying anything much different from what Jesus has said.

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Compare James 1:9-11 with Luke 8:14; compare James 1:27 with Matthew 25:37-40; compare James 2:15-16 with Luke 10:29-37; and compare James [...]

Wednesday: The Flip Side of Faith
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Read James 1:6-8. What is he saying to us here?

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The word for doubt refers to one being inwardly divided; this helps us to understand its connection to double-mindedness. We see a clear example of this at Kadesh-Barnea. Israel faced a choice there: move forward in faith or rebel against the Lord. Amazingly, they chose rebellion and wanted to return to the bondage of Egypt. When God intervened and announced through Moses that they would [...]