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Monday: James, the Believer — 12 Comments

  1. I believe it was and astonishing moment when James was meet Jesus. Lord knows what and how we are, our spiritual condition and spiritual quench we need.We believe and Jesus is with us and that is our faith and testimony we can witness to others.

    • Amen , Brothers and Sister I am one of the very newly blessed member to hold on and now I'm at the right place this is a overwhelming feeling I lack words to explain how I feel to be part of The Sabbath family Thank to the man of God who touched my heart and I was baptised like eunuch who believed and Philip baptised him

  2. A family first born and a step brother of Jesus who had earlier thought that Jesus was mad was now in Jesus feet. Yesterday's lesson had taught us the need to be humble despite the misunderstandings of us by our loved ones. The humility of Jesus in His ministry played an important role in shaping James' character besides His special appearance to him after resurrection.

    • Nicholas you have pointed to a key – humility. Jesus did not use the occasion of James opposition to create an irreconcilable situation by discrediting James. In humility He simply lived down the put-downs, which is something Christ-like character development may produce in us. So when James came to a better understanding of the Messiah He was able to take up an important leadership role without the obstacle of any lingering wound.

      It becomes us to be mindful in dealing with the brethren not to create unnecessary embarrassment (name and shame them) for anyone with whom we disagree, so as to cripple their ministry effort. This could make it extremely difficult to restore a right relationship with them later, if and when they come around to a better understanding or approach based on our assessment, which may not even be accurate (Galatians 6:1). Further it may hurt God’s cause.

      If we feel it is resting on us to fix God’s church and identify wheat and tear we are likely going to push too far and cause unnecessary discord. While kindness too has its limits we should not be needlessly unkind to even an enemy, not to mention our brethren (Galatians 6:10). Side by side we stand…

      At some point each of us has to put up with someone or something we do not like. In this we are tested, that we (not God) may know what spirit influences us.

      A word from EGW:

      “Christ is represented by those whom he sends forth to work for him; therefore those who oppose his ministers are opposing him. This is just as verily the case when those who claim to have an experience in the things of God pursue a course that hinders and afflicts one of God’s servants, by misstatements and false charges, setting themselves up as judges of his course of action, which they claim to understand, but which has been misrepresented to them, and which, therefore, they do not understand.

      Let our people remember that the way in which they treat the Lord’s workers means much to them. Let every one attend to his own work, and not regard himself as appointed by the Lord to watch for something to criticize in the work that his brother does…

      Unless you cease encouraging evil-speaking, unless you guard as Christians should the reputation of your fellow workers, you will endanger your own soul and the souls of many others. No longer talk about the wrong that someone is doing. Never, never repeat a scandal. Go to the one assailed, and ask him in regard to the matter. God has not appointed any man to be the judge of another man’s motives and work. He who feels at liberty to dissect the character of another, he who intentionally detracts from the influence of a fellow worker, is as verily breaking God’s law as if he openly disregarded the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.” (RH May 12, 1903).

  3. It really isn’t surprising to me that James became very popular rather quickly in the church. After all we have seen in the Adventist church several people that rose in popularity quite rapidly, to name two, Doug Batchelor and David Asscherick.

    What is surprising to me is that within 15 years of his acceptance of Christ he became the head of the church. There have been scholars that have looked into that phenomenon and concluded that it was probably because he was the eldest brother of Jesus. To us that idea might seem unconvincing but to a Jew living two thousand years ago that wouldn’t be surprising at all. We need to keep in mind that the Jews thought in terms of dynasties where the blood line was kept in positions of authority. Except when intrigue or a hostile takeover occurred the kings of Israel stayed within the same family. That was how society was constructed back then. Not only that but we also have the tribal custom of having the first born male taking charge of the family upon the father’s death and getting the family inheritance which is just another form of a dynasty.

    Was James qualified to take the reins of the church? In many ways I think he was but not because of scholarship but rather because he was a businessman that knew how to keep things going smoothly. We see that skill in the Jerusalem council where his decision was unifying in spite of the obvious theological problems that it posed.

    I like James because he is practical which is something that I lack. His letter reflects that practicality in positive ways that is a necessity in balancing the strongly theological treatment seen in Paul’s writings.

  4. When I read about James's transformation I am thrilled at what a personal encounter with Jesus can do with someone in your own family! Someone who taught at first you were mad. This new James now speaks with authority, has a concern for the small community of faith and can end internal church controversies. We serve an awesome God who lives. Amen!

  5. The seemingly practical application of today's lesson, in regard to his elder step brother James … Christ used his own method of drawing man (James) to Himself, given during the tribulation of the desert wanderings of the Hebrews and mixed multitude ( when Moses lifted up the bronze snake on the poll). No doubt James in some way had witnessed the lifting up of Christ on the cross at Gethsemane.

    As in my experience, I look to Christ on the cross over millennia, as if time stands still and He is there to heal any preconceived disbelief. This miracle has saved me over and over again.

    Christ has not appeared to me in sight or in visions, but through His agents #1 the Holy Ghost. #2 Guardian Angel.#3 Humans. This gesture He lays on us can bring an overwhelming unexplainable bliss in the knowledge of how unworthy to feel in the moment. ( Paul in the bible says to pray/meditate without ceasing, in my estimation this creates an avenue of continual connection in this very moment we humans call, NOW) my younger sister always tells me, “easier said then done.”

    The feeling of unworthiness is precursory to accepting the unacceptable and shows us we are in His care and shadowed by His Wings, protected from the very nature of our failings and the notion to keep listening to the broken record of doubt, disbelief, discouragement, that so often lead us to unnecessary suffering of our fallen nature/ egoic sinful flesh. The old man that wants to keeps us emptied of, like the five virgins that are asleep/mesmerized by the things of this world, the Oil /Holy Spirit/ continual connection to The Great Physician.

    We ask what is the unacceptable, it is alright to let go (surrender, deny the self/old man) of the falseness/illusions of this world and the the stuff and things we so identify with as our successes. It is alright to acknowledge we are NOT our car, house, job, education, church bldg, young, old, beautiful, wealth, poverty, sadness, sickness, depression, ugly, tired, stranded, helpless, lonely, desperate, this body,death etc.

    We are not slaves anymore to this mind made self, we are not slaves to thought or being stuck in idle thinking. We are free to commune directly with our creator “The invisible God” via Jesus Chris/Holy Ghost, beyond thought, at a deeper level where we meet our true nature. Where the God Most High invites us to “BE STILL, and KNOW, I AM GOD.” psalm 46:10. We are stewards of the above mentioned and they stand as no-thing, where we stand as Children of The God Most High. Where we are no longer used by endless streaming thought but co-laborers with Intelligence of God, where thinking is our servant. This is freedom. This is good news.

  6. I'm impressed how James of all people who looked down on Jesus became big in the ministry, I pray that this week's lessons will speak to the spirit of our leaders, teachers, pastors,and so on who have not met Jesus spiritually,

    • Yesm Gyasi, you're right. James, who was not so popular in Jesus' time became big in the ministry and as we will see in this week's lesson that he based his teaching on patience and faith. And i hope that ourselves and our leaders, teachers, or pastors will sure learn a lot and will become spiritually fed and attitudes change.

  7. No one ever had a personal encounter with the lord and remain the same. Jesus is an unchangeable changer. u can think of Saul who was changed to Paul, Jesus can change u today if u believe.


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