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Final Thoughts

 For those who want nothing of personal accountability and insist upon the best of both worlds, living as they will but still retaining the promise of eternal life, the epistle of James is controversial and uncomfortable. Some of the points James insists upon are grating and discordant to the religion they’ve fashioned for themselves, and they would rather deny the Word than look in the mirror thereof and make the requisite changes.

They would rather believe the words of men, which have no Biblical foundation and are void of truth, than humble themselves and seek a true and lasting relationship with God. But remember, the Word of God remains the Word of God, unchanging and steadfast. It will not change for anyone, no matter how unfair they think it to be or antithetical to their personal beliefs.

We are called upon to submit to God in all our ways, not attempt to convince Him that our ways are better than His because they are not. They might be better for your flesh, easier on your pride, or fuel your arrogance, but as far as being better for your spiritual man, your spiritual growth, and your adherence to His will, your ways will never be better than His way.

We look at the world around us and readily see that the loudest among us are usually the most wrong. Some within the church have adopted the same mindset, and they think they can change God’s mind by being obnoxious, loud, irreverent, and unpleasant. They have their position and think that if they can outlast everyone else and talk over them, they’ll win the argument, thereby compelling God to see it their way. He won’t. No matter how much they bluster and pontificate, no matter how much they insist that the way they see it is the only way it can be, the Word remains true from age to age, and nothing man can do will change that.

Any man or woman who insists that God cannot do or will not do something when God Himself said He would and could has neither the understanding of the fear of the Lord nor do they possess it. Ananias and Sapphira told one lie, and they were dragged out dead as doornails from before the apostles. Yet, men are telling lies to God and about Him to hordes of people day in and day out without once considering that judgment is not just a possibility but an inevitability. It’s not a matter of if judgment is coming; the only unknown variable is when.

Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

That should scare most self-titled prophets mute and unable to utter a word to save their lives, yet, every day, more lies about things the Bible is very clear and explicit about.

Within the five chapters of his epistle, James paints a portrait of a complete Christian, a healthy body, and a spiritually mature believer who understands that we are responsible for living out our faith, guarding our hearts, walking in His ways, submitting to God’s authority over man’s, and diligently keeping ourselves pure and undefiled from the world.

He reminds us that the Christian walk isn’t one of rose petals and starry skies but one in which we suffer things that are common to man, where storms are a normal part of life, where hardships and trials are the means by which we are honed and sharpened, but also that the day will come when we will look back on the journey and consider it all worth it.

James is also quick to make the distinction that while those of the world suffer alone, having no one to turn to and no one to lean on, we have our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We have God who hears our prayers and supplications, and we have unwavering hope that one day, we will stand before Him in glory and be welcomed into His kingdom.

You can live this fleeting thing called life in pursuit of ease, possessions, positions, and men's praise, or you can live it in obedience, supplication, and faithfulness to God. Every day, you choose one or the other. You choose to either deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow after Jesus, or find a hundred reasons why tomorrow works better for you.

A good tree bears good fruit. A bad tree bears bad fruit. This is self-evident and cannot be camouflaged. A bad tree can’t trick someone into thinking it’s producing good fruit, no matter how much it tries, and taking its word for it is not a passable standard. A bad tree can insist it’s producing good fruit until the first person takes a bite, and you see their eyes water and mouths puckering as though they’d tasted something foul. The fruit can look good from a distance; it can have all the appearance of good fruit, but once it’s tasted, there’s nothing left to debate. The reality of what it is becomes all too evident.

If you’re going to be a child of God, be a child of God. Don’t go around pretending to be one because it won’t do you any good in the end. Eventually, someone will spot the difference just as readily as they spot the difference between real and counterfeit currency. If we know the way but don’t walk in it, all we’ll have at the end of the day is a greater judgment, for having known and not done it carries a greater condemnation than never having known at all.

Although looked down upon and readily dismissed by much of the church in essence, all James's epistle aims to do is encourage those who would read it to a victorious walk in Christ and a deeper intimacy with Him.

If we are unwilling to forfeit the world and the things thereof for the glory that is to be revealed in us, then we are unworthy of the name of Jesus, no matter how many people might insist otherwise.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 2 April 2024 | 10:11 am

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