Just as I was getting back into writing again, COVID hit. It took me out for several days, but I’m feeling so much better now!
I want to continue in my study of the Bible. The last couple of years, I’ve read through the entire Bible each year. One year reading an Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalm reading each day. The other year reading a chronological reading which was quite different. Now I am focusing on a book of the bible at a time, studying that book for several months in detail. I read through the same chapter for several days looking at each verse, looking for key terms and trying to put them in perspective to the times in which they are written.
I decided to begin with the book of James in the new testament. It’s a short book of only five chapters with a treasure trove of information for Christians. Learning about the author of the book is a good place to start. This book is written by the brother of Jesus and is believed by some to be the first New Testament book written. The books of the Bible are not arranged in chronological order, this somewhat surprised me because it’s one of the later books of the Bible.
As the brother of Jesus, James writes in humility, acknowledging that Jesus is his superior when he writes in the first chapter, 1 “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.”
We see here that he is writing to the tribes that have been scattered. It helps to know that this was written somewhere around 49 A.D.. (He was martyred around 62 A.D.) Jesus has been crucified and risen, thus making scriptures from the OT be fulfilled. But there is still much persecution of Christians. James writes this letter to give them them hope and instruction in how they should live. The book contains over 54 direct calls to obedience.
The theme of James’ letter is how to live out in everyday life, a life of godliness. What does genuine faith look like?
James is seen as a spiritual advisor, so his words would be respected as one of authority. Although he shared the status of his brother as the Christ. What does James mean when he refers to himself as a “servant” of God and the Lord Jesus Christ? A servant can be referred to as a slave or hired workman, an attendant of service or as a sign of respect.
In my next writing, we’ll take a closer look at the verses in this chapter and what they mean.
I strongly suggest doing this study with a friend. I attend a weekly ladies Bible study which has really helped me grow in my knowledge of scripture. But that’s not the only way you can do a study like this. I have a friend that I talk to several times during the week. We are going through a devotional together and our discussion often leads us into other conversations. I love how this friendship has helped us grow as we discuss scriptures in our devotionals or questions we might have. I believe this has been one of the biggest changes to my daily routines. This has been such a blessing in my life and I value the growth we have both witnessed.
So, find someone that you can study the scriptures with. Do it together and build each other up! To follow up with Day 2, go here.