1 James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ
To the twelve scattered tribes;
2 Consider it joy, brothers, when you face various temptations, 3 knowing that tests of faith create endurance. 4 Overcome and do good works so that you may be mature, whole and lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom ask for it from God who gives freely without criticism and he will give it to you. 6 He should ask in faith without wavering for doubters are like the waves of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
7 No one should presume that he'll receive anything from the Lord. 8 [He's] a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
9 The poor brother should rejoice in his being raised up 10 because the rich will be brought down like wildflowers which pass away. 11 The heat of the sun burns the wildflowers, they dry up and their beauty perishes just as the rich man's life withers away.
12 Happy is the man who overcomes temptation because he will be rewarded the crown of life, which the Lord promised those who love him. 13 No one facing temptation should say, "God is tempting me," for God is not tempted by evil nor does he tempt others. 14 Everyone is tempted by the lure and trap of their own desires. 15 Our desires conceive and give birth to sin which grows and gives birth to death.
16 Do not be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift comes from above -- from the Father of light who is without change or shadows of turning. 18 He birthed us with the true word, according to his will, as the first-born of his creatures.
Don't just listen: do the word
19 Dear brothers, understand this: be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. 20 God's righteousness does not work through human anger.
21 So put aside all filthiness and wickedness and, in humility, allow the word which can save your souls to be grafted within you.
22 Become doers of the word and not just hearers who deceive themselves. 23 Those who hear the word without doing it are like a person who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and walks away, immediately forgetting what he looked like. 25 Those who examine the perfect law of freedom and continue to do it will be happy in their deeds, unlike those who just listen and forget.
26 If any of you thinks they are devout but do not control their tongue, they have a deceitful heart and their religion is just vanity. 27 This is the pure and undefiled religion from God the father: take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and keep oneself unsullied by the world.
Don't show favoritism
1 My brothers, faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ is not prejudiced. 2 Suppose a well-dressed man wearing fine jewelry comes to your gathering and then a shabbily-dressed man comes. 3 If you look on the one wearing beautiful clothes and say, "Take the honored seat," but to the poor man you say, "stand over there or sit on the floor." 4 are you not making distinctions based on evil judgments?
5 Listen my dear brothers, did not God choose the world's poor to be rich in faith and inherit the kingdom which God promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into court 7 and don't they besmirch your good name?
8 You will do well to fulfill the supreme law, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 9 You sin when you show partiality, convicted by the law as transgressors.
The law of liberty
10 Even if someone keeps the whole law but fails on one point, they are guilty of it all. 11 If someone says, "You may not commit adultery" or "You may not murder;" and if you don't commit adultery but you do commit murder, you are still a law breaker, 12 so speak and act as one judged by the law of liberty. 13 The judgment will be merciless to those who don't show kindness. Kindness triumphs over judgment.
Not just faith, also works
14 What the use, brothers, if you claim to have faith but you don't do good works? Can that kind of faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is destitute, lacking clothes or food, 16 and you just say to them, `Go in peace; be warm and filled,' but you don't meet their physical needs, what good is that?
17 Faith apart from works is dead. 18 Some might say, "You have faith but I have works." Show me your faith without works and with my works I'll show you my faith. 19 You do well by believing in the one true God but even the demons believe and tremble.
20 Do you want to know, shallow man, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Our father Abraham was declared righteous by his works, having offered Isaac on the altar. 22 So, you see, faith was active in his works and, through works, his faith was made complete. 23 The scriptures were fulfilled, "Abraham believed God and was credited as righteous" and he was called a friend of God.
24 Understand that a man is declared righteous through works, not just faith.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute declared righteous because of her works, having hosted the messengers and then ushering them out another way? 26 Just as the body is dead without the spirit so also faith is dead without works.
The power of words
1 Not many should be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we receive stricter judgment. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is non-offensive in their speech is perfect because they are able to bridle their whole body. 3 When we put a bit in a horse's mouth to make it obey, we guide its whole body. 4 Great ships are driven by strong winds but are steered by a very small rudder wherever the helmsman desires.
5 Likewise, the tongue, being a small part of the body, boasts of big things. Behold what a great forest a small fire can set ablaze. 6 The tongue is like a fire in a world of evil. It sits within us, defiling our whole body, setting ablaze our destiny with the fires of hell. 7 Every species has been tamed by the human species: beast and birds; creeping things and things in the sea. 8 But no one can tame the tongue--it uncontrollable venomous evil.
9 We can bless our God and Father with it or we can curse those made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth comes blessings and curses. But it need not be this way, my brothers. 11 Does both sweet and bitter water come from the same well? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives? Do figs come from a vine? Can salt make water sweet?
Good behavior and peacemaking
13 Is anyone among you wise and intelligent? Let him show it through good behavior, doing humble and wise works. 14 But if you have bitter jealously and selfish ambition in your heart, don't be boastful or untruthful. 15 This is not wisdom from above but instead is earthly, primal and demonic. 16 Where there is jealously and rivalry there is anarchy and every kind of evil.
17 Above all, heavenly wisdom is pure but also peace-loving, gentle, cooperative, full of kindness and good fruit, pure hearted and un-hypocritical. 18 Peacemakers harvest the fruit of righteousness in peace.
1 Where does your fighting and conflict come from? Doesn't it come from the lusts that war within you? 2 You crave but have not; you kill and desire but don't acquire; you murder and you covet but obtain, all because you don't ask. 3 When you do ask, you don't receive because you ask wrongly -- so that you might spend it on your own pleasures. 4 Adulterers don't you know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God? Whoever chooses to be a friend of the world sets himself as an enemy of God.
5 Do you think that for no reason the scriptures say, "God jealously desires the spirit that lives within us." 6 But he gives a greater grace. Therefore it says: God sets himself against the arrogant but gives grace to the humble." 7 Submit to God, stand against the devil and he will flee from you.
Become close with God
8 Become close with God with God will become close with you. Cleanse your hands, sinners! Purify your hearts, double-minded! 9 Lament, grieve and weep. Let your laughter turn to mourning, changing from joy to dismay. 10 Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up.
11 Don't speak evil about each other, brothers, for he who speaks evil or judges another, speaks against and judges the law. If you judge the law, you aren't a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one law giver who is able to save and to destroy. So who are you to judge your neighbor?
13 Come now, you who say, "Today and tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a city, and we'll stay there a year doing business and making profit." 14 You do not even know about tomorrow, let alone the rest of your life. You are a mist that appears for a moment and then vanishes. 15 You should say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." 16 Instead, you revel in your arrogance but such bragging is evil.
17 Anyone who knows to do good, but is fails to do it, this is sin for him.
The folly of wealth
1 Come now you rich! Weep and howl over the miseries that will come to you. 2 Your riches are rotted and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are rusting. That decay will testify against you and consume your flesh like fire. In the last days you chose to store up treasure. 4 Behold, the pay you withheld from the workers who mowed your field cries out. The cries of your harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of armies. 5 You lived in earthly luxury and indulgence. You fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. 6 You condemned and murdered the righteous man, even though he did not resist you.
7 Be patient, brothers, until the Lord comes. Behold the farmer patiently awaits the precious fruit of the earth brought by the late rains. 8 Likewise you should be patient and strong of heart because the coming of the Lord is near.
9 Do not grumble about each other, brothers, so that you will not be judged. Behold the judge is standing at the door.
10 The prophets who spoke in name of the Lord are an example of patiently suffering evil. 11 Behold, blessed are those who patiently endure. You've heard of the patience of Job and you have witnessed he results of the Lords's compassion and concern.
12 Above, all, my brothers, do not swear by heaven or earth. Make no oaths; let your yes be yes and your no be no so that you may not be under judgment.
Prayer and Confession
13 Are any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing praises. 14 Is anyone sick? Let him call the church elders to pray over and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 A prayer of faith will restore the afflicted one and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, this shall be forgiven.
16 Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayers of a righteous man are very powerful. 17 Elijah was human like us but when he prayed for no rain, it did not rain for three and a half years. 18 Then he prayed again and the heavens rained and the earth yielded fruit. 19 Brothers, if any of you goes astray from the truth and someone steers him right 20 know that whoever stopped a sinner from the straying will have saved a soul from death and covered many sins.
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