I'm cooking with peanut oil now, Friends! The New Testament is a blur of baptism, Holy Spirit, church plants, and miracles! Of course it's not all so pleasant; our disciples are being flogged, imprisoned, and even arguing with each other (I'm looking at you Paul and Barnabas!) Next to the Old Testament, which covers hundred and hundreds of years, the NT is clipping along like a zippy, ordained sports car.
I need to take a minute to try to express my love for the book of James. Be still my beating heart. I was indifferent, until I did Beth Moore's Mercy Triumphs study on the book. She pointed out that Martin Luther wanted James removed from the Bible, and maybe that's why I love it so. I love a rogue... book? Actually, it carries a lot of weight with me because it calls me out (loose lips sink ships, Julie! See James 1:26), yes, but also because of who wrote it.
Who knows how things were in the Joseph and Mary household, but in most homes siblings know each other. Really, really know one another. And by the way, James was Jesus' brother. I did not know that most my life, but the book has more clout for me now! Couldn't you write about topics important to your siblings better than anybody else? I could. My brother and sister could. They would also include a lot of jabs about what a nerd I am and may bring up a bad haircut or two, but still.
James holds us accountable- he calls Christians to action. It's not enough to say you have faith: "...faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:17) Chapter 1, verse 13 comforts me: "... For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;" James talks about the importance of wisdom: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." (James 1:19)
Every verse is solid gold in James. I could be here all day giving my favorite verses and soon enough we'd have the entire book of James. And incidentally, if you do Beth Moore's study, she does have you write out the entire book!
Have a lovely Sunday evening and happy, healthy Thanksgiving week!