The Message

James 1

1I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello!

Faith Under Pressure

2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

5-8 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

9-11 When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.

12 Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

13-15 Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.

16-18 So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Act on What You Hear

19-21 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

Knijga O Kristu

Jakovljeva poslanica 1

Vjera i postojanost

Draga braćo i sestre, kad god zapadnete u kušnju, smatrajte da se imate čemu radovati.

Jer kad vam je vjera na kušnji, jača vaša postojanost.

Zato je pustite da se potpuno razvije, da postanete besprijekornima, bez ikakva nedostatka.

Treba li vam mudrosti, iskajte ju od Boga koji je svima daje rado, obilno i bez prigovora.

Ali tražite s vjerom, ne sumnjajući da ćete dobiti, jer čovjek koji sumnja nestalan je kao morski valovi koje vjetar lako baca amo-tamo.

Takav neka se ne nada išta primiti od Gospodina

jer je čovjek podijeljene duše, nepostojan na svim svojim putovima.

Neka se kršćanin[a] niskoga položaja ponosi time što ga je Bog uzvisio,

10 a bogataš time što ga je ponizio, jer će nestati poput poljskoga cvijeta.

11 Sunce žarko zasja, biljka usahne i cvijet joj otpadne te sva njegova ljepota nestane. Tako će i bogataši usahnuti na svojim putovima.

12 Blago čovjeku koji odolijeva kušnji. Kad se pokaže prokušanim, dobit će vijenac života koji je Bog obećao svima koji ga ljube.

13 Neka nitko od vas u napasti ne kaže: 'Bog me napastuje.' Niti se Boga može napastovati da čini zlo, niti on koga napastuje.

14 Svakoga, naprotiv, napastuje njegova vlastita požuda koja ga privlači i mami.

15 Požuda zatim začne i rodi grijeh, a kad se grijeh potpuno razvije, rađa smrt.

16 Zato se ne dajte varati, ljubljena braćo.

17 Sve što je dobro i savršeno dolazi nam odozgora, od Boga koji je stvorio sva nebeska svjetlila. Za razliku od njih, on se nikada ne mijenja; u njemu nema sjene zbog mijena.

18 On nas je dragovoljno rodio riječju istine, da budemo prvenci iznad svih stvorenja.

Poslušnost i djela

19 Upamtite, draga braćo: svatko bi trebao biti brz na slušanju, spor na pričanju i spor na srdžbi

20 jer ljudska srdžba ne može postupati prema Božjoj pravednosti.

21 Zato izbacite iz svojih života svako zlo i prljavštinu te ponizno prihvatite Božju poruku zasađenu u svoja srca jer ona može spasiti vaše duše.

22 I ne zaboravite da tu poruku nije dostatno samo slušati već treba i postupati prema njoj. Inače sami sebe zavaravate.

23 Jer ako samo slušate Riječ, a ne vršite ju, onda ste poput čovjeka koji pogleda vlastito lice u zrcalu,

24 ali čim se promotri, odmah ode ne popravivši što je trebalo i zaboravi kako izgleda.

25 Ali tko se ogleda u savršenomu Božjem zakonu - zakonu koji oslobađa - i nije samo zaboravan slušatelj, nego ga zaista i izvršava, Bog će ga blagosloviti u svemu što čini.

26 Umišlja li tko da je pobožan, a ne obuzdava svoj jezik, sam sebe vara jer je njegova pobožnost nevrijedna.

27 želite li da vaša pobožnost u očima Boga Oca bude čista i neokaljana, pomažite sirotama i udovicama u njihovoj nevolji i čuvajte se neokaljanima od pokvarenosti ovoga svijeta.

Notas al pie

  1. Jakovljeva poslanica 1:9 U grčkome: brat.