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James 1 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello! 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 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. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 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. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
9 When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! 9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
10 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. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.
11 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. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
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. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
13 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. 13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 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. 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
15 Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. 16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.
17 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. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
18 He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
19 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. 19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20 God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21 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. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 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! 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23 Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24 walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks 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. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.
26 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. 26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27 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. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.