James 1; James 2; James 3; James 4; James 5

1 From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To all of God's people who are scattered everywhere in the world: Greetings. 2 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, 3 because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. 4 Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need. 5 But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to all people, so he will give you wisdom. 6 But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind. 7 8 Such doubters are thinking two different things at the same time, and they cannot decide about anything they do. They should not think they will receive anything from the Lord. 9 Believers who are poor should be proud, because God has made them spiritually rich. 10 Those who are rich should be proud, because God has shown them that they are spiritually poor. The rich will die like a wild flower in the grass. 11 The sun rises with burning heat and dries up the plants. The flower falls off, and its beauty is gone. In the same way the rich will die while they are still taking care of business. 12 When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy. After they have proved their faith, God will reward them with life forever. God promised this to all those who love him. 13 When people are tempted, they should not say, "God is tempting me." Evil cannot tempt God, and God himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But people are tempted when their own evil desire leads them away and traps them. 15 This desire leads to sin, and then the sin grows and brings death. 16 My dear brothers and sisters, do not be fooled about this. 17 Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows. 18 God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made. 19 My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, 20 because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants. 21 So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God's teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you. 22 Do what God's teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves. 23 Those who hear God's teaching and do nothing are like people who look at themselves in a mirror. 24 They see their faces and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like. 25 But the truly happy people are those who carefully study God's perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God's teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy. 26 People who think they are religious but say things they should not say are just fooling themselves. Their "religion" is worth nothing. 27 Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world's evil influence.
1 My dear brothers and sisters, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, never think some people are more important than others. 2 Suppose someone comes into your church meeting wearing nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. 3 You show special attention to the one wearing nice clothes and say, "Please, sit here in this good seat." But you say to the poor person, "Stand over there," or, "Sit on the floor by my feet." 4 What are you doing? You are making some people more important than others, and with evil thoughts you are deciding that one person is better. 5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! God chose the poor in the world to be rich with faith and to receive the kingdom God promised to those who love him. 6 But you show no respect to the poor. The rich are always trying to control your lives. They are the ones who take you to court. 7 And they are the ones who speak against Jesus, who owns you. 8 This royal law is found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." If you obey this law, you are doing right. 9 But if you treat one person as being more important than another, you are sinning. You are guilty of breaking God's law. 10 A person who follows all of God's law but fails to obey even one command is guilty of breaking all the commands in that law. 11 The same God who said, "You must not be guilty of adultery," also said, "You must not murder anyone." So if you do not take part in adultery but you murder someone, you are guilty of breaking all of God's law. 12 In everything you say and do, remember that you will be judged by the law that makes people free. 13 So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment. 14 My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? 15 A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. 16 If you say to that person, "God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat," but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. 17 In the same way, faith that is alone -- that does nothing -- is dead. 18 Someone might say, "You have faith, but I have deeds." Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear. 20 You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? 21 Abraham, our ancestor, was made right with God by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. 22 So you see that Abraham's faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by what he did. 23 This shows the full meaning of the Scripture that says: "Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham's faith, and that faith made him right with God." And Abraham was called God's friend. 24 So you see that people are made right with God by what they do, not by faith only. 25 Another example is Rahab, a prostitute, who was made right with God by something she did. She welcomed the spies into her home and helped them escape by a different road. 26 Just as a person's body that does not have a spirit is dead, so faith that does nothing is dead!
1 My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all make many mistakes. If people never said anything wrong, they would be perfect and able to control their entire selves, too. 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control their whole bodies. 4 Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants. 5 It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things. A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. 6 And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body. The tongue is set on fire by hell, and it starts a fire that influences all of life. 7 People can tame every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have tamed them, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. 9 We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. 10 Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. 11 Do good and bad water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water. 13 Are there those among you who are truly wise and understanding? Then they should show it by living right and doing good things with a gentleness that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are selfish and have bitter jealousy in your hearts, do not brag. Your bragging is a lie that hides the truth. 15 That kind of "wisdom" does not come from God but from the world. It is not spiritual; it is from the devil. 16 Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom that comes from God is first of all pure, then peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help those who are troubled and to do good for others. It is always fair and honest. 18 People who work for peace in a peaceful way plant a good crop of right-living.
1 Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you. 2 You want things, but you do not have them. So you are ready to kill and are jealous of other people, but you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God. 3 Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things so you can use them for your own pleasures. 4 So, you are not loyal to God! You should know that loving the world is the same as hating God. Anyone who wants to be a friend of the world becomes God's enemy. 5 Do you think the Scripture means nothing that says, "The Spirit that God made to live in us wants us for himself alone?" 6 But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, "God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble." 7 So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you. 8 Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure. 9 Be sad, cry, and weep! Change your laughter into crying and your joy into sadness. 10 Don't be too proud in the Lord's presence, and he will make you great. 11 Brothers and sisters, do not tell evil lies about each other. If you speak against your fellow believers or judge them, you are judging and speaking against the law they follow. And when you are judging the law, you are no longer a follower of the law. You have become a judge. 12 God is the only Lawmaker and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor. 13 Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money." 14 But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. 15 So you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that." 16 But now you are proud and you brag. All of this bragging is wrong. 17 Anyone who knows the right thing to do, but does not do it, is sinning.
1 You rich people, listen! Cry and be very sad because of the troubles that are coming to you. 2 Your riches have rotted, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted, and that rust will be a proof that you were wrong. It will eat your bodies like fire. You saved your treasure for the last days. 4 The pay you did not give the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the workers have been heard by the Lord All-Powerful. 5 Your life on earth was full of rich living and pleasing yourselves with everything you wanted. You made yourselves fat, like an animal ready to be killed. 6 You have judged guilty and then murdered innocent people, who were not against you. 7 Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes again. A farmer patiently waits for his valuable crop to grow from the earth and for it to receive the autumn and spring rains. 8 You, too, must be patient. Do not give up hope, because the Lord is coming soon. 9 Brothers and sisters, do not complain against each other or you will be judged guilty. And the Judge is ready to come! 10 Brothers and sisters, follow the example of the prophets who spoke for the Lord. They suffered many hard things, but they were patient. 11 We say they are happy because they did not give up. You have heard about Job's patience, and you know the Lord's purpose for him in the end. You know the Lord is full of mercy and is kind. 12 My brothers and sisters, above all, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Don't use the name of heaven, earth, or anything else to prove what you say. When you mean yes, say only yes, and when you mean no, say only no so you will not be judged guilty. 13 Anyone who is having troubles should pray. Anyone who is happy should sing praises. 14 Anyone who is sick should call the church's elders. They should pray for and pour oil on the personn in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will heal that person. And if the person has sinned, the sins will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen. 17 Elijah was a human being just like us. He prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years! 18 Then Elijah prayed again, and the rain came down from the sky, and the land produced crops again. 19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you wanders away from the truth, and someone helps that person come back, 20 remember this: Anyone who brings a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner's soul from death and will cause many sins to be forgiven.