Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:21
This past month, I’ve been reading through the Book of James. A friend and mentor of mine calls James “Discipleship for Dummies” and it really is such a short and practical book for believers in laying out what it looks like to follow Jesus. But, just because it is short does not mean it does not pack a punch!
In the first chapter alone we see so much about who God is and who we are. James tells us that God is wise and gives generously (v. 5), that He keeps His promises (v. 12), God cannot be tempted with evil and He does not tempt anyone (v. 13), God gives good gifts (v. 17), God is Father (v. 17), God doesn't change (v. 17), and God brings us forth by His word (v. 18). James also tells us that we as humans lack wisdom, are imperfect, and are unlike God (v. 5). We can be doubters (v. 6-7). Verses 9-11 show us that we are finite and our pursuits are often in vain (ie. the pursuit of riches). Our own desires can lead us to sin and death (v. 14-15) and in verse 21 we ultimately see that our souls need saving.
This means that as followers of Jesus we must put away sin by receiving the soul-saving Word of God.
We can be double-minded doubters (v. 6-8), hearers who forget (v. 22-25), and careless with our words (v. 26). So, we must ask God for wisdom, take joy in pressing through trials, fighting sin and serving others with compassion. At the same time God promises to give us the crown of life (v. 12) and calls us to receive His “implanted word, which is able to save” our souls (v. 21).
James 1 is packed with so much truth for our hearts and lives as followers of Jesus. Remember that God knows what you need. He gives good gifts. He keeps His promises and He saves us through Jesus.
What all of this shows us is that the answer for our sin and struggles is not found within us. We must receive from God what it is that we need. He provides.
Receive His Word, which is able to save your souls.