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kjv@Luke:17:11 @ @ RandyP comments: This was a dangerous border between the two countries with bad attitudes toward each other. People would go the long way around. ..James MacDonald..

kjv@James:1 @ @ RandyP comments: The crown of life is given to those who endure temptation. Temptation will come and come again and again. Temptation comes when drawn/enticed away by our own lust. It may sneak in unnoticed. It may stand tall being fully justified and felt well deserved, but it does come. Endure doesn't give us the sense that we have immediately conquered, it gives us the sense that we may have stumbled and must now battle against and clean up the lasting consequences. To continue in such temptations is defeat, to endure to resist and grow and to strengthen by God's power and grace.

kjv@James:2 @ @ RandyP comments: There is an eternal salvation and justification accomplished on our behalf strictly by the work of Jesus Christ our savior at the cross of Calvary. No other work can replace that. What James means by works leading to justification here is similar to what the author of Hebrews meant by 'the evidence of things unseen/substance of things hoped for' ( kjv@Hebrews:11 ), the effect faith has in producing corresponding action. It is difficult for one man to justify that another man has faith if their is no tangible evidence outwardly of said faith. It should be just as difficult for us ourselves to justify our reasoning for believing in Christ if we yet disallow His natural effect upon us causing us to act forward in a new and living way. If our faith leads us to no more than what faith in any other god would lead us to do or not do, what justification would we have for such faith? The question then must be asked 'how much does Christ's redemptive work on the cross mean to us personally'? 'To what extent does it/will it effect us'? Jesus called it 'abiding in' and Peter called it 'being neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ'.

kjv@James:3 @ @ RandyP comments: The bulk of passage speaks of the power of the tongue and that it is impossible for both blessing and cursing to come from the same source. In context this is tied to leadership (be not many masters) and to righteous peacemakers. It is obvious to see the workings of the tongue in our own small scale circles, less likely that we are even watching it in the larger scope of our diplomats and peace envoys and national/world leaders. The statements here are just as true if not more so for the fiery tongues in the United Nations as it is on the Gaza streets. For us to know this is to radically alter our world view.

kjv@James:4 @ @ RandyP comments: The mention of friendship with this world along with lust to envy is used to describe our spirit. All of the things we want and have not, all the things we ask but do not receive, the strivings and wars, they have their roots in this combination. It appears to be within our power because if we are to come to Christ we must put aside these things. But, putting this aside involves humility and affliction, mourning and cleansing, which are the opposite of our envy and destructive to our friendship with this world. This mention may be just as much for the body of believers as for the individual.

kjv@James:5 @ @ RandyP comments: The prayer and anointing of the sick is matched with the confession of faults one to another. It is one thing to believe in the power of healing, another thing to allow ourselves collectively to be honest and open to one another. It does not say directly that the illness is caused by fault, it says that the healing is assisted by its confession. And then the strength of faith has broader reach. Initiating and sustaining such a group openness is the difficulty.