Theological in nature
Doing What It Takes
8-10 Come close to God and he will come close to you. Realise that you have sinned and get your hands clean again. Realise that you have been disloyal and get your hearts made true once more. As you come close to God you should be deeply sorry, you should be grieved, you should even be in tears. Your laughter will have to become mourning, your high spirits will have to become heartfelt dejection. You will have to feel very small in the sight of God before he will
'Reflections of Fire
Luke has opened his volume, as we saw, with a greeting to Theophilus, with both the opening greeting and reference referring back to the first part of his work, his Gospel about Jesus Christ. Going forward, Luke is now writing about the Acts of Jesus Christ. The rejection by the Pharisees and the strife predicted were a present reality with Jesus, and will continue to be so as the chosen witnesses spread their witness about Jesus Christ. For our part, we saw
'The Beginning, and Before'
Imagine picking up a bible one day and starting at the fifth book of the New Testament, Romans. As you read through the letters you encounter people, places and events that seem so disconnected from the Gospels you have just read. For one thing, this 'Paul' character was not mentioned in the Gospels; where did he come from and why is he writing all these letters? Why is he running around to all these places and writing them letters of encouragement?
'An Interlude to Think'
What James is trying to teach his readers is that they must get their minds off themselves and focus on the main point, it is that their life is in God's hands and they must seek His guidance and forgiveness for their sins. It sounds trite, but over the last two and a half chapters, chapters 2 to 4, James has pointed out some serious problems that are disturbing to any honest reader. So many in the fellowship were in open revolt and following their own desires.
'An Unfamiliar Road'
7So place yourselves under Godís authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. 8Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters. 9Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the Lordís presence. Then he will give you a high position. James 4
So far, James has been pulling the hearts and minds