No one likes being treated unfairly. This universal truth doesn't originate in mere self-interest; it is woven into our DNA as beings made in the image of a God who shows no favoritism. Left to ourselves we would deny others both justice and mercy, but through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we may display both through the One who bore infinite justice to extend us infinite mercy.
If God is completely sovereign, then why should I pray? That important question is answered by God in Scripture. The sovereign God has freely chosen to use ordinary means to accomplish his divine purposes. Nehemiah’s prayer for divine help, coupled with his own planning for assisting the exiles who had returned to Jerusalem, show us that we are to pray even as we plan. God’s sovereignty does not negate our responsibility.
In every area of life it is easy to think we are doing better than we really are, and our Christian walk is no exception! James gives us three tests of true religion to help us see where we really stand before the Lord and to point us back to the grace of Jesus Christ when we realize how short we fall.
God gives us spiritual birth through His Word, sustains us through His Word, and fosters our growth through His Word. Yet there are many pitfalls that threaten to hinder the impact of God’s Word on our lives. James provides a series of warnings so that we might look intently into God’s perfect law, which reveals God’s perfect Savior, in whom alone true life and freedom are found.
Temptation and deception are intimately linked. Sin catches us off guard, gradually ensnares us, and then tries to convince us that God is the problem rather than the solution. But God reveals the truth about temptation through His word and provides a way of escape through Jesus Christ our Lord.