Read: James 1:16-21 Memorize: James 1:19-20 Pastor Josh September 10-16, 2015
Verse 16 is a warning to us. Do not err really means be not deceived. James wants us to not be deceived by Satan and his devices. There are other verses in the Bible with the same warnings. I Corinthians 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Warnings! Reminds me of the OLD tv show called Lost in Space, which had a robot that always said "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!" James is saying "Warning, my brethren, Warning!" As we learned in the previous verses Satan is going to tempt us and James is warning to not be deceived.
Next James wants to let us know that on the flip side of Satan's evil and bad, God brings us good. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Everything good comes from God and once he promises to give us something he doesn't change. That's what variableness means, God doesn't change His mind.
Verse 18 is talking about our salvation. God shared with us the truth of salvation and made us His own. We are made His children when we accept Him into our hearts. John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
Wherefore, therefore, or because of all we have seen thus far, James says, "Hey, listen up!" We should always listen for God to show us something from His word. Right now, he wants us to be slow to speak, does that mean we talk really slow? No, have you ever heard it said this way, think before you speak? This is what James is saying, think before you speak. Sometimes our tongue can get us into trouble. Especially when we are angry. You tend to say things you don't mean. That's why he also warns about being slow to get angry. You ever done something in anger or said something and then realized how foolish it was? Ecclesiastes 7:9 "Be not hasty (quick) in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Many times a person full of anger will act very foolish.
"For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Anger will not bring about right actions. Instead James says to put it all away from you and to receive what you hear from God's word. Put away all filthiness and wickedness and listen to God. When we read God's word we should begin with a prayer, "Lord, help me to listen to your word as you teach me how to change my life to become a better person. Help me to resist the devil and forgive my sin. Help me to listen to you." With listening to God, also comes putting it into practice. We will cover that next week.