James 1:9-18

The first three verses of this passage compare the rich and the poor of the Christian faith.  First, God is no respecter of persons.  He sees us all on the same level playing field.  It doesn’t matter our race or social status or our income bracket, we are all alike in His eyes.  The poor are exalted and the rich are leveled like the rest of us.  This means we all are needy beggars in need of a savior.  It is usually the rich and self-sufficient who don’t see their need for a savior.  I don’t mean to say that the rich can’t keep their money.  God can use the rich to enhance his kingdom and help spread the gospel.  It all boils down to a true change of heart which alters our priorities and aligns them with Christ’s.

In verse 12 the word temptation could be used a few different ways.  The word means a test.  It could also mean a trial or it could mean temptation to sin, which the next verse seems to insinuate.  If we are tempted to sin, we are not to blame God or the position we are in.  Years ago a prominent Christian lady said that God told her to divorce her husband.  That could not have been from God for in his Word we are told that God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16 ESV)

The key verse14 phrase is “drawn away.”  We are moved from the place or position where we ought to be.  Another key word is “lust.”  Something we want but shouldn’t go after.  The end of that road is death.  We need not lust because God gives us all good gifts.  Lust is a lack of contentment with the blessings God has given us.  It is also a sign of ungratefulness.

What does it means that we might be a kind of first fruits?  The key verse to me would be a “kind”.  If a man had a wheat field in the time of the law of Moses, he would take a handful of stalks to the priest.  That is what my field of wheat is like.  We need to be examples of what Christianity is like.  Then people would be excited to come follow after Christ. 
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