In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:18
The word here used for creatures is Ktisma(ktis’-mah) and it actually means a thing founded or created. God created everything on earth and if you look you will see God in everything.
In the Old Testament, even from the very first days, when sacrifices were made they were to give their first fruits – the very best of their stock or growing season.
Cain and Abel teach us that we are to give our very best and not just whatever (Genesis 4), but Jesus took away the need to have sacrifices such as these, but gave us a new kind of sacrifice; we are to give of ourselves.
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
All God ever really desired is for His people to see the true love He has for them and to turn to Him and not the ways of evil. God had people sacrifice animals and fruits and vegetables to Him, in the days of the Old Testament, so they would take time to focus on what His love truly meant. But the sacrifices just weren’t getting that through to the people. Yes, they would sacrifice, but they kept turning away from God, kept doing bad things, kept worshiping other gods and never truly accepted the love that God has for them. So God decided to show just how much He loved His people and gave the ultimate sacrifice, His very own Son. God gave His first fruit to show us just how much he loves us and all He desires in return is that you accept the sacrifice of His Son.
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
It is good to know that God sees us as a first fruit, but if you don’t listen or you speak rashly or in anger, then you are more like Cain’s offering. Not the very best, but blemished and you are not reflecting the true love of God to others. To reflect the true love of God to others, you must be able to listen to the needs of others and in return respond with love and truth according to God’s word.
God has taught what love is so that we can have a goal to reach for to show others.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This doesn’t mean we become door mats, it doesn’t mean we don’t get angry and it doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes. This is the love that God has for us and we are to strive to reflect this love to others. It is a learning process though and we may error on occasion, but this is the love we are to try to show all people.
And if someone comes against you, harms you, or offends you, forgive them and ask the Lord take that burden from you.
Remember, even the apostles had to go through a learning process. Some even denying Jesus, but once they got hold of that true love, they became awesome warriors for the Lord.
Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21
Put aside the desire to commit adultery, theft, murder, slander. Put aside any desires to cause another person harm; even things such as gossip. Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh (John 1); accept the sacrifice of Jesus and allow the Word of God into your heart and have life.
But prove yourself doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. James 1:22-24
There a many people who proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they say they believe, but they continue to lie, cheat, steal and murder. They know the truth of the word of God, but they don’t act on that word. God says love Him with every thing in you and to love your neighbor. You know what love is, so why do you gossip and lie to even your brethren?
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25
Jesus himself said He came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. But, there are important lessons in the Old Testament that teach us what is right and wrong. But many say, “Well, I don’t have to worry about it because God will forgive me, no matter what I do.” This is very true unless you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, which is the only unforgivable sin. But, God loves a faithful follower and He does chastise and punish those who mock Him. The wonderful thing is that God also blesses those who abide by the word and turn to Him when they are having trouble.
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. James 1:26
The word for religious here is Threskos (thrace’-kos) and it means to fear or worship God. The word worthless is Mataios (mat’-ah-yos) and it means to be devoid of truth, useless and of no purpose. How can you worship God, but not follow His word? How can you have the truth of God in you and not follow it? Maybe its because you haven’t gotten that truth in you yet. This is why we read our Bibles daily, study the word, pray and worship and develop a relationship with the Lord.
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
We are to help those who are in distress, which can be a person who just needs someone to talk to, or someone in financial need, spiritual guidance, or sometimes they just need a laugh. And to keep yourself unstained by the world would be to not let the worldly desires and lusts be a part of you.
Bottom line, follow the word of God all the time and not just at certain times and love God in truth and love others the way God desires us to and everything else should fall right into place.