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1Greetings from James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To all of God’s people that are scattered everywhere in the world.

Faith and Wisdom

2My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of troubles. But when these things happen, you should be very happy.

3Why? Because you know that these things are testing your faith. And this will give you patience.

4Let that patience work in you to give the result God wants. Then you will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.

5But if any of you needs wisdom, then you should ask God for it. God is generous. He enjoys giving to all people. So God will give you wisdom.

6But when you ask God, you must believe. Don’t doubt God. The person who doubts is like a wave in the sea. The wind blows the wave up and down. The person who doubts is like that wave.

7The person who doubts is thinking two different things at the same time. He cannot decide about anything he does. A person like that should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.


9Believers who are poor should be glad that God considers them so important.

10Believers who are rich should be glad when bad things happen that make them humble. Why? Because even rich people will die as quickly as wild flowers:

11The sun rises and becomes hotter and hotter. The sun’s heat makes the plants very dry. The flowers fall off. The flowers were beautiful, but now they are dead. It is the same with rich people. While they are still making plans for their business, they will die.

Temptation Does Not Come from God

12What great blessings there are for the person who is tempted and still continues strong. Why? Because after he has proved his faith, God will give him the reward of life forever. God promised this to all people who love him.

13When a person is being tempted, he should not say, “God is tempting me.” Evil cannot tempt God. And God himself does not tempt any person.

14It is the evil things a person wants that tempt that person. His own evil desire leads him away and holds him.

15This desire causes sin. Then the sin grows and brings death.

16My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be fooled about this.

17Everything good comes from God. And every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky (sun, moon, stars). But God never changes {like those lights}. He is always the same.

18God decided to give us life through the word of truth. He wanted us to be the most important of all the things he made.

Listening and Obeying

19My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Don’t become angry easily.

20A person’s anger does not help him live right like God wants.

21So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong thing you do. Be humble and accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts. This teaching can save you.

22Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. Why? Because when you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.

23If you hear God’s teaching and do nothing, you are like this: You are like a man that looks at his face in the mirror.

24The man sees himself, but he does nothing. He goes away and quickly forgets how bad he looked.

25But you must not be like that. You must carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free. You must continue to study it. You must listen to God’s teaching and not forget what you heard. Then you must obey what God’s teaching says. When you do this, it will make you truely happy.

The True Way to Worship God

26You might think you are religious (good). But if you say things you should not say, then you are fooling yourself. Your “religion” is worth nothing.

27The kind of religion (worship) that God accepts is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s {evil} influence. This is the kind of religion (worship) that God accepts as pure and good.

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