Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
“but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”
Many people misunderstand this passage. They think James is saying that we need to earn God’s love and salvation by what we do. Jesus saved us completely when He died on the cross! What James is saying is that if we actually believe that Jesus saved us then we will act differently! For example, if you hold a grudge against someone you are saying that you are better than them and that they do not deserve your forgiveness. But if you actually believe that you need a Savior and that they need a Savior too then you will stop holding a grudge and forgive as you have been forgiven (see Matt. 18:21-35)! Our faith in God’s forgiveness, grace and love should actually transform our hearts. We should daily ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit to live out our faith by acting more like Jesus, producing good fruit, like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).