James 5:13-18

Proper Responses (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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James outlines three situations when one should turn to God for help: when we are suffering, cheerful or sick. In addition, he appears to couple sickness with sinfulness in verses 15 and 16. But these are probably two separate thoughts in line with Jesus’ teachings to his apostles that there is not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship between the two.

James 5:12

Black and White (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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After all of the important teachings that have preceded this verse, James unexpectedly begins his warning against taking oaths by saying, “Above all…”  Although this is not a trivial subject by any means, this opening phrase should better be translated, “And in conclusion…”
Again, in these verses, James echoes the sayings of Christ, who explains that we should not swear by anything at all since whatever we swear by (whether by God or by the hairs on our chinny-chin-chin) is beyond our personal control.

James 5:7-11

Patience (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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These verses give advice on how to live your life in light of the fact that Christ is coming again soon. Instead of selling your property and going to a mountain top or walking around with a sign “The End is Coming,” one is to live patiently in the presence of trials and not complain about other Christians—in other words, live your life normally.

James 5:1-6

Hard Evidence (2009) (9″ x 12″)
In the Sermon on the Mount, one of Jesus’ reasons for our not trusting in wealth is that it doesn’t last. He even uses the same word “rust” that James employs in this passage–the word can stand for any sort of decay.
/There is nothing wrong with wealth
itself, but it should be used for good (creating jobs, charity) and
not just accumulated. One commentator has said, “Most all people who are able to save and
invest experience the temptation to drastically overestimate their
genuine needs and/or try to secure their futures against all
calamity.”The result is stored resources that could have been used more wisely. Those excess resources will be used as evidence against us at the Judgment.

James 4:13-17

Misty (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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These verses express a hard saying that seemingly discourages us from planning for the future (much as Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount). However, the real thrust of the passage is to remind us that our life is fleeting and totally in God’s hands. We should keep this in mind whenever we make detailed plans for the future.

James 4:11-12

One and Only (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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These verses sound a warning against those who choose to point a finger at others. James says, in effect, that we are judging ourselves when we do this. Ultimately, there is only one supreme judge who can condemn us or forgive us, and that is God.

James 4:1-10

Perfect Mayhem (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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Again in these verses James echoes the thoughts of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He castigates those who are in love with material possessions and pray to God for more. Such people are double-minded in that they seek both God and Mammon and can’t have both. This leads inevitably to conflicts with those around them.

James 3:13-18

Up and Down (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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Paraphrasing C. S. Lewis: We should view each person we meet as either the most glorious angel or as the most hideous demon since one of the two will be the ultimate fate of each of us.

James 3:1-12

Out of Control (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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The power of words is the subject of these verse, which echo the teachings in the Book of Proverbs. James highlights the uses of the tongue by employing both positive (steering ships, riding horses) and negative (wildfire, poison) images.

James 2:14-26

Faith is a Verb (2009) (9″ x 12″)
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One confusing issue for many Christians is the seeming discrepancy between James and Paul concerning the question of faith versus works. This is especially true since both authors use Abraham as a prime example to prove their respective ideas.
The best solution I have found to resolve the issue is to consider a basic principle of hermeneutics (the science and art of interpretation). One should always let an author define his own words. So an instructive exercise is to go through the key passages in Paul and James and write down how each one of them defines the words faith, work and law. You will soon see that there is no contradiction between their teachings, just slight differences in how they define their terms.