One thing I really noticed this time from reading James again was the amount of times James used the term “Dear brothers and sisters”. He used it 11 times in six chapters.
Not only did James see his fellow believers as family, but he used it to highlight his key thoughts. He introduced each major idea with it. Here are a few…
James 1:2-3 – Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:19-20 - Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
James 2:1 – My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
James 2:14 - What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?
James 3:1 – Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Have a look through the rest of James and see if you can find the other “Dear brothers and sisters” and see what the rest of his key thoughts were from the book.
Often it is a good learning tool to sit and read a whole Book of the Bible in one sitting. It helps you to get an overview of the major themes and to see any patterns in the writing that can lead to key messages the writer wants us to understand.