This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings! James 1:1

And Jesus’ brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles!’ …. For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. John 7:3&5

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. Hebrews 3:12-15

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

Imagine a horse race where a horse stumbles out of the gate and quickly falls behind. With great effort some of the lost ground is recovered but then the horse gets mired in the field with little hope of breaking through to challenge the leaders. Miraculously, however, an opening comes and the horse breaks free with the seemingly impossible task of catching the leaders. When one of the leaders begins pulling away from the others our horse that had trouble getting started and almost didn’t emerge from the pack starts gobbling up turf at an utterly ridiculous speed. Soon the lead horse is the only one left to catch and of course in dramatic fashion with a display of extraordinary strength our miracle horse catches the lead horse at the finish line and wins by a nose.

We are told that James, the brother of Jesus, got off to a slow start with his personal faith. It seems that along with his other brothers, James didn’t believe in Jesus at first. Somehow, like the horse in our scenario, there is a wonderful reversal for James. Tucked away near the end of the New Testament is a letter written by James that reveals that he finished well. Not only did He become a faith-filled follower of Jesus Christ, but he became the author of a powerful epistle that calls believers to emerge from the pack of those who are bogged down in the mire of worldliness for a stretch run where, with genuine spiritual maturity, victory is secured in the race of true and genuine Christian living. It is with this kind of focus that we come to this week’s Devotionals.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, help my life to become less aligned with the world and more aligned with your righteousness. I do want to be one who holds fast firm until the end in living fully for you. I choose to become a thoroughly genuine faith-filled follower of Jesus Christ like James. Amen!