Week 1, Monday, James 1:1

“James” Devotions

by Pastor Sunil Balasundaram



It took me a long while to decide on doing a series of devotions based on the letter of James in the New Testament (NT). It doesn’t speak much about things like salvation, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us, grace, and other subjects that we are used to reading from Peter and Paul the apostles. In fact it almost did not get into NT for this reason. It has been both celebrated and criticized for dwelling mostly on practical things; making it a kind of “Proverbs” of the NT. And maybe that’s why I’d like us to spend a little “devotional” time on it, to remind us how deeply rooted in the gospel it is. And maybe discover how our lives as followers of Christ show transformed behavior that reflects who Jesus really is.



(Please do read the passage before (or after) reading the devotion.)

Go to James 1:1

Who was James, and why did he write this letter? The writer simply identifies himself as “James,” a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing else can be known about him from the rest of the letter. And yet Church tradition describes him as Jesus’ own brother (born to Joseph and Mary, after Jesus’ birth). But he wasn’t always a follower of his big brother. In fact, there was a time that he thought big bro Jesus was crazy (Mark 3:21)! But things had changed for him. Now, after the Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, after Pentecost, James had become a follower… no wait! He had become a servant of Lord Jesus. Furthermore, now we see a man who actually cared for people he didn’t even know. He had on his heart the people who had been scattered by the persecution leveled against Christians. Humility and love seem to form the basis of this letter.


Lord Jesus, James had enough reason to feel proud, to feel privileged. After all, he was your “half-brother,” born to your human mother Mary. Yet all I see of him is someone who would rather be known only in connection with you. In fact he called himself your servant and acted like one, even as you called yourself your Father’s servant. Is it true that only one so completely invested in your business can actually have your heart of love? Lord, as I embark on this journey, teach me to be your servant, teach me to love your way. Amen.


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