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Monday, September 21, 2015

Do Not Be Deceived: A James 1:16 Devotional

Let's consider today what James spoke about in James 1:16. He said, "Do not be deceived my beloved brethren."

Of what did he refer? Was it other teachings? Was it righteous indignation? Was it gifts? Was it testings versus temptation? Was it their salvation?

James spoke on each of these things in chapter 1. Verse 16 comes in the middle of the chapter and seems to be the axis upon which the teachings of this chapter surround.

Let's look at one of them

Do not be deceived by other people who say they are believers but then tell you things contrary to what you were taught and believe. When you became a believer in the gospel of salvation, Jesus Christ implanted in you His Holy Spirit. This word of truth will guide you to know truth from lies. As James said in verse 17, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

What you learned and had implanted in you by Jesus Christ is not something that changes with the situation. Truth is truth. Just as light is pure, so God is pure. He brings the light of truth and knowledge so we can discern His truth from lies and not fall prey to the teachings of other people. God does not change. What He says at one time is the same at other times. He is faithful to Himself and to us, unlike shadows which shift and move with the changing times and lights.

Do not be deceived, James said. Then he tells us how to stand firm, to endure and grow towards perfection. He said to ask God for wisdom in verse five to be able to endure your present trials. James spoke of this wisdom in verse seventeen when he said, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above." God gifts us with wisdom to withstand against trials and to come out from them stronger and closer to Christlikeness. In James 3:17, James defined wisdom as pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy.

We need wisdom to not be deceived. We need to rely upon God and His implanted Holy Spirit to endure and stand strong in our faith. To be able to stand firm, we must ask for and then put into action God's wisdom and we must ask without doubting.

Trials will come for all Christians, make no mistake about that. How we go through them determines if we grow more Christlike, toward perfection, or if we fall in the battle.


Do not be deceived. God is faithful to His children. 

Do not be deceived. God will give you strength and wisdom if you ask for them. Believe and act on what He gives you. 

Do not be deceived. God is the Father of light and has made you His child. He will not forsake you or leave you.