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James 1 v 5 - 8

A couple of fundamental questions for believers are answered here. Firstly, there are some things God gives unequivocally to all who ask and one of them is wisdom. This is the wisdom 'which comes from above' and as the book of Proverbs tells us, true wisdom begins to develop in us when we first fear the Lord: that is, to see Him as He truly is, King, Master, Creator, the Almighty. Then James goes on to answer in part, one of the Christian's big issues: 'Why don't my prayers always get answered?' Now there are many reasons why. I was sometimes late for my bus to go to school and I used to pray that it would wait for me (this was London!) and at first my prayer was answered. After a while, however, my prayers weren't so successful and I came to realise that I should just get started from home a little earlier and then it was fine. Our prayers are not to be used as some kind of crutch to cover over our tardiness and laziness! However, James writes here to give another reason: we don't get what we ask for because often we pray with divided loyalties between God and the world. We dress up what we pray for in spiritual language, but God sees right through that to the motivation behind our request. Are we really praying for a larger house only so we can have a spare bedroom for those who can't find anywhere to live? Do we only need a bigger car so that we can transport the elderly? Are we only praying for a successful result to our interview for promotion because then we can widen our Christian witness? Many of us are deluded in the way we live. We love the attractions of the world-and they have probably never been better for the average man or woman-and we want to think that we are following God in the best way possible. James tells us that we can't have it both ways! What have you given up in order to follow Christ? To sum up: God is very generous with His giving and gifts, but He isn't stupid! You cannot pull the wool over His eyes! James is very big on motivation and you will find that he gives his readers both barrels!

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