Jesus forces us to re-evaluate the Old Testament
God's Word is God's agent for us. He works through the Word for our good.
God's Word is a mid-wife for new creation (v. 13-18)
God is Father, the Father of lights. James is reversing the creation imagery from Genesis. In Genesis, humans are created last. In Christ, God creates a new humanity. We are a firstfruits for God's new creation.
Firstfruits: this is how the whole crop is going to turn out
Our agenda submits to God's agenda
God's Word is a seed for transformation (v. 19-21)
Because God is good, everything he creates will be good. But we're not like that.
Technology allows us to react instantly with anger.
Get rid of moral filth to make room for God's Word.
Seeds are intended to take root and bear fruit. Roots keep going deeper. We cultivate the soil of our hearts so the roots can grow deeper. Nonsense can choke the Word. God's Word is 100% lethal to foolishness.
God's Word is a mirror for reality (v. 22-27)
Reflects reality as God knows it.
Interprets, critiques, transforms.
When you look into the Word, the Word looks into you.
Personal doesn't mean private.
Let his Word be the mirror that interprets reality for me.
Actually read the Bible: big chunks, little chunks. Ask hard questions of Scripture, work hard at it.
Deception and forgetfulness typify us if we read and don't do. We might as well not read if we read and don't do. We have to both listen and do. Don't listen and not do. Don't do without listening. Hearing entails obeying.