Today we begin reading in the book of James. As you will recall, we are reading the New Testament in chronological order of events. The book of James was the first book written after the gospels and lines up with events as they happened in the book of Acts. The author is obviously James who was the half brother of Jesus. There are some people who have a hard time with the book of James because, while he talks about grace that comes through salvation from Christ’s sacrifice, there is a lot of talk about actions. This tends to confuse people into thinking it is all about works. James simply brings into view the outcomes that should come from those who have been miraculously saved and are in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In the first chapter of James we find my favorite verse, James 1:12, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. As we have seen in our past reading, God does not promise an easy and perfect life. But He has promised our reward of eternal life when we have stood against all this life has to throw at us.