The Crown of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

This one verse of Scripture contains an enormous amount of truth, yet this verse also has caused a tremendous amount of confusion for so many people. “Temptation” is in the singular because when we are tempted, the temptation most always comes one at a time.

The word “endureth” is a unique word in the Scriptures because it means to be prepared to hold your ground, to hold out through pressure when it comes. Pressure surely will come to believers from time to time, yet when we hold on to our beliefs and convictions through a temptation without succumbing to it, then we may receive the promise of receiving the crown of life.

The greatest temptation in this life is to blame God every time things go wrong in our lives, and most people do!

The word “tried” is another interestingly unique word, for it means to be approved, rather than the way it is translated ─ tried. The question that needs to be answered is: When or how are believers approved? The answer is actually quite simple once we see the truth of how greatly we are approved before our God.

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved {this is the same Greek word for “tried” in James 1:12} unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

“Study” takes effort, studying to correctly understand the Word of truth about how greatly we are approved before God is how we hold our own ground through a temptation.

We believers are already “approved” before our heavenly Father, God already loves us, and He always thinks the best of us. Yet man, in himself, is subject to condemnation and blaming God, and at times it is extremely difficult to raise our believing up to the point of accepting the graces of God upon our lives because society itself teaches us that God punishes us through temptations to test our faith, etcetera. Yet, this is totally untrue. When we study the Scriptures, especially the Church Epistles which are directly written to believers of today, and when we rightly divide the truth, we will begin to realize that we are approved before God, rather than being tempted by Him.

As a safeguard to prevent us from blaming God, James continues:

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

How often are we tempted by God? NEVER! Our loving heavenly Father never, ever tempts us in any way, shape, form, or manner! If temptations were from God (which they are not), then we could never genuinely, from a spiritual point of view, love our Savor Jesus Christ completely because there would always be a fear element lurking in the shadows of our minds.

Jesus Christ gave his entire being to the point of humiliation and death on our behalf, and in our stead, so that we may present ourselves to God being made already holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I {God} know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It is interesting to me that so many people think and believe that God is the force behind all the evil in this world, and the people who propagate this lie obviously know more than God because God specifically states that He knows emphatically what He thinks, and He thinks thoughts of peace and not evil thoughts towards us. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11); this is the real, truthful pleasure that the LORD has towards everyone, that they live to receive His eternal benefits.

This is rightly dividing the Word of truth, and the more we look (by studying), the greater we will come to understand the wonderful approval we already have before our heavenly Father.

I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer {allow} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Through our life’s trials and temptations, we can look to God for His strength and His refuge (Isaiah 25:4) and be assured of God’s continuous deliverance (II Corinthians 1:10).

God never called us to incur His wrath (Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10), but rather He called us to “an expected end” and the greatest expectation that we can receive for not accusing God for all the temptations we go through in life, is the crown of life!

To be continued in The Crown of Righteousness

Job – Revealing Our Arbitrator

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Job reveals Jesus Christ as our Daysman in Job 9:33, meaning that he is our Arbitrator and our Redeemer. Job reveals to us the bondage of Satan and the deliverance of God.

The Declaration of the Book of Job is that God is love and light, and it is He that delivers His children from all destruction as He did for Job. What saved Job from complete annihilation was his trusting in, looking to, and believing in the same God that we today trust in, look to, and pray to with a believing heart of expectation to receive His blessings.

Job’s greatest conflict throughout Satan’s attacks upon him was from his (so-called) friends who came to comfort him as they tried their best to get Job to blame God for all of his misery and misfortune. But Job stood firm in his beliefs and confessions as he continued trusting that his deliverance was coming, and it most certainly did.

Job 1:22 – In all this Job sinned not, nor charged {blamed or accused} God foolishly.

Our society usually blames God for almost everything, for evil, badness, and destruction, and on the other hand, society hardly ever acknowledges God for any of His goodness but rather pats himself on the back for his good luck. Blaming God for misery is the way of the natural man, and the nature of man sometimes is to find comfort in misery because we are wrongly taught that it is a test or a trial from above.

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

As a vivid example, Job’s wife actually said to him, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). Can you imagine? Go ahead Job: be like everyone else and curse God and die! This was the statement from Job’s grieving wife. But those of us who truly know God’s healing Word have seen, as Job did, that God only gives blessings to His children for we are coming to personally experience our God in His love (Ephesians 1:4).

After Job’s devastation, his friends came to him and totally badgered him almost to death, trying to get Job to blame his God, and admit that he had failed as a believer.

Job 12:2-3:
-2: {Job is speaking} No doubt but ye {my friends} are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. {This means they thought they were the only experts, and without them, all wisdom would vanish.}
-3: But I {Job} have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these {the things that you claim as truth}.

Job was saying that: I do not know God the way you are telling me He is, I do not believe that my God is vengeful, and I will not blame Him when things go wrong. Job’s friends were “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2), they believed that it was the wrath of God, which devastated Job, and they were there to make sure Job understood that!

Job on the other hand knew the truth about his God, and against perhaps all odds he realized that he was not inferior to his friends who eloquently spoke lies. How do we know that Job’s friends were wrong and not Job? Because in the end God asked Job to pray for his friends ─ rather than asking them to pray for Job (Job 42:8), and God’s Word says that Job was a righteous man who had the power in himself (to believe the Word) to save himself (Ezekiel 14:14).

Job knew and believed what was later revealed and written in James 1:13, as we highlighted above ,“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” Of course this is contrary to many beliefs, yet this is the truth of God’s Word.

In the Gospel of John 8:21-59 we can find Jesus Christ, whom Job looked to and hoped in, going through some very similar attacks and being accused, as Job had gone through many years before.

John 8:41b – . . . Then said they to him {Jesus}, We be not born of fornication {OUCH}. . .

They were literally calling Jesus illegitimate; for they thought Mary was pregnant with Jesus by another man other than Joseph. Yet Jesus continued teaching God’s healing Word to those who literally were implying that he was nothing more than a “bastard.”

Why did Jesus keep on teaching them? Because he was (and Still Is) the Arbitrator between God and man. He demonstrated that God is all love, and if he would do that for those cruel people, think how much more he can do for us who are learning to believe and trust in the God of deliverance.

What do we think of Jesus, was he illegitimate, or was he the Son of God? The answer is clear to us who look to him that: he is the Son of God, our Arbitrator, and our Lord and Savior.

Jesus is revealed in the Book of Job to be our Arbitrator as well as our complete deliverance from all evil and devastation as he was for Job who was in the end extremely blessed because he continued believing in God’s healing Word.