1:4 – don't stop at steadfastness – on to perfection (gasp!) (Any fault or lack)
1:5 – wisdom comes from God by asking for it.
1:6 – double minded in prayer is a reflection of his general character – double minded and irresolute and vacillating there too – no firm footing. Do you want it or not?!
1:9 – if poor or suddenly lose your wealth, rejoice in what often goes with struggle – inner growth.
1:2 (= a)/1:12 (= b) – trials produce – (A.) display of what's steadfast
(B.) reward (living crown) an unfading crown (versus athlete) may go back to Jesus' saying – i.e. virtue is not its own reward exclusively.
1:12 – mix a trial and your own nature and you get temptation – the problematic link up – oh– do you ever!
1:14 – desire is the great-grand-daddy of (spiritual) death – just give it time and it spawns it.
1:17 – the center of our whirling world is God – spiritual, good, and unchangingly so.
1:18 – first-fruits – a disappointing crop?
1:19-20 – non-violence for promotion of God's righteousness – i.e. anger, filthiness, and pick rank growth of wickedness.
1:22 – Creed must become code.
1:26 – the ultimate available in the way of vanity – be "punctilious" [precise outward observance] in religious things and let your tongue have free reign. Acceptable religion is kind action and not getting sucked in by the world's selfishness.
2:5f. – spiritual condition essential for entry into a spiritual kingdom.
2:8 – funny how we twist things to justify our own actions and attitudes – theological sugar-coating.
2: 12-13 – speech, act, and motive of Mercy – look out if you lack the latter motive.
2:18f – Faith's orthodoxy is read from its outworking in action only – talk is cheap. Even in the Old Testament this is so – Isaac's almost death was a test of his father's obedience and resulted in a deepening of faith through action and testing. I.e. faith and works interact – without works faith is a corpse. Like body and spirit interact (church and world too for that matter) like two hands – they wash each other. "Faith alone justifies, but not faith which is alone" (both Paul and James).
3:1 – don't be too quick to teach others, it's harder on teachers when they slip, and only mature Christian people can control the tongue. True wisdom will be seen (eg. in teacher types) in conduct.
Wisdom from the world, flesh, Devil – results in bitterness and rivalry, which gives way to source sham (disorder and worthlessness)
Wisdom from God – results in peace and steadfastness – which gives rise to harvest of righteousness
"Meek" (in the Greek) – is a strong man with self-discipline, or a wise man with humility – they don't have to prove it or be jealous or fanatical.
3:3-5 – horses, ships, and people and forest fires (bits, rudders, and tongues, and sparks) small but wow!
3:6 f – The tongue, a part of the world in us always.
3:9 – the monstrous inconsistency – we bless and curse from the same mouth – even nature doesn't do that!
3:13 – 4:10 – very good regarding the seeds and harvest of peace. The things that make for peace. The mini-Village and the global village. Real satisfaction comes only in response to prayer – unselfish prayer.
4:4 – on being on intimate terms with God and the world – impossible! God is jealous and doesn't accept dual allegiance.
4:7, 8, 9 – clean up your thoughts, acts, and feelings – submit, resist, draw near.
4:11-12 – don't displace God (play God) and judge others. Who are you that you judge your neighbour?
4:15 – if the Lord wills... do we really believe that anyway? If we did, we would be more likely to say so in our talk. To be Godless is to leave him out of account.
5:5 – the world's feeder cattle – the rich!
5:6 – good guys finish last... in the first heat only!
5:7f – waiting like a farmer on the operations of God. Also Prophets and Job.
5:12ff – like "quiz-show-quickies" comes a group of punchy admonitions.
5:12ff – reverence for truth – not just when supported by an oath.
5:13 – prayer and praise for the downs and ups of life.
5:16 – prayer from one with right relations with God has enormous power.
5:17 – Elijah no Superman.... but to what degree have we attained anything like his stature?
5:20 – cover a multitude of the sinner's sins (the reverse is uncharacteristic of the New Testament)