Reading Through the Bible - JAMES

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is one of the shortest.


20th book of the NT 
59th book of the Bible

What is it?

The Book of JAMES is one of the Epistles in the New Testament which means it is a letter.

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Known as the Proverbs of the New Testament"

Who Wrote it?

James the brother of Jesus

Notice that James is not prideful of being the brother of Jesus but speaks humbly as a servant of Jesus in chapter 1 verse 1

 "James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,"

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"James was not a follower of Jesus during the Saviour's time on earth.  He finally became a believer upon seeing Jesus alive and well after the crucifixion.  He became one of the leaders of the Church at Jerusalem."

Who was it Written to?

It was written to the Christians who were now living in various countries as we see in chapter 1 verse 1

 "James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings." 

How does it start?

It starts with instruction about attitude to trials which these Christians were going through in 

chapter 1 verse 2

and then on to advice about asking God for wisdom in

chapter 1 verses 5-6

Immediately James is instructing the Christians everywhere to be joyful & seek wisdom from God in all situations and believe God will answer so obviously this must be important for all of us now too.

How Long is it?

It has 5 chapters.

When was it Written?

It is generally thought to have been written between 67 & 69 AD

Why was it Written? 

It was written to instruct and encourage believers as to what true faith is. 
Obedience, truth & action are important.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"A letter telling Christians to live in ways that demonstrate their faith in action."

This can be clearly seen in 
chapter 1 v 19

chapter 1 v 22

What link is noted here with the Old Testament?

The Book of James is very supportive of the Biblical law.

How does it end?

by imploring them to be

chapter 5 v 8

and how to react in certain situations

Chapter 5 v 13

and a final message of how to help others who are 
drifting from the truth

Quick outline of James

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

  1. Trials and temptation (1:1–20)
  2. True religion (1:21–27)
  3. Favouritism and judgment (2:1–13)
  4. Faith and works (2:14–26)
  5. Teachers and the tongue (3)
  6. Submission to God (4:1–5:6)
  7. Strength and anticipation (5:7–20)



Promises - We Can't Always See Them - A Dose of Encouragement

Not very long ago I read of a Canadian school teacher who on his 27th time reading through the Bible decided to take a note of all the promises he found there.  
This took him a year and a half and he came up with a grand total of 


We are NOT going to look at all those promises!!!!

Although if you are interested in some of them you can have a look at 
Bible Verses for  10 Great Promises of God.

or you can have a look at a reminder of many things God has Promised in Promises

However it got me thinking about this and I wondered how many times have we promised something
  • to others
  • to ourselves
  • to God

You know the things we have said:

Yes, yes, yes I promise!   -  when we are not really interested and just want to get on quickly to something else.

Of course I promise!

I Promise I really do!

I never promised!

Do any of those sound familiar?

Can any of us say we have never broken any of the promises we have made?

We just need to admit that we can't remember all the promises we have made in our lives and we probably don't remember if we made any yesterday.

Perhaps we speak too soon about things, or too quickly, or perhaps we don't take promises too seriously.

Perhaps we want to forget about a promise we made because we don't really want to be held to it.

Surprisingly we can forget that others have promised things too.

So thinking back to that 8,810 promised that were found in the Bible we can be sure that many of those were made by God and we should never forget about God's Promises.  In fact we should take some time to learn more about them.

Sometimes the reason we forget about people or things is because we can't always see them.   This can be the same for promises.

One promise that God made to everyone is easy to remember because God gave us a sign in the bible which is still repeated physically for all the generations since to see.

The Promise of the Rainbow from Genesis chapter 9 v 12 - 17

12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 
13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 
14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 
15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 
16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 
17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” 

When we know that God gave us this great reminder of His Promise then we know He intends to keep His promise.

This should encourage us to seek out more of the promises for us in the Bible and get to know more about them.  

Then start remembering that



even though

we can't always see them 

Every morning as we have breakfast together Fred and I pray to thank God for the previous day and the things we are thankful for from that day.  Then we pray for family, friends and other needs we know about and end by asking for God's care and protection & wisdom.

We can pray this way because
we believe God's promises to us



God does not forget what He has said!

Because God is not like us who so easily forget.

 We must look at God's Promises in the light of 
and not who we are.



Reading Through The Bible - RUTH

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is one of the shortest.


8th book of the OT 
8th book of the Bible

It starts with Famine, Family, Death & Sadness in relationships.

But does not stay that way.

One of the most famous verses of the book is in chapter 1 v 16 which brings the first ray of hope into the sad story.

The love and compassion shown here are so important.

What is it?

The Book of Ruth is one of the History Books in the Old Testament which means it is Factual and has a place in the time frame of Christianity.

How Long is it?

It has 4 chapters each one being less than 25 verses.

When was it Written?

It was written between 1050 & 1000 BC.

Who Wrote it?

Some believe it would have been written by the Prophet Samuel but there is uncertainty about this.

Who was it Written about?

It was written about 3 people
Ruth (a moabitess) who had become a widow.
Naomi (an Israelite) who was the mother-in-law of Ruth and was also a widow.
Boaz (an Israelite) who was a relation of Naomi. 

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Two widows lose everything, and find hope in Israel—which leads to the birth of the future King David."

Who was it Written for?

It was written for the people of Israel to know an important fact in their history and help with the timeline of Christ.


Where did this part of history take place?

It started in the land of Moab where Naomi and her husband had gone to escape a famine in Israel and it continued in the land of Israel when Ruth and Naomi returned there after they were both widowed. 

Why was it Written? 

It was written to tell the true story of the faith of three people and of two relationships in the history of the Israelites which would have a most important effect on the future of the world. 

One between 2 women Ruth and her Mother-in-law Naomi, and the other between Ruth and Boaz.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"The story of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges: it’s a bright story of hope during a very dark period in Israel’s spiritual and political history."

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Ruth became the great grandmother of King David after a good deed of refusing to desert her mother-in-law.  Her story takes place mostly in Bethlehem the future birthplace of Jesus."

How does it end?

It ends with the marriage of Boaz & Ruth and part of the ancestry of Joseph who was to be the father of Jesus.


Descendants of Boaz and Ruth in chapter 4 v 13-17

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  
14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!  
15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”  
16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him.  
17 Also the neighbour women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

Quick outline of Ruth

  1. Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem (ch 1)
  2. Ruth gleans in Boaz’ field (ch 2)
  3. Ruth proposes to Boaz (ch 3)
  4. Boaz redeems Ruth and Naomi (ch 4:1–15)
  5. King David’s genealogy (ch 4:16–22)