Finding Christ in the Straw: A Forty-Day Devotion on the Epistle of James
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights with whom there is no variation.” (James 1:17) So writes James in his epistle to a church under attack. Persecution, false teachings, and loveless actions were among the problems troubling God’s baptized people. It had gotten to the point that, not only was it hard to recognize the faith of many, the actions of some of these people were harming Christ’s church. James writes to produce repentance in the proud and to give comfort to those burdened and suffering.
Things have not changed much for the church in these latter days such that the wisdom of James is needed now as ever. Though Martin Luther, seeking to protect the church from the false teaching of works righteousness, referred to this letter as “an epistle of straw,” James gives the good and perfect gift of wisdom to Christ’s troubled bride. To be sure, James preaches the law in the harshest of terms to drive the sinful to repentance. But, he also delivers beautiful encouragements to sustain those whose faith is under attack. No mere “epistle of straw” James drives his readers to cling to Christ Jesus.
“Christ in the Straw” is a forty-day devotional aimed at producing repentance and faith through the preaching of Christ found in James. Each day will provide a devotional reading that will guide you into prayer, deliver you the forgiveness of Christ, and challenge you to show your faith in love. These devotions will challenge and encourage you, and most importantly, give you Christ in the straw!
About the Author
Robert Hiller is the senior pastor of Community Lutheran Church in Escondido, CA. He is a baptized husband, father, and pastor. He is the content editor for The Craft of Preaching, a preacher on You Are Forgiven Radio, and a contributor to the Jagged Word and 1517 blogs. Hiller has authored “You Can Do It: Five Things You Can Do to Have a Faithful Prayer Life.” (CPH, 2012)