At first glance James appears to be one of the most practical books in the New Testament.It is filled with advice about facing the trials of life, coping with poverty, the desire to be rich, controlling the tongue, making plans for the future and much more. James underlines the need to be active practising believers. We are to be those who 'do not merely listen to the word' but 'do what is says.'
However, no matter how enthusiastically we embrace a practical approach to the Christian life, it has no value unless it is based upon God, who is the source of all life. As Tony Bird demonstrates in this commentary, what is remarkable about the letter of James is the glorious vision it presents of God, the descriptions of whom are both extensive and breathtaking. Reading it ought to drive us to contemplate afresh the wonder of God and then lead us to worship Him.
In fact the more entertain true and great thoughts about Him, the more we shall be in a position to face the trials of life, the attractions of the world, the ongoing battle with sin and the unrelenting hostility of the evil one. In addition we shall be better equipped to do what His word says - to be practical Christians who make a useful contribution to the church of Jesus Christ.