“We believe and so we speak, knowing that He Who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus.” —2 Corinthians 4:13-14

St. James must have been one powerful apostle! When “King Herod started to harass” the Church, his first move was to cut off James’ head (Acts 12:1, 2). “This pleased certain of the Jews” (Acts 12:3). Only after James was killed did Herod turn his attention to arresting Peter (Acts 12:3). James, who was the first apostle to die for love of Jesus, was obviously one giant headache for Herod and the Jews. James had the courage and the faith to speak out in the name of Jesus, knowing that he would share in the resurrection of Jesus (2 Cor 4:13-14).

Earlier, James had sought to be elevated above the other apostles (see Mt 20:24). Jesus patiently explained to James and the others that the way to aspire to greatness is to humbly descend into service (Mt 20:26-27). James eventually took Jesus’ admonition to heart. After Pentecost, James did not try to preserve his own life. He was constantly teaching the people about the good news of Jesus the Messiah (Acts 5:42), working signs and wonders among the people (Acts 5:12). With great faith, James gave his own life for love of God and His people (Mt 20:28). Like James, may our lives be so powerful in Jesus that we are a headache to those who oppose Jesus and His kingdom.

Prayer: Father, may I be fearless in the Holy Spirit as was St. James.
Promise: “Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.” —Ps 126:5
Praise: St. James was such a powerful evangelist that his enemies were “pleased” to see him beheaded (Acts 12:3).

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