Saturday, January 5, 2019

James 5

Today's reading...
James 5:1–20 (ESV)
1Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.
2Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.
3Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
4Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
7Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
8You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,

20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

In these last days, before the coming of the Lord, what does God want in our lives?

Priorities (1–6). To live only to get wealth is to rob yourself of true riches (1 Tim. 6:6–10, 17–19). It is to worry instead of worship (Matt. 6:19–34). God knows you have needs, and He will meet them if you practice Matthew 6:33.

Patience (7–12). If you have sown the right seed, you will eventually reap a harvest of blessing, so be patient. If others have exploited you, be patient; the Judge is at the door. If you are going through trials, be patient; God is still on the throne.

Prayer (13–18). Many kinds of prayer are named here: prayer for the sick, prayer for forgiveness, prayer for the nation, even prayer about the weather. There is no need that prayer cannot meet and no problem that prayer cannot solve.

Personal concern (19–20). Once again, James emphasizes ministry to individuals (1:27; 2:1–4, 14–16). Can you detect when a fellow believer starts to stray? Are you truly concerned? Will you try to help? Will you wait too long?
--With the Word

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