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James chapter 5:7-12

DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
MONDAY, MAY 4

 
SCRIPTURE: JAMES 5:7-12
Author:  Jeremy Witt

I have a prayer request as we begin.  A longtime friend and brother in ministry and he needs urgent prayer.  His name is Brandon Kalicki.  He is a husband to Shanna and has two teenage kids.

He has been at Watonga FBC as a student pastor for over 13+ years.  He is battling cancer, has pneumonia and his kidneys are shutting down.  Of course, his family can’t even see him due to this virus.  Thank you.

Back to James      https://bibleproject.com/explore/james/ 

I just started teaching through James in our online Sunday morning Bible study.  I found this site which gives a great overview of James.  I learned something that I wanted to share.  The author of our letter, via the Holy Spirit, his name is not actually James.  It is James in English.  In Greek, his name is Jakobas or Jacobas. (Spelling?)  I do not understand why he didn’t go by Jacob, but it was something I learned that I felt that many of you might enjoy learning.

Remember that Jacob or James was one of the primary leaders of the Jerusalem church.  James most likely wrote this one year before he died according to most researchers.  The church in Jerusalem went through many difficult times including a famine in which Paul sent offerings from other house churches that he helped to start in the modern-day Turkey and Greek areas.  Most churches did this because the Jerusalem church was struggling, but also these churches heard the Gospel because of these believers shared with others.  When Saul and later Paul was persecuting the church (Jerusalem), they (Christ-followers) fled to other places like Antioch and shared Jesus where new churches were started. 

 

Why am I going back to this information?  James or Jacob just went over money or riches in the first six verses.  Now in verses 7-12, James is addressing patience, suffering, and endurance.  The church in Jerusalem is still under suffering.  Primarily, this is coming from the Jewish people who view the church as a cult or sect.  The “orthodox” Jews are the primary cause of this, which would help explain why James refers to the Old Testament so much.  This is why he wrote as their wisdom literature did.  He was trying to reach his people with the hope of the Gospel.  This is also why he said that “faith without works is dead.”  The Jewish people had many works in their tradition.  For their faith not to be lived out would not help reach other Jews.  Their faith had to impact their entire lives.  It could not be hidden.  (Do you see where I am going?)  THE SAME IS TRUE IN OUR CULTURE!  People will not come to know Jesus if we are not real.  James wrote in such a way as to encourage other “Messianic” Jews or Jewish Christ-followers.  If we do not live a life that our faith is lived out and shown, people will never come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD. 

 

James gives some clear ways to be patient, to endure, and to suffer well for the LORD.  Just like the farmer who waits on the rain and waits on the harvest, he is still active throughout the growing season.  They were expecting Jesus to return, but they were reminded not to just sit inside and wait, but keep working.  Waiting for the rain can be difficult.  Praying that when it does rain that there will not be hail or that bugs will not eat the produce is difficult for any farmer.  This is the same for a Christ-follower trying to live out our faith and waiting on our LORD to return. 

James also refers to something else we should do in the meantime, and it ties into the sermon from yesterday.  Read verse 9.  Don’t grumble or argue with other Christ-followers.  The longer we wait, the more frustrated we become.  This is why James speaks of patience.  Go back to James 1:2.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters when troubles come.”  Jesus told the disciples, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me.  Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

May we take these words to heart and into practice.  For we are promised by our Savior that we too will have trouble, but we can rest in His peace.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

James 5 verses 1 to 6

DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
FRIDAY, MAY 1

 
SCRIPTURE: JAMES 5:1-6
Author:  Jeremy Witt

I realize that I am breaking away from the chapter readings in James.  By the way that James wrote, it lends our discussion to such a wide variety, I have taken the approach of bite-sized bites.  Plus, as so many of you requested James, I have enjoyed it myself.  Today’s reading deals with wealth, greed, money, stewardship, and this has been something we have experienced during this virus season of COVID-19 or the ‘Rona. 

 

One of the big things our nation has been hit with is the loss of jobs, loss of income, loss at the stock market, etc.  One of our nations’ idols is our wealth as many have already mentioned and discussed.  It is very easy for our “things or possessions” to become an idol in our lives.  Just as we have learned that our entertainment is an idol, more and more are concerned over the economy.  Am I saying that this is not important?  No, I am not saying that.  However, there is a fine line from concern to a commitment to or worshipping.  Money has always been a struggle for humanity.  James is addressing it here in these verses.  Are we weeping over our financial losses?  Yes!  Are we groaning or howling?  It depends on how much you have lost at this point I imagine.  But our nation is doing this, is it not?  Sounds like James got that right.  Verses two and three are happening right in front of us as we speak.  I meet with a couple of young adult men in a Bible study.  Last night when we meet, they were talking about the losses in stocks that they have lost and some of the companies filing for bankruptcy.  It doesn’t matter the ages, people have lost financially.  James is hitting the nail on the head for us today, and this was written nearly 2000 years ago!  Here is the point that we need to get and “put that behind the thick skulls of ours.”  (I have told this a LOT in my lifetime!) 

 

What is the purpose of James bringing up money?  Trusting in our wealth is worthless.  IF Jesus is our Savior and LORD, we must trust HIM, not money.  Jesus said that we cannot serve both God and mammon or money.  Jesus talked about money more than He did about heaven and hell!  Did you know that?  Why?  Because money has, does, and will cause humanity to falsely trust it.  James is not saying that that the rich people are worthless but trusting in our things is truly worthless.  Money is a tool to use to provide for families and to use to serve God’s kingdom, which we all know.  It crosses lines when we accumulate or store up, and then use to hold others down or oppress, money has become a god.  Romans 12:1-2 speaks loudly to this.  Jesus spoke openly and bluntly on the matter as well.  Maybe Joseph was the blunt parent who spoke like this, but both boys got it from somewhere. 

 

Verse 5 speaks accurately about our culture.  The book of Judges uses similar phrasing “satisfying every desire”, “doing as they pleased”,  or “every man did as they thought was right.”   Mankind has been consumed with greed since the very beginning. 

Verse 6 is an interesting one for us today.  What is James referring to?  “Innocent” or “righteous” is referring to defenseless people.  The poor, the orphan, the widow, and those whom you didn’t pay as much as you should have.  It would be those who couldn’t pay their bills.  If you didn’t pay, you were thrown into prison on that day.  They stayed there until they could pay their bills which is an oxymoron in my view.  How could you pay bills if you could not work?  This would be a lifetime sentence unless someone else paid your bill for you.

 

Yet this is exactly what Jesus did for ALL of us.  He paid a bill that we could never pay.  Jesus’ act of mercy can keep us from prison (hell) if we will accept His sacrifice and allow Him to be LORD in our lives.  When we have what Jesus offers, it helps us to have a proper perspective with others when we are living for HIM. 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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