James, Chapter Five

James, Chapter Five

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The Lord has established his throne in heaven; his kingdom extends over everything. Psalm 103:19 (NET)

Cassandra was finally in the position she always fought for. She was president of an enormous and very successful company. She was one of three people allowed to fly off anywhere in the world in the corporate jet. This week she would be closing escrow on her second palatial home in Vail, Colorado. She loved to ski.

There was one slightly frustrating problem in her life and that was family. Her mother, although a nice woman, was constantly nagging Cassandra to visit and help out some of their less fortunate relatives.

“Mom, if they are in need, counsel them to get a better job, for crying out loud. That’s what I’ve done all my life. I’ve worked very hard with no hand-outs. I send money to cancer research and the local Better Education fund.”

“Honey, you’ve always been a self-starter and tremendously motivated but I think you are forgetting about your Uncle Frank’s gift of a free college education. I never knew the actual amount but I think paying for your full tuition, books and living expenses while attending Yale must have been many thousands of dollars!”

Her mother could be so frustrating. “Ok, Uncle Frank did help but I worked very hard in college and graduated at the top of my class. So, in a sense, he got his money’s worth. And he told me to never mention it to him. It was a gift.”

“My dear girl. You are so talented, driven, conscientious, and the pinnacle of dependability but you have a very hard heart. You really don’t seem to care for people less fortunate at all. Instead of sharing your increasing wealth with widows and orphans, as the Bible commands, you simply buy another huge home in Colorado. Honey, you could give away a million dollars a year and still have more than most people will ever have. I am concerned for you. God does not look kindly on such selfishness. I suggest you take time out to refresh yourself with chapter five of the Book of James.”

Warning to Rich 1-6

Selfish rich people should weep and groan with anguish because of terrible troubles ahead. Accumulated treasures will be evidence against you on the Day of Judgment.

Patience in Suffering 7-12

Just as a farmer waits patiently for the rewards of his crop, so we must be patient as we wait for the Lord’s return. Don’t grumble about each other. Be patient, using God’s prophets as examples. Think of Job, a man of great endurance.

Faithful Prayer 13-18

Suffering hardships? Pray. Happy? Rejoice in praises to God. Sick? Call elders who will anoint with oil in the name of the Lord. The Lord will heal the sick and forgive the sinner. Confess sins to each other. Earnest prayer has great power. Elijah was such a man of prayer. He was a prophet who prayed for no rain and then for rain to resume. God answered both prayers. His name means: YAWEH is my God 1 Kings 17

Restore Wandering Believers 19-20

If a fellow believer wanders from the truth and is brought back…they are saved from death and have many sins forgiven.

The Book of James hits the reader forcefully, cutting through all our facades, laying bare our excuses and half-hearted Christianity. James forces the reader to take a closer look in the mirror of his soul. Do we have faith? Can others see it lived out in our lives? Am I still clinging to the world and whatever pleasure or comfort I derive? Jesus said He loved us so much that he took a beating and climbed upon a wooden cross to die. He literally did this. Considering that example of love, how should we live?

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