In The Word
Read: James 5
Misuse of Riches
5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! 4 Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. 10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Patience is not always our strong point. When we have to wait for something or someone we get impatient. That impatience can cause us to get aggravated or temperamental, like a kid in a car on a long trip. The first few miles are ok, but pretty soon everyone wants to get out of the car. Why? Boredom has set in. There is nothing to do. James was writing to some believers that were wondering if Christ was going to really return. They were beginning to growing inactive in their faith.
As disciples of Jesus Christ this should never be the case. In fact, James closes his letter with things that believers should be doing while they wait for Jesus Christ.
We should be giving. Our wealth should not be stored up beyond our need, but actively at work in the harvest. We should be maintaining our conduct, keeping our words and actions holy. We should be praying for one another and turning the wayward back to God. If we are practicing these things we will not grow inactive in doing the work of the Lord. Our faith will then be active and alive. We are to work until He comes! “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
While we must wait for the Lord’s coming, our hands must be busy about the work of the harvest. Have you grown bored in your walk with Christ? Have you become inactive because the wait seems too long? Repent and turn back to the work of actively waiting. Let us be found complete at His return.