Welcome once again
to Daily Bread. This is the last chapter in the letter from James, and when
we closed last time, James was directing his message to people who follow
their earthly desires. Letís continue now.
Come now, you rich men, mourn for the misery that awaits you. Your riches
are corrupted and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is
corroded and the rust from them will be a witness against you, and will eat
your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last
6:19-20Lay not up for yourselves
treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
do not break through nor steal ...
Listen! You hold
back the pay of workers in your fields and they cry into the ears of the
Lord. Youíve lived in pleasure on the earth, and have been extravagant.
Youíve fattened your hearts like in a day of slaughter. Youíve condemned and
killed the just (righteous) man, and he doesnít resist you.
You can see that
James is writing to many different people in this letter. He switches from
the faithful to the faithless and back again. Perhaps he may even be
addressing everyone, knowing that weíre all different at different times,
and weíre all subject to spirits, it just depends on what spirit weíre
allowing for that day, hour or moment. Maybe if the phrase was popular back
then, James might have said, If the shoe fits ... Slap that rascal
on. Then heíd say, What are you thinking? Take that shoe off and walk in the
Lordís shoes! Okay, back to our letter.
brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Notice the farmer waits for the
precious fruit of the earth, through the early and latter rains. Be patient
yourselves. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord draws
about each other, or youíll be condemned too. Know that the judge stands at
the door (God is watching you always).
SWEAR NOT AT ALL LESSON WITH SWEAR NOT AT ALL EXPLANATION
Use the prophets
who have spoken in the name of the Lord for an example of suffering
affliction (enduring troubles) and of patience. See, we consider those who
endure, blessed. Youíve heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end
(the final response) of the Lord, that the Lord is very compassionate and of
James wants us to
relate this to our own lives. He knows that so many times, those trials that
he was talking about a few chapters ago, will cause many to grow impatient
and to want to abandon their Faith because it seems too difficult and seems
like the time is never gonna get here. But look, he says, you respect the
prophets and Job for their patience and youíve seen the rewards that the
Lord has bestowed on them for it. Carry on! Be strong! Walk the walk!
above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by earth,
nor by any other oath (promise), but let your yes be yes, and your no be no,
or you might fall into judgment.
But I say unto you, Swear not
at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth;
for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of
the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou
canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be,
Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Many believe that "swear not" means that we are not to curse,
but it really means we are not to swear like they do in court rooms when
they say "Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the
truth so help you God" ... Then he says to just say yes or no, nothing
else. A good reason not to
do this is we oft times get a lil excited and want to show someone how
serious we are and we make such a vow and cannot keep it. This causes
boggles. This goes with making vows to the Lord as well.
Are any of you
troubled? Let him pray. Are any joyful? Let him sing praises! Are any sick
among you? 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, and the prayer of Faith
shall heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he have
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
SWEAR NOT AT ALL INFORMATION WITH SWEAR NOT AT ALL MEANING
faults to each other, and pray for each other that you may be healed. The
impassioned prayer of a righteous man, profits much. Elijah was a man
subject to the same emotions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it
might not rain. And it didnít rain on the earth for 3 Ĺ years! And he prayed
again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
impassioned, earnest, effectual ... This is the kind of prayer we should
give to God, through Jesus Christ. The feeling that you put into your
prayer, is how it is received. God knows if youíre half-hearted or if youíre
asking or praising Him with your whole heart.
Brethren, if any
of you stray from the TRUTH, and someone turns him back, let him know, that
he who brings back the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul
from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. Just think about that for a
second. Weíve all done things that we cringe about when we think of standing
before God on Judgment Day, speechless, when He asks us about them.
James says that if you bring one of Godís lost children back to Him, a
multitude of your sins will be erased! How much is a multitude? It sounds
like a lot!
Well, thatís how
James concludes his letter, and what can we conclude from it? Faith
is born out of love, and love inspires us to act. We shouldn't do things (works)
because weíre afraid of God, we do them because we love Him. Thatís what He
meant when He said He would put His law in our hearts. You donít keep from
sinning because itís against Godís law, you do it because you love
through trials. Faith wonít allow us to consent to our desires and slide
into sin. In Faith there is no doubt or favoritism. Through faith you can
have wisdom, and control of yourself. Your Faith can help you separate
yourself from the world and become submissive to God. Faith is patient. As
you can see, Faith is a powerful thing, akin to love.
you on completing this study of The General Epistle of James. I look forward
to next time when we begin our study of The First Epistle of Peter. Come on
back and share it with me soon, right here, at Daily Bread.