The Book of James – Restore Wandering Believer

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“My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” James 5: 19-20 James tells us that we should pray for the sick and the afflicted. Then he ends the book with we must pray for the lost and straying sheep. This book is about being a mature Christian. If we are a mature Christian, we will be a praying Christian. We will pray for the people around us. We will not just pray for ourselves, we will pray for the lost and the backsliding. There are so many that have once been on fire for God and now they have left God to go back into the world. I know because I was one of them. I was lost and then I found God. I found God not because of what I did but what God and the people that was praying for me did. Without these people praying, I would never have found God in the beginning. I also walked away from God. God never moved but I did. I know that there were people praying for me to return. I have a calling from God on my life and my calling is still in effect until I get to heaven and maybe longer. If God is telling you to do something for Him, no matter how difficult or strange, just give in and give it to Him and let Him control your life. Please be in prayer for the wandering believers. This ends our journey in the book of James. I pray that you have received as much from these devotions that I […]

The Book of James – Pray for Our Nation

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“Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!  Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” James 5:17-18 James uses Elijah as the example of a righteous man who had power in his prayers. This story of Elijah starts in 1 Kings 17-18. King Ahab and Jezebel, his queen, had led Israel away from the Lord and into worship of Baal. God punished the nation by holding back rain. For three and one-half years there was no rain for the crops. Then Elijah challenged the priest of Baal on Mt. Carmel. All day long the priest of Baal cried out to their god, but no answer came. At the time of evening sacrifice, Elijah repaired the altar and prepared the sacrifice. He prayed but once, and fire came from heaven to consume the sacrifice. He had proven that Jehovah was the true God. But the nation still needed rain. Elijah went to the top of Mt Carmel and feel down before the Lord in prayer. He prayed and sent his servant seven times to see if there was evidence of rain, and the seventh time his servant saw a little cloud. Before long there was a great rain on the nation. We need God’s rain to come down on our nation. We need the movement of God in our nation so that our nation will return to God. I believe we are seeing a small cloud of God’s movement in our nation. The Holy Spirit is starting a movement in our nation to bring our nation back to God. We need to be praying people like Elijah. Elijah was just human like […]

The Book of James – Confess Your Sins

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“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 If we are going to be saved and be a follower of Jesus Christ, there is no other way, we must confess our sins. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9) Healing only comes by confession. When we confess our sins, we accept responsibility for them and we begin to break free of their grip and burden that they place on us. Why do we admit our sins to God? He already knows about them. If we don’t acknowledge them and take responsibility for them, God cannot help us. He will not interfere with our freedom or take anything away from us what we don’t acknowledge and consciously desire to be removed. When we admit our sins to another person, it is easier to deal with our sins. We find ourselves more compelled to take action because we have openly taken responsibility for our sins. The support that comes from another is a boon not only to our spiritual life but also helps us to recognize our weakness. What we thought was a major problem might be minimized after a discussion with a trusted person. Talking with another person can help you face yourself honestly and encourage the needed change to achieve a better life. Confessing our sin is starting on our walk down the road to our healing.

The Book of James – Pray for the Sick

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“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.  Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.” James 5:14-15 Do you need healing in your life? I feel that most of us need some type of healing. It may be emotional, physical or spiritual. James is telling us that it is the churches’ responsibility for healing. We don’t need to call in a faith healer to do the healing. If we are born again and spirt-filled children of God, we have the power of healing. In the healings of Jesus, we see there are no certain steps we must do so that God can heal. There is no techniques or gimmicks on how Jesus heals. Jesus healed the man with a speech defect. Jesus knew why the man had the speech defect so Jesus healed his hearing so that his speech would be healed. (Mark 7:31-37) Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the sabbath in the synagogue which the Pharisees did not like because you did not do anything on the sabbath. (Matthew 12:9-14) Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethesda. He asked the man if he wanted to be healed. So many times, people say they want to be healed, but they are really enjoying being sick because they can get people to feel sorry for them and they can be the center of attention. (John 5:1-18) Jesus healed the woman with the issue of blood. This woman only touched the hem of his robe. Then she was healed instantly. (Matthew 9:20-21) At […]

The Book of James – Pray for Suffering

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“Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.” James 5:13 Prayer is certainly a high and holy privilege. It is amazing that being one of God’s children that we can pray to Him and He hears us and listens to our requests. James tells us that we should pray for the suffering. When we are going through difficult times, we should pray. We should pray for wisdom to know what God wants us to do, but if it feels like God is not hearing our prays, we should keep praying and having the faith that God is in control. I have had times that when I prayed, I felt that God was not even there and maybe that there was not even a God, but then when I feel that I have come to my end, God answers my prayer in a wonderful way. No matter how we feel, we should keep praying. James tells us that mature Christians should not only pray, but they should sing praises to God, even in times of trouble. “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” (Acts 16:25-26) Praying and singing praise was a big part in the early church and it should be part of our lives as mature Christians. When we can sing praise when we are going through trouble, we are such a great witness. Paul was a witness to the jailer and his entire household was won to Jesus Christ. If we have total trust in God, we can sing no […]

The Book of James – The Prophets

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“For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” James 5:10-11 One of the best examples of long-suffering is the prophets. Jesus used the prophets as an example in the Sermon on the Mount. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:11-12) The prophets were in the will of God. They preached in the name of the Lord, yet they were persecuted. Satan wants to tell us that we are being persecuted because of our sins or unfaithfulness, yet it might be because we are faithful. Satan is a lair and he does not want us to be in the will of God. So many times, I have stepped out of God’s will because of the lies of Satan. We must never think that obedience automatically produces ease and pleasure. Most of the time it produces the opposite. Our Lord was obedient, and it led to a cross. The prophets encourage us by reminding us that God cares for us when we go through suffering for His sake. Elijah announced to wicked King Ahab that there would be a drought in the land for three and one-half years, and Elijah himself had to suffer in that […]

The Book of James – Long-suffering

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“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” James 5:1-8 Patience means to stay put and stand fast when you’d like to run away. Long-suffering refers to patience with respect to persons, while endurance refers to patience with respect to conditions or situations. James in this scripture is talking about long-suffering. If we are to make it, to spend eternity with Jesus, we will need to be long-suffering. When we are going through our trials and our dark night of the soul, we must have endurance. Endurance is for our short-term problems and our trials here on earth. We want to run away from our problems, but we endure them until they have passed. Long-suffering is what we must do in our daily walk with Jesus Christ. A farmer is long-suffering. He is patiently waiting on their crop to come in. He plows the ground preparing the soil for the crop. In our lives we see God preparing our hearts so that He can come into our lives. Then the farmer plants the seeds. God plants seeds in our heart, leading us in the right direction. He gives us a choice of which way we should go. “I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost) The choice you make will make all the difference. The rain falls on the crop and makes it grow. God allows rain […]

The Book of James – Hoarder

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“Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.  Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.  Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.  For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.” James 5:1-5 I am amazed at how many storage places there are in our community. It seems that there is enough places for us all to have a storage place. Sometimes we do need to store things that we don’t have room for, but I believe that we have too much stuff. I know that I do. We are thinking of moving to a smaller place and less yard to take care of. The problem I have is every time I look at what I have in my barn, I get very over whelmed. I am in the process of getting rid of my things, but I have not really even started to get to the point that I need to be. I believe we are all hoarders to a point. I know that my parents saved a lot of things, but when they went through the Depression and World War 2; they knew the feeling of doing without. Most of us have had all we wanted, needed and more. Why do we save things that we know […]

The Book of James – The Golden Rule

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“Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.  Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.  Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.  For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.” James 5:1-5 The Golden Rule of the rich. Whoever has the gold makes the rules. This was the problem in the church that James was writing about and it is sometimes true today. The courts in James’ day were apparently easy to control if you had enough money. The poor workers could not afford expensive lawsuits, so they were beaten down every time. The worker had the just cause, but they were not given justice. Instead, they were abused and ruined. The poor man did not resist the rich man because he had no weapons with which to fight. All he could do was call on the Lord for justice. When God established Israel in her land, He gave the people a system of courts. (Deuteronomy 17:8-13) He warned the judges not to be greedy. (Exodus 18:21) They were not to be partial to the rich or the poor. (Leviticus 19:16-21) No judge was to tolerate perjury. (Deuteronomy 19:16-21) Bribery was condemned by the Lord. (Isaiah 33:15-16) The prophet Amos denounced the judges in his day. (Amos 5:12, […]

The Book of James – Don’t be Materialistic

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“Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.  Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.  Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.  For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.” James 5:1-5 We can know a lot about God and believe or assent to truths about Him, but it becomes more obvious where our true faith lies when we look at how we are living, especially what we are anxious about. What treasure are we really lying up for the last days? The worldview of the preceding paragraph was that God rules over time and requires our obedience to his will in all use of it. The same worldview is extended now to encompass material wealth: God rules over wealth and requires our obedience to his will in all use of it. James is not saying that it is a sin to be rich. After all, Abraham was a very wealthy man, yet he walked with God and was greatly used by God to bless the whole world. James was concerned about the selfishness of the rich and he advised them to weep and groan. There was going to be judgment one day. James was concerned with the way they got their wealth. The Bible does not condemn […]