As we enter into his rest, we have found so many truths in this short amount of time. James has opened up new eyes to see what we should be doing. If you have not read any other day, you really need to. Start the January and finish the January, you will find some great truths in the Name of the Lord.
One thing many fear at the end of their life is death. Some who know Jesus and Jesus knows them are not afraid, they welcome the end with open arms. They are ready to see Jesus face to face. But some wonder too, if Jesus will say, "I know you not". You have lived for him, attended church, been involved, but really never really knew him. Do you know Him? Really? Have you stepped and steeped in his word? Have you walked along the road, sat with him, talked with him, worshipped him in your everyday life? If any of those are no, you might want to start now, today without putting it off any longer. When I get to heaven, I want Him to say to me, you did it good and faithful servant.
I struggle with today's churches. I mean, really struggle. I have only been in one in the past few years that really, really was doing what they are suppose to do. They were not growing because of what they did, they were growing because of what God was doing. They were intentional. The median age of the people, 23 years old. They had house churches, they had missions and ministry within the church and each other. They worshipped, they prayed together, they grew in knowledge and relationship together. They followed the pillars of what church should be.
- Prayer- deep, deep prayer with everyone
- Word of God- studying it and obeying it.
- Mission Mindset- sharing with everyone about Jesus, everyone!
- Regular Expectation of the Supernatural- they came to church expecting God to show up, for the Holy Spirit to rain down on them every time.
- Embracing suffering - be okay with where you are in your walk. Be okay with what you are going through.
As we complete this book of James, we are reminded of great patience. Patience doesn't come easy for some, the Word of God says we need to go through trials and tribulations to have great patience.
I will list some links when we get to the end of this study to help you gain understanding and knowledge and you can move on your own to learn. Seriously, I want anyone and everyone who reads this to walk this journey with Jesus and know him and Jesus to know you personally. I want when you reach the end of your journey of life to know that you did your utmost for His Highest.
I have read through this meaty chapter many times, trying to break it down into smaller morsels that I could really grasp. I will try to convey that here as well.
Today, I will use the Amplified Bible again. Sometimes having those extra explanations is helpful. If you don't like this version, use your favorite and follow along please. I will be using 3 sets of commentaries this time, Into Thy Word, The Whisper of God, and Wiersbe Bible Study Series. I will add these links at the every end. I have found all these to be really helpful in explaining this study of James.
Before we start let us life this study in prayer: Lord, Jesus, thank you for your Word, let us soak in it, let us apply what we have learned and what we will be learning, let us walk out your word and help us to not sin against you. Lord, we have been so blessed to have the access to the internet to help our teachings, our missions and our own ministries, Lord Thank you for those that have written your words, Thank you that they have shared it online for our use. Lord, help us to know you better through your word. In this we pray, Amen.
James 5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Misuse of Riches
It isn’t bad to be rich, but arrogance is wrong.
What are luxuries?
It isn’t bad to have luxuries, but greedy is wrong. (from The Whisper of God)
From Into Thy Word:
The Rich Young Ruler16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what [essentially] good thing shall I do to obtain eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?” 17 Jesus answered, “Why are you asking Me about what is [essentially] good? There is only One who is [essentially] good; but if you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Jesus, “Which commandments?” And Jesus answered, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony; 19 Honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. 20 The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth]; what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22 But when the young man heard this, he left grieving and distressed, for he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God].
23 Jesus said to His disciples, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it is difficult for a rich man [who clings to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth and status] to enter the kingdom of God.”
Who do you think the Master Avenger is that James is referring to?
James is reminding us that the Lord Almighty hears the cries of the people we do terrible things to. He hears what we say and sees what we do to others. He stands up for the lowly and does not like it when we treat others badly or unfairly to get ahead. Just the same, God hears and sees when we are hurt or mistreated too.
How does it make you feel to know God is on your side when you are mistreated?
Let's look at the difference: The Amp. says Harvesters and the Message says Master Avengers. Which one do you prefer?
Wow! That's a lot right there!
Who is the Master we are waiting for?
How does a farmer have to be patient? When do you have to patient?
9 Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.
Have you ever talked about a friend (gossiped) to someone else? Or has a someone you called a friend complained about you to others?
How did it make you feel?
What do Proverbs 11:13 and Proverbs 16:28 say about gossip?
10-11 Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.
No one in the Bible is perfect, except Jesus, but God used them anyway. Can you name some people from the Bible and qualities they have that you should model?
Name some good qualities God has given you that you think God could use to honor Him.
In Into Thy Word: He explains it this way...
James 5: 7-12
I like the explanations for this. It helps me to understand what James is telling and teaching us.
Quite a bit to take in right now right? But we are almost finished with this study, so let us go out strong and faithful.
12 But above all, my fellow believers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be [a truthful] yes, and your no be [a truthful] no, so that you may not fall under judgment.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? He must pray. Is anyone joyful? He is to sing praises [to God]. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He must call for the elders (spiritual leaders) of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with [c]oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 1
6 Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [with the same physical, mental, and spiritual limitations and shortcomings], and he prayed [d]intensely for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].
19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you strays from the truth and falls into error and [another] one turns him back [to God], 20 let the [latter] one know that the one who has turned a sinner from the error of his way will save that one’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins [that is, obtain the pardon of the many sins committed by the one who has been restored].
This is from The Whisper of God:
12 And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you.
In Exodus 20 (The 10 Commandments), what commandment says we should not take the Lord’s name in vain?
Prayer to Be Reckoned With
13-15 Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.
What should you do if you are hurting?
What if you feel great?
What about if you are sick?
Have you ever prayed for a sick friend?
What will happen if you have sinned?
16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.
James gives us a formula to practice daily.
1st we should C____________ our sins.
2nd we should P___________ for each other.
Where Elijah’s prayers answered? Check out 1 Kings 17 to read more about Elijah’s story.
19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
Should we turn our backs on friends and family that have strayed from God?
What are some ways we can help them come back to God?
Make a list of friends or family you can pray for over the next year that have strayed from God.
Look up 1 Peter 4:8. Write it out on paper and illustrate it. Memorize this week.
This is from Into Thy Word, it's a bit longer but it's really good:
James 5: 13-18
The sites I used