This was the last week spent in the book of James. James has done his share of stepping on our toes, in a good way, of course. And so here are the final thoughts from James Chapter 5:
- Treat people fairly and kindly for their work. We are never to exploit others, especially those who may work for us. This would include those who come to DO work for us – like a landscaper, repairman, or the cable guy (which has more than tried my patience). “For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you.” (James 5:4, NLT)
- Let’s not hoard. We work and accumulate. I wonder how God views this. Sometimes we have so much junk, we don’t even know what to do with it, or where to store it, but we don’t give it away either. Excess. May we think about how to wisely use and give away that which we have been given. “You have hoarded wealth in the last days…. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.” (James 5:3 & 5, NIV)
- May our words always ring true. Once again we see James addressing the words we speak, this time in relation to oaths or promises. We are to let our responses be simple and straight forward, a yes or a no. Leave out the embellishment. “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” (James 5:12, NLT)
- We need one another. Confession to one another and praying with one another … Both of these will make us vulnerable and transparent with others. And when we do, there is power found in agreeing in prayer. One heart and one accord. Nothing hindering the prayers. “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, NLT)
- Sanctification is a progress. In The Message, we find these words from James 5: “patiently let the rain do its slow work”; “What a gift life is to those who stay the course!”; “The showers come and everything started growing again.”; “You will have prevented an epidemic of wandering away from the God.” Each one of these stood out as I read. Sanctification is a slow work. We progress as we live.
It has been wonderful sharing this journey through the study of James. May each of us “establish our hearts” as we stay in God’s Word.
If you are looking for a wonderful online Bible study, check out Hello Mornings. The next study will be starting August 24th and is “Relentless”. Open registration starts August 17th. Browse the site and find a group which will suit you. You will be so glad you did!