Thursday, May 25, 2017
Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! 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. 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 5:9-12(NLT)
We are looking at practical applications of living in an intentional way as people who serve a sovereign God, and therefore what our attitudes and actions must reflect. Today we see three more instructions from James, the most practical apostle.
Witness – We Must Proclaim the Kingdom like a Prophet
Living your life in a manner worthy of eternity means you will stand for that which will stand in eternity. That means sharing your faith in God with people.
It’s never been part of my comfort zone to go out on a limb with my faith. Nobody likes being thought a fool or being mistaken for an offensive religious bigot. Sharing your faith is hard work; it’s not an activity for the faint of heart. But then, farmers and prophets are not lazy people!
Perseverance – We Must Have an Attitude like Job
Job had it all; then he had it all taken away. He went from hero to zero in an afternoon. His wife got so discouraged she told her husband, why don’t you just curse God and die? But Job hung in there. He wasn’t patient like some say – he was actually ticked, and wanted an answer.
But he did hang in there, and that’s what perseverance is all about. You know that God is in charge, so you play by His rules, and leave the results to Him.
Language – We Must Keep Our Speech Clean
James said a word about our words. Folks, what proceeds out of the mouths of even Christians these days would have made our grandparents turn purple if they’re alive, or turn over if in their graves.
All of your words are worship. What James is saying is, don’t offer slop to our Lord! He is the sovereign God of the universe – not the man upstairs. He hears our words and attributes each of those words to us as our contribution to either praise or putrification of His name.
Be careful with your words!
Proclaiming the Kingdom of God with clean mouths and persevering hearts and minds – this is anything but self-serving or bigoted; this is work for children of the King!