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12/8 James 4-5

James chapter 5 has a section of scripture entitled “The Prayer of Faith.”  It states that if we are in trouble we should pray.  If we are sick we should have the elders of the church pray over us.  When we or others offer up prayers to God in faith, God will answer them.  I guess the question is how much faith is required.  But I believe that if we truly believe that God will answer,  He will.  Now whether it is on our time line or His is another question.  It also states that we will be forgiven and the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Verse 13 states that if we are happy then we should sing songs of praise.  I see many people on Sunday morning who are truly happy during worship time.  You can tell by the look on their face.  I also see others who look, well they look like maybe they backed over their cat on the way to church.  Okay maybe not that bad, but sometimes not so happy.  We should always be happy when we are in the presence of God singing praises to Him.

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

12/7 James 2-4

The book of James continues with good instruction for us all.  Instruction on not showing favoritism.  The instruction on faith without deeds in verse 14 of chapter 2 is very strong.  14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? But probably the most difficult instruction is in chapter 3.  Watching what we say.

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Probably the best description of what comes out of our mouths, comes at the end of verse 8, ” full of deadly poison.” How many times have we said something to someone we love only to wound them deeply?  If we could just remain in control of our words for one more second, pause and think before we speak, how much better life would be for us and those that we hurt.  Not only words but looks.  You know that disapproving glance or the disgusted glare we give them, that they so easily understand.  It hurts just the same.  Many times we strike out of our own personal frustration, it’s usually not even their fault.

Many times we realize to late what we have done and ask for forgiveness.  Usually it is given, but the memory is there, it doesn’t go away.  You can never take it back.  Control is the key, though it is certainly difficult for us all.  With God’s help we can overcome.

Harsh Words by Danielle Hollister

I ran into a stranger as he passed by,

“Oh excuse me please” was my reply.

He said, “Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you.”

We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way saying good-bye.

But at home a difference is told,
how we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.

As I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
“Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,
God’s still small voice came to me and said,

“While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
But the children you love, you seem to abuse.

Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You’ll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.

He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
and you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.”

By this time, I felt very small,
and now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
“Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said. ”

Are these the flowers you picked for me?”
He smiled, “I found ’em, out by the tree.

I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you.
I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.”

I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”

He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay. I love you anyway.”
I said, “Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

12/6 James 1

James is the writer of this book and was probably the brother of Jesus and a leader in the Jerusalem church.  The book of James contains a lot of great instruction that each of us can use in our lives.   He starts off with, be joyful when you face trials and tests.  The result is our growth and maturity.

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Verse 5 reminds us to ask God for anything we lack and it also contains a warning.  If you ask, believe that you will receive it, otherwise don’t expect it.  How many times do we ask God for this or that not fully believing that He will deliver?

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment