James has been so packed with great stuff. Over and over it has challenged me to trust God in all things.
Verses 1-6 go on to state that all truth will eventually come out. It is condemning those who live as if this earth is all there is. When we live that way we are very selfish and overindulgent. However, as believers we have a hope that our treasure is in Heaven, an inheritance waiting for us. This earth and everything here is only temporary. It is not even ours. The earth and everything in it is God's. We must not forget this. We must live with open hands, not grasping anything too tightly. We must also live with open hearts, intentionally loving others well. We should not take advantage of those who are weak, poor, or challenged.
The verses encourage us to look at the prophets and how they were steadfast. They patiently endured. They suffered all kinds of troubles but their hope was in the Lord where ours should be also. While we wait we should not judge others or grumble. God is coming our hearts must stay fixed and focused on this.
Then we are encouraged to look to Job and God's purposes there. Job was able to say He knows His redeemer lives before the cross, how much more should we be able to see it on this side of the cross? We are reminded that God is compassionate and merciful.
Then we are told to simply state what we mean. Our yes should be yes and no should be no. We do not need to swear by anything else.
These are practical answers to questions for living out life. I love how James is so practical. I also love that these things are to be done within community. We need to depend on one another. God made us for community. I also love the emphasis there is on prayer. We must take note that prayer is very powerful.
Then it ends with the advice that if we restore a wanderer from the faith it will save his soul and cover a multitude of sins. We must keep our eyes open for those wanderers.
1-What has been the most challenging thing you discovered through this study of James?
2-Are you involved in community currently? Do you practice life with community? Why or why not?
3-Do you consider the power of prayer in every situation?
4-What encouragement can you take from keeping our eyes fixed on our lasting inheritance in Heaven?