James 5:Warning to the Rich
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.
2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
4 Behold, the wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
Patience in Suffering
7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Things to think about…
1.James doesn't mince his words does he. He really has a go at those who are wealthy in this present age. Mind you these people are also fairly corrupt. James says they hold back wages, Jam 5:4, they are self- indulgent vs 5 and he even charges them with murder, vs 6. As we said yesterday it is difficult to know whether James is speaking literally or figuratively. Either way he is condemning their character. James is hearing reports from the dispersed Christian Jews throughout the Roman Empire and their witness does not meet with the faith they say they now profess in Christ. James is appalled by their hypocrisy. May we constantly purge out a self-indulgent hypocritical spirit from the church. It's a tragedy when the church looks like the world…or worse.
2.Patience is a virtue that many of us in the west struggle to fully attain in our instant fast food, 'give it to me now' and 'buy now, pay later' society. James uses the common analogy of the patient farmer waiting to receive his crop after the early and later rains. So also we must be patient with all the wrongs in this world against God and His people. James says there is one Judge and as the prophets were patient and steadfast, like Job who remained faithful, the Lord eventually proved His character; being one of compassion and mercy. Let's never try and worm our way out of difficult situations or promise things that we have no ability or intention to fulfil. James simply says 'Let your "yes" be yes and your "no", no, Jam 5:12. In the same way his brother Jesus had said that anything else is of the devil, Mt 5:37.
3.James finishes with some wonderful practical advice for the Christian. Are your suffering? Pray. Are you cheerful? Sing praise. Are you sick? Call for the Elders of the church to pray and anoint with oil, Jam 5:13, 14. God promises a blessing and a healing. Let's never doubt the goodness of God. If we are not healed, let's be like the widow and keep praying, get the Elders back again if you need to. We will be more than happy to pray with you. We want the Lord to get the glory from our prayers. James' example is Elijah, who kept praying. Note it says 'he prayed again', Jam 5:18. He did indeed. We know the story in 1st Kings that he actually prayed seven times for rain, 1Kings 18:44. Let's keep coming back to the Lord until we receive an answer. Never lose hope, never give up. We have not finished our race yet.
4.The biggest blessing anyone can give to another Christian is to restore them back to fellowship with God and Christ's body, the church. What a blessing it is when there is healing within the fellowship, Jam 5:19, 20. We are seeing this at CBC presently. Pray that we can also be used to transform the community to see healing and peace in their lives also.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
1.Continue to pray for Tad's brother Andrew in hospital. Andrew is very weak, but I managed to pray with him this week. If he gets better he wants to come to CBC.
2.Our Community events – once a month on a Sunday in place of the Axiom evening service at church. First one at Chapters on the 23rd Feb – around 4:30pm.
3.Please continue to pray CBC's Mallacoota bushfire appeal. More exciting news this Sunday about what the Lord has done with our money thus far.
4.Christine Denning's mum recovering from a broken femur. Pray as she rehabilitates.
5.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.
6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
7.Sunday's message on James 3 "The power of a spoken word" - Ps Jay. Axiom:- "JOY – Jesus, Others, yourself – really?"- Jay.
8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
9.Church finances to meet our expenses.
10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.Have a look out the window (if you are on the east coast of Australia). Praise the Lord for soaking rain. Putting out bushfires and squashing the drought – Praise the Lord.
2.Tad's operation was a success – he's home and very well. Praise God.
3.Tad's brother Andrew is 'miraculously' up and walking around. Pray that the Lord can speak to his soul about Christ now he is on the mend. He seemed to respond well to prayer.
4.More visitors on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.
5.New Website being finished this week – Praise God for Melody and Suzie making this happen.
6.Recharge and Kids@Church ministries blessed over the weekend – thankyou leaders. New kids and youth in both ministries.
7.CBC's Mallacoota appeal David Jeffrey of Mallacoota, so far $1870 has been sent and received – thankyou CBC.
8.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
1.Whole church - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.
2.1st Community gathering – At Chapters café Karalee 4:30pm Sun 23rd Feb.
3.Member's meeting – A celebration of God's grace over CBC – Sun 23rd February after morning service. Open invitation – all welcome.
4.Bushfire appeal – no target has been set but CBC will be raising money towards fireys and bush fire victims. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"
5.Kids@Church and Recharge parents.– Leaders for next Sunday Older group Leader:- Catherine Charlesworth. Lesson :- Hot Air Balloon. Younger Group:-. Fi Beatty, Assistant:- Leah Christensen. Lesson:-Journey to Mars Psalm 119:105
6.Recharge youth 7pm at Church, Fri 7th Feb for all High Schoolers. Recharge parent for this week – Lee Davies.
February's catechism question...
Question. 9. Question:- What do we pray for in the second petition?
Answer. "That the gospel may be preached in all of the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men"
Bible Reference – Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:20-21; Acts 8:12; Acts 28:30-31; 2 Thess. 3:1.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3