This final study in our journey through the Epistle of James was recorded on 14th June 2020 as part of our family service.
In this study pastor Barry takes us through three final admonitions that James gives:
- The End of Injustice vs. 1-9
- The End of Trials vs. 10-12
- The End of Self vs. 13-20
As we have already noted, James writes as one who had grown up each day with Jesus, in the same house, in the same family, yet did not realise who He was until Jesus appeared to him after the Resurrection. As he writes, James’ sense of urgency and his no-compromise approach stems from his desire for us not to miss out on the opportunity to know Jesus and walk with him ‘while it is still called today’.
In verses 1-9 James continues his admonition to be separate from the world by reminding us that the wealth and riches of those in the world, who have amassed their fortunes only to spend it on themselves and their pursuit of pleasure, will suddenly disappear. Everything this world has is temporary and one day all men will have to stand before God and give account. On that day, either Jesus will stand as the defense if you are His, or prosecution if you are not. All the riches in the world will have no value when God tries the hearts of men. But even now it is evident that the rich are not happier, more fulfilled, less anxious than those who have little. A mansion that is not a home, a diamond ring in a loveless relationship, and all the material possessions that can be bought & fame that can be achieved, do not bring contentment. Furthermore, the pursuit of wealth nearly always leads to the unjust oppression of others.
In verses 10-12 James then asks us to consider the prophets of old; how they were often mistreated and endured affliction. They endured, James reminds us, and were patient, waiting for something better. We are to be patient and hold on until the coming of the LORD. It won’t be long!
So James’ admonition is simple: don’t crave the things of the world, don’t live your life by swearing to do or achieve something beyond your means, making bold statements in an attempt to impress others who, in reality, have little regard for you anyway. Instead, be content to let your life be governed by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The only one you should be seeking to impress is God, and that can only be achieved through humility and obedience.
Finally, in verses 13-20, James concludes with the simple admonition to ‘keep our eyes on Jesus!’.
- If we are afflicted – go to Jesus
- If we are blessed – go to Jesus
- If we are sick – go to Jesus
- If you are struggling – find a ‘brother’ whom you can pray with and go to Jesus together
- …and when you pray, for healing, for restoration, for blessing, or whatever, pray according to His word!
Elijah was just like us, yet he prayed according to God’s Word and he brought the heart of the nation back to God.
If we see a brother or sister losing their way, we must pray with them and for them and bring their hearts back to God also.
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.