November 8, 2009

James 5

The 5th and final part of our five week study through the book of James. I have always enjoyed the book of James because it is short, to the point and extremely practical. I hope you have found this study to be helpful in some way as you spend some time studying this book of the Bible. Don't hesitate to share any questions, thoughts or comments you might have.

James 5

Vs 1-6: this passage is addressing issues of equality and fairness while keeping in mind the dangers of wealth and possessions. More than likely James is addressing rich non-believers as they abuse power and authority by taking advantage of others in order to maintain a certain level of living or lifestyle. (2:5-6) This also serves as a reminder to the believer not to get caught up in wealth or "things". (1 Tim. 6:10; Rom 12:1-2)

Vs 7-11: early and late rains remind us of the need for patience as we go through "seasons" in life that will eventually change (2 Pet 3:8-10). This is not a passive form of patience but rather James is calling us to action by having courage and strengthening our hearts which can bring about peace and justice. Grumbling against one another is not living in patience.

Vs 12: (Matt. 5:34-37) the oaths that James is talking about are oaths that people would make verbally and then back out of through some legal loophole. Similar to the fine print we come across in various legal documents, warranties, etc. This really becomes a matter of honesty and goes back to the words we use and the power of the tongue, as James mentioned in chapter 3.

Vs 13-18: prayer is a powerful tool in the good times and bad. Confession can bring about healing, as well as praying for each other. Looking back at 4:2-3, we see that our motives going into prayer really do make a difference.

Vs 19-20: the power that you and I have to bring back a lost believer is humbling and yet also a significant responsibility. (1 Tim 4:16)