May 11, Reading 3 – James 5

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

I know of a minister who told a committee person that they weren’t wanted in that congregation because he was blue-collar! That congregation lost a fine Christian who tithed his time and his wage. Who should we want in our congregation?

SJA Notes

“As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.”

It’s really interesting who James names here. Job.

Thinking of prophets, it’s generally Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Elijah, Elisha, and all those that come calling Israel back to the Lord.

But Job is a wonderful refreshing splash of water to our faces.

He was a prophet who spoke in the name of the Lord!

And James makes a point of his steadfastness, and then how the purposes of the Lord and His compassion and mercy are seen.

We need to know our scriptures, the entirety of them. Old and New Testaments are all completely and utterly God’s word.

And as James exhorts us, let us be encouraged and convicted of the example of the prophets, how they suffered and were patient, submitting themselves under the mighty hand of our Father in heaven.

* Dear God,

Please help us to remember the patience of the prophets as they suffered for Your sake.

Please help us to be strong and courageous in You as they were.

Each day, please make us more like Jesus.

Amen.

May 10, Reading 3 – James 4

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

James is hard but fair here. Humility is not pretending that you don’t have certain attributes, skills or training, or that there’re not as good as they really are. Humility is the realisation of how far you are from God and His ways, even in your best times. Humility leads us to be merciful and gentle with each other.

SJA Notes

James here preaches the same message that we read in Peter’s first letter.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

Humility is the attribute that matters before the Lord. Submit!

If we have a mindset of wanting glory in the world’s eyes, of pride in our accomplishments, of planning in and of our own strength – This is a problem.

Instead, let our identity, our character, our decision-making be found in the humility that comes from submitting ourselves under God’s mighty hand.

* Gracious Father,

Please forgive our pride and arrogance.

Grow within us each day the humility that You desire in us. The humility and meekness that we see in Jesus, who submitted Himself under death, death on a cross.

Break our hard hearts and stubborn wills, remould and make us in Your image each day.

This we pray loving God.

Amen.

May 9, Reading 3 – James 3

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

There are graphic word pictures in this passage about the tongue. James gives a good measuring stick to use to test your wisdom in life. Try measuring one example of your own wisdom using these attributes of wisdom.

SJA Notes

James kind of gives a bit of a hook in the beginning of today’s passage, “And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body.”

You can imagine sometimes people, and maybe even us, could think we might be able to tick this box.

But.

“… But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we cruse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

James puts to bed any idea that we could potentially attain perfection by way of never stumbling in what we say.

Instead, he exhorts us to seek out God’s wisdom!

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

God’s wisdom is how we bridle our tongue.

* Almighty God,

Please help us to be a people that seek out Your wisdom and apply it each day, so that we may speak what is good and right.

That our words would be pointing people to Jesus!

Please help us Lord, for we are as James says, that out of our mouths come both blessing and curse.

Amen.