by Philip Layton
Final words of challenge and encouragement to the readers
- How patient are you regarding our Lord’s return?
- Has your patience run out so that you no longer care (vv 7, 8)?
- Are you ever guilty of grumbling against another Christian brother or sister (v 9)?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Sometimes it’s difficult, living in the world. As Christians we want to relate to the culture that surrounds us; yet where do we draw the line? James condemns hedonism, saying it is the basis of social conflict. We all want to be happy – and the world tells us to seek pleasure for pleasure’s sake. But if God’s primary goal is to keep us all happy, our concept of God is all wrong. The quest for pleasure alone is an earthly approach to life – friendship with the world. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure; but our goal should see beyond to what God has for us – now, and for eternity.
James says we need to submit ourselves in humility to God’s grace:
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (4:6).
With God’s grace, he helps us live in the world with the assurance that he’ll be with us in any time of need. Grace is the very manifestation of Christ’s love for us and his generosity toward us. With him by our side, we can live and mingle in the world with an inherent knowledge that Christ reigns – wooing others to him through each one of us.
James closes his letter with a prayer of faith:
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise (5:13).
This is how we’re to live in the world – by praying, by singing, by reaching out to others. It’s the prayers of the faithful that will carry us from this world to the next. For the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (v.16).
Today, let us – by the Spirit’s empowerment – be prayerful, powerful, effective witnesses for Christ, as we live in a world in desperate need of the Saviour.
Beverly IvanyTags: James