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James 5 verses 1 to 6

DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
FRIDAY, MAY 1

 
SCRIPTURE: JAMES 5:1-6
Author:  Jeremy Witt

I realize that I am breaking away from the chapter readings in James.  By the way that James wrote, it lends our discussion to such a wide variety, I have taken the approach of bite-sized bites.  Plus, as so many of you requested James, I have enjoyed it myself.  Today’s reading deals with wealth, greed, money, stewardship, and this has been something we have experienced during this virus season of COVID-19 or the ‘Rona. 

 

One of the big things our nation has been hit with is the loss of jobs, loss of income, loss at the stock market, etc.  One of our nations’ idols is our wealth as many have already mentioned and discussed.  It is very easy for our “things or possessions” to become an idol in our lives.  Just as we have learned that our entertainment is an idol, more and more are concerned over the economy.  Am I saying that this is not important?  No, I am not saying that.  However, there is a fine line from concern to a commitment to or worshipping.  Money has always been a struggle for humanity.  James is addressing it here in these verses.  Are we weeping over our financial losses?  Yes!  Are we groaning or howling?  It depends on how much you have lost at this point I imagine.  But our nation is doing this, is it not?  Sounds like James got that right.  Verses two and three are happening right in front of us as we speak.  I meet with a couple of young adult men in a Bible study.  Last night when we meet, they were talking about the losses in stocks that they have lost and some of the companies filing for bankruptcy.  It doesn’t matter the ages, people have lost financially.  James is hitting the nail on the head for us today, and this was written nearly 2000 years ago!  Here is the point that we need to get and “put that behind the thick skulls of ours.”  (I have told this a LOT in my lifetime!) 

 

What is the purpose of James bringing up money?  Trusting in our wealth is worthless.  IF Jesus is our Savior and LORD, we must trust HIM, not money.  Jesus said that we cannot serve both God and mammon or money.  Jesus talked about money more than He did about heaven and hell!  Did you know that?  Why?  Because money has, does, and will cause humanity to falsely trust it.  James is not saying that that the rich people are worthless but trusting in our things is truly worthless.  Money is a tool to use to provide for families and to use to serve God’s kingdom, which we all know.  It crosses lines when we accumulate or store up, and then use to hold others down or oppress, money has become a god.  Romans 12:1-2 speaks loudly to this.  Jesus spoke openly and bluntly on the matter as well.  Maybe Joseph was the blunt parent who spoke like this, but both boys got it from somewhere. 

 

Verse 5 speaks accurately about our culture.  The book of Judges uses similar phrasing “satisfying every desire”, “doing as they pleased”,  or “every man did as they thought was right.”   Mankind has been consumed with greed since the very beginning. 

Verse 6 is an interesting one for us today.  What is James referring to?  “Innocent” or “righteous” is referring to defenseless people.  The poor, the orphan, the widow, and those whom you didn’t pay as much as you should have.  It would be those who couldn’t pay their bills.  If you didn’t pay, you were thrown into prison on that day.  They stayed there until they could pay their bills which is an oxymoron in my view.  How could you pay bills if you could not work?  This would be a lifetime sentence unless someone else paid your bill for you.

 

Yet this is exactly what Jesus did for ALL of us.  He paid a bill that we could never pay.  Jesus’ act of mercy can keep us from prison (hell) if we will accept His sacrifice and allow Him to be LORD in our lives.  When we have what Jesus offers, it helps us to have a proper perspective with others when we are living for HIM. 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

James chapter 4:11-17

Daily Devotional for Thursday April 30

By: Josh Boles

Hey everybody! It’s me, Josh. You probably don’t remember who I am. It seams like ages ago since I wrote the devotional last. First of all, I just want to sat that I really appreciate Jeremy picking up my slack on my portion of the devotional. I have been knee deep in all of this Online Church stuff and I have really missed my time with all of you. Jeremy had some important things he needed to do this morning so he asked me to write today’s. I was already thinking it was time to get back to writing so here we go! 

Today’s devotional might look a little different and have a lot more typos than normal. I am writing this on my IPad because I left my computer in my office yesterday and I am taking Lawson fishing this morning. 

As I am sure Jeremy has discussed, James is a pretty unique book. James is the brother of Jesus and for most of his life did not even believe that Jesus was the Christ. After the resurrection, James saw the full power of Jesus, and dove head first into the Law of Righteousness. This is why the book of James is interlaced with themes of faith and Law at the same time. James knows that we are saved by grace through faith, but he also knows that the way we live is of the upmost importance. James fully realizes that we are under the perfect Law of Righteousness. 

This Law should effect every aspect of our lives, and as we read yesterday it most certainly includes the way we interact with the world around us and how we treat other people. Then, with one fluid thought, James shifts into the way we carry our our business on a daily basis. We find this in verses 13-16 which happens to be my favorite section in James. 

It is really easy to fit ourselves into these verses. How many of you make plans for your loves? We do this on a daily basis. But how many of us say what James says in verse 15? With every passing decision in our lives do we say, “If it is in their Lord’s will?” Pay close attention to verse 16. James says that making our own plans is boasting in our own arrogance. We do this when we somehow think we can plan our lives out with every detail without considering what the will of our Father is. He has a plan for our lives, but how will we know what that is if we are trying so hard to follow our own plan? 

We have to remember the life of James so far. In not so distant past, James knew exactly what it was like to live life without obeying Jesus. Now, things are very different for James. A lot of people read James and think that he is very harsh. In reality, he is just very passionate because he knows that a life lived in obedience to Christ far surpasses any plans we can make for ourselves. I for one am realizing this in an amazing way in this season of my life. I was always the guy who said, “I will never be in Children’s ministry.” I cannot begin to tell you how many times I said this in my first 10 years of being a pastor!  Well, as you all know I am not a children’s pastor! 

About a year and a half ago, God began to soften my heart to His will. He did this through other people in there Church, mentors, and good friends. I actually sought council from these people hoping they would try to talk me out of becoming the Children’s pastor.  Before He was our youth pastor, one of the last persons I talked to was Jesse. I was expecting a., “Yeah I couldn’t see you doing Children’s ministry.” Instead I got a, “I think you would be great at Children’s ministry.” A very similar conversation happened with Pastor Randy, and many other people. 

So I found myself doing something I always epitomized as my least favorite thing to do, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this season of ministry is the most joyful I have ever had. So why say all of this? Living in the father’s will will often times lead you to a p[lace you never would have imagined. It might not, but one thing is for sure. There is no greater joy than living in the will of God. This is why James ends this with a pretty definitive statement. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Live in obedience to the Father. There is no better way to live!

Posted by Josh Boles with

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