Redeeming Life family,
As the letter from the Apostle James--written to the believers who were spread out away from Jerusalem--comes to a close, James seems to fire off a bunch of instructions. Be patient. Establish your heart from the coming of the Lord. Do not grumble against each other. Don't swear by heaven or by earth or by any other oath. Let your yes really be yes and your no mean no; in other words, don't be flaky. Pray if you are suffering. Sing praise if you're cheerful. Call the elders to pray for you if you're sick. Confess your sins. Pray for one another. And by all means, help the person who has wondered from the truth return to Jesus so he might be saved from death.
As we look at James 5:7-20 this Sunday, we'll see the common thread that holds all these instructions together: Faith in God. Every one of these instructions might seem silly or impossible without God or even work or labor. It's like a farmer. He sticks a little seed in the ground and then waits to see if anything might happen. And in James' day, this farmer didn't have some of the modern help by way of irrigation. He had to watch the clouds and hope for rain. The farmer can't make the plant grow any more than he can make it rain, but he's hopeful. Hope becomes faith when it turns from unsupported desire to an unshakable knowledge. That's faith. Faith is what God is encouraging us to have.
If there is a God and that God is saying "do this" and you do, what happens? It is better for you. It is better for your faith community. It is better for the Kingdom. As you believe that God is who he says he is and keep holding faith in God, these things will be very different than if you don't believe. Faith in God changes things.
We'll be talking about this in more detail on Sunday, but in the meantime, here's an update video:
I pray you are encountering God well and he is moving you closer to him. We'll see you Sunday!
Pastor Bryan Catherman