James: Handling the Hard Stuff of Life
We are all sinners, saved by grace. We are not judges but are all in need of compassion and forgiveness. If we are honest, we all seek to live together whole and healed. We truly desire to move forward and not wallow in our sin state of confusion and chaos. We look for Christ-like people we can trust to confess our sins, not for their forgiveness but to lead us to the forgiveness of Christ. We confess trusting to be lifted from the burden of carrying around the baggage by ourselves. We confess to Christ, with others holding us up, to be free. Only God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, forgives. But we need each other to hear our cry of repentance and help us move forward. This is the work of God’s church. Or should be.
There is an epidemic spreading like a wild fire. We all are surrounded by people we love who walking away from God. With more and more friends and family walking off, following the ways of the world instead of God’s ways, are we growing more complacent because the numbers are so overwhelming? Saying, “Oh, well”, they’ll find their way back eventually. OR are we praying even more passionately for them? Are we doing all we can, lovingly and graciously, to bring them back to the God they once loved…with us? How deep the Father’s love for us…we sing…but how deep is our love for our Heavenly Father?
James closes his letter with a powerful message of repentance. The church needs it. The world needs. We need it. I need it.
James 5, The Message
16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.
19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I repent of my own complacency. I repent of my own sins. I confess to seeing small things and worrying about them instead looking to You for answers and guidance. Thank you Jesus for saving our souls. Thank you, Holy Spirit for guiding us. Thank you Heavenly Father for not giving up on us. Don’t let us give up on our loved ones in need of a Savior. We need you every hour. Every hour we need You.
In Jesus Name, Amen