Plain James
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Lesson Six:  James Five

I chuckle at the prayer that says, “Lord, I want patience and I want it now.”  Chapter five of James addresses finances, patience, and the prayer of faith.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

James refers to his audience as “brothers” fifteen times in James.  He doesn’t call this group “brothers”.  Do you think he is referring to believers, unbelievers, or anyone who puts their trust in possessions rather than God?

 

Jesus dealt with the same topic in Matthew 6:19-22, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If someone looked at your credit card statement or checkbook, what or who would they say your priority is?

 

Is James condemning all wealthy people?  Who were some Godly, wealthy people in the Bible?

 

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

James gives three examples of patient people: a farmer, the prophets, and Job.  How is each an example of patience?

 

In what areas of your life are you impatient?

 

How can Christ’s return affect such practical matters as our use of wealth and emotional matters as our response to suffering?

 

Jesus replied to the suffering of believers by saying, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

How has your faith cost you?

 

 

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Do you pray more when you are in trouble or when things are going well?  Explain.

 

Who are two or three wounded people in your life that you would like to help?

 

What different kinds of prayer are mentioned in this section?

 

How can we bring “back a sinner from his wandering”?

 

In closing the Book of James, for now, what areas do you need to become more of a “doer” of the truth?



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