Friday, March 9, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 5:7-11)

Digging Deeper 24 James 5:7-11
Hurry up! That seems to be the rally call these days. We live at a tremendous pace. Isn’t it something that a few years ago we were amazed at how fast we could get information via the internet on a dial up modem? Now if we have to wait even a few seconds we consider our computer junk and look to move up to something that only takes a half of a second instead of the tiring full second that we have been waiting. Most of us feel like we are living 25/7 lives. There is nothing wrong with a go after it attitude the point is that whether we acknowledge it or not we can only see results on the time table of God. Now let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word.
James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and the late rains. Let’s jump to the third word of this passage, the word therefore; this passage is directly connected with the passage before where James speaks directly to the rich. Your wealth will not sustain you but can lead to self indulgence and pride causing you to treat others poorly. So we come to verse 7 Be Patient! In verse 2 and 3a Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth eaten Your gold and silver have rusted. These things that are described here are satisfying in the moment. Money and clothes and other material things can be described as a quick fix! But there power to give comfort and peace fades as quickly as it came. If we are trusting in those things, and we are simply in a hurry to get that fix we will find ourselves on a roller coaster ride never finding the true joy and peace of walking with Jesus. So James says “Be patient” know that the Lord is coming. Too often we tie ourselves to the material things in the world as a measurement of who we are and what we do. But good farmers wait! There is going to be rain and there is going to be more rain. We don’t always like when it rains but then when we need it rain we don’t want to wait on it. But it is for sure that without the rain no fruit is produced.
James 5:8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. We are to be like the farmer trust that the Lord will send the rain. Just as the farmer is inspired, knowing that in due time there will be fruit, the believer can know that regardless of how difficult things are, no matter how long the draught, and regardless of circumstances “The coming of the Lord is at hand” What is our hurry to have our best life now when we can know that Jesus is going to return for us in all His glory. He promised He would prepare a place for us and if He prepared that place He would return and we will be with Him. That is something worth waiting for!
James 5:9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. So what is it that we have to complain about? It is a dangerous thing to judge others in such a way.
James 5:10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Those that are suffering and those that are trying to be patient look at the prophets as an example. The prophets looked forward and kept the faith despite their circumstances. The writer of Hebrews describes it this way Hebrews 11:37-40 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy) wandering in the deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
James 5:11 Behold, we count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. When we look at those that have endured the most we see them as having the strongest faith. We watch those examples and we see that even in their toughest hour God has not left them and He is compassionate and merciful.
We should conclude that maybe we just need to hang in there. There is hope, Jesus is coming. Maybe we should slow down for a minute knowing that God is sovereign and knows our situation. What if in difficult times we become an example of faith patiently waiting on the hand of God. Slow down not in our efforts to serve Him but in understanding that our life is not a sprint but a life of endurance with lots of hurdles and stumbling blocks but with a definite goal.
Hebrews 12:1-2a Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Maybe we could slow down and watch for Jesus!
Now that we have dug a little deeper what do we believe?          
What do we believe about God? 
1.   God will supply the seed and the rain.
2.   Jesus will come again in all His glory!
3.   God is full of compassion and mercy.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   We need to be patient God is still working.
2.   Complain will not make us stronger but weaker.
3.   Look to the examples of faith before us.

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800

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