Friday, July 20, 2012

Digging Deeper 27 James 5:19-20
 Emotions are a powerful thing. There is a part of us that longs for that “feeling” of inspiration; we want to have our heart chords tugged at. That is why we go to sad movies, scary movies, exciting music concerts because somewhere inside of us is a desire to feel something. Excitement, happiness, even danger. We need to simply “feel” something”. I have seen folks that walk away from fellowship with Christ and fellow believers because “I just don’t feel anything”
Emotion is temporary there is nothing wrong with it, it simply does not last. But we have somehow transferred this need for an emotional feeling to worship. Worship certainly can be and I would even venture to say should be an emotional time but when corporate worship is over and the emotion wears off what do you have to get you through the week. When the feeling wears off, if you have not received God’s Word nothing has really changed, besides what could possibly make us more emotional and more excited than to experience God’s incredible instruction given to us through His word that will sustain us when we don’t “feel” so good. Let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word.
James 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, James 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sin. In this final statement James refers to the truth, the truth here is the precepts of God’s Word so we could easily interpret this to say if anyone strays off into sinful patterns. But James’ concentration is more on the one that brings them back. The believer that brings the one back from there wondering in sin has saved their life. Notice that it does not say saved the flesh from death but the soul from death. It is a much greater death for the soul to die than the flesh. It is a serious thing when someone ventures off into a regular sinful pattern and it is an equally serious thing for us to go after them and guide them back to the fold.
The last phrase can be easily be misinterpreted “cover a multitude of sin” this statement does not indicate that if we do something good ie. Lead someone back to Christ that it will cover our sin. The statement simply refers to God’s covering sins with His amazing grace and forgiveness. Psalms 32:1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
We cannot be the life jacket but can and are called to be the one that throws it.

What do we believe about God? 
1.   God has chosen use His truth to save souls.
2.   God forgives!
3.   In God is all truth and strength.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   It is vital that go after those that have strayed from the truth.

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

Friday, July 6, 2012

Digging Deeper James 5:13-18

Digging Deeper 26 James 5:13-18
 It has been said "if you do not stand for something you fall for anything" and there is probably a lot of truth in that statement but I would like to change it a little, how about standing on something rather than standing for something. Matthew 7:26-27 "Everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. "And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall."  God's Word will anchor us in the harshest conditions; we can trust it to hold regardless of the storm. God's Word is an anchor that holds! Now let's dig a little deeper in God's Word!
James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.James makes this statement as if it is just good common sense and it should be to the believer. If you are cheerful, if things are going well for you and you are happy then sing praises. So then if we are suffering then we should pray. James' assumption is that there is faith, that God is in control, and if we are in a good place right now then we should praise because all good things come from God and if we are suffering then God knows about that as well and is able to help us because He is in control of the suffering as well.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing with oil in the name of the Lord; In this time of the church the elders were to perform many duties one was that when someone was sick they were called upon to come and do what they could. In this case it was to anoint or rub on oil but any physician of that day or for many years to come would use oil or medicine to help the sick. The thrust of the statement is not in the power of the oil but without God (let them pray over them) there cannot be healing. Healing is much deeper and more personal than the physical body. This verse is not an indictment against using medicine; James just makes it vividly clear that God is to be sought out as the healer, not the oil (medicine).
James 5:15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven. So now we have a prayer of faith, which, believes that God is in control, that God is able to give healing. James says that the sick will now be restored. But what if he is not? What if the elders come anoint with oil and this person who came by faith to be restored does not receive physical healing on the spot, what if the cancer does not go away, what if the diabetes does not end, what if the back pain is not relieved, did God fail, did the elders not believe enough when they prayed? Did they use the wrong kind of oil? Of course not, the focus here is not physical healing but faith. God can and does heal these physical bodies if not now it will come for all believers in glorification through Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable (that which will rot will put on that which will not)
James says that if they have committed sin they will be forgiven, not because of the oil, the sin is forgiven because the sick came by faith, believing God!
Much too often when we struggle with sickness or anything else sadly our faith will struggle because we began to question. But when we are struggling is where our faith can grow, when we realize have no control but believe that God has to do it all or it simply cannot be done that is the kind of faith that brings healing. James' instruction to those that were cheerful and those that were sick is basically the same, pray and sing praises. When we are sick or struggling God is still the same God as when we are cheerful. When we are struggling we should take our medicine whatever that is and believe God, trust Him for ultimate healing!
What do we believe about God? 
    1. God is the great healer.
    2. God knows our struggle.
    3. God does not change based on our circumstances.
What do we believe about ourselves? 
  1. The faith that we receive from God will heal our every need!
Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800