Summary: Be patient, do not grumble, and do not swear!
Let us continue to worship our God by listening to what He has to say to Christians through James. Let us open our Bibles to James 5…..
We will come back to v1-6 next week. In preparation for Communion, let us look today at v7-12. Read along with me James 5:7-12….
Let us first of all note the instructions from God for Christians:
v7: Christians are to be patient. God give us examples of what this means:
Farmers patiently wait for their crop. How long does a farmer usually wait for his crop??
A farmer will wait for almost a whole year to bring in the produce. And what does the farmer wait for according to the end of v7?? – Rains! And who brings the rains?? – God!
V10 tell us to copy the patience of the Old Testament Prophets. There are many prophets of course but let us just think of Noah; how long did it take Noah to build the ark and wait for rain?? Noah patiently waited on God for over 120 years! Can you and I patiently do God’s work for over 100 years (more than a lifetime)? And Noah waited 120 years for God’s promise of rain and likely Noah was ridiculed by people!
And v11 reminds us of Job who lost everything but still waited on the Lord! And so…. No matter what happens on earth for us and how long of time, we are to wait on God’s promises for us.
Christians are to be patient, and in v9: Don’t grumble against another Christian! Other English translation tell us not to have a grudge or complain about another Christian.
And in v12: Christians are not to swear. The Greek word for swear is omnu – to make an oath; and so what God is telling as is not to make promises we cannot keep; it is either yes or no! How many times have you heard: You always do that! Or, You never do that! Do you feel good when someone tells you that? Usually, people say that to us when they are mad not realizing that always and never are impossibilities for us.
How many times have we said those statements to others? As we were instructed earlier in this letter by James, we are to be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Now let us note why Christians are to be patient, not grumble, and not make promises that will never happen. Simply, we are to remind ourselves of who our God is. This really is the basic thing we need to work on; perhaps our Scripture of the Week should be Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know God! We should practice this daily; take a moment daily to be still and know God! How are we doing with this?
v7-8: the Lord is coming soon! What does this mean? Let us note a few verses which describe this return of the Lord to earth.
Philippians 2:11 tell us that Jesus Christ is Lord!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17…. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
2 Timothy 4:1….. Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead….
And so, God Jesus Christ is Lord and will be returning to earth soon to take to heaven His Followers and judge all people, dead or alive!
We also note in v9: Jesus will judge Christians! Of course this does not mean that Jesus Christ will not allow some Christians to go to heaven; there are too many other verses that tell us that if you are truly a Believer of Jesus Christ, you are already a citizen of heaven. I believe a helpful verse for us is Revelation 3:19…Jesus said…Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.
Jesus Christ will discipline Christians (judge Christians) with sins committed, especially grumbling against another Christian.
But we note in v11: God blesses, full of compassion and mercy!
God will judge and discipline us for our own good!
As we prepare for Communion, let us quietly remind ourselves who God is… Then pray for God to help you with your patience and what comes out of our mouths…