Summary: Sermon on patience as taught by the book of James chapter 5.
If you noticed the title of this week’s sermon, you may have realized you’ve heard that phrase before. Or what about this one, “Patience is a Virtue”? Well it turns out those phrases have some biblical significance. And it also turns out they are usually true. Let’s see how.
For the last few weeks we have been looking into the book of James. James as it turns out is a pretty smart guy. Add God’s guidance to his words and James really knows what he is talking about. This week’s scripture focus is proof of that.
We heard a minute ago that James is telling us to, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”
So there it is, in God’s Word. We are called to be patient, and if we aren’t patient people, we will be judged for it. So, because it is in God’s Word, that means we all believe it, we will all do it, and that’s the end of today’s sermon. Right?
Are our eyes open enough to notice that just because it is written in the Bible, that doesn’t mean people automatically follow it? All we have to do is look around, even in a congregation. We all have access to God’s Word every day, yet somehow we fail to yield to God’s Will. Somehow we still do disobedient things. Well James is here to help us, with God’s help of course.
First we need to realize as human beings, that we don’t always do right and we don’t always listen to God. Some people use that as an excuse. “I’m only human” is the phrase people say when they sin or when they disobey God’s commands. Did you know God can finish that statement for us? When people say “I’m only human”, God is thinking, “and I made you in my image, I made you to be holy”. As a matter of fact in the book of Exodus in chapter 31 verse 13 God actually says “I make you holy”. Further on in the book of Leviticus in chapter 19 God tells us again, that we are to be a holy people because He is a holy God. The more we look into God’s Word the more we realize, there is no excuse for our dumb decisions. Now back to our scripture verse. James is trying to teach us about patience.
James uses the example of a farmer, which as it turns out is a great example 2000 years ago, and is still that great example. Have you noticed that with all of our technological discoveries that in 2000 years we still haven’t figured out how to make plants, fruits or vegetables grow really fast? And don’t think we haven’t tried. Can you imagine how easy it would be to solve the world’s food shortages if we could grow a potato in 3 days instead of 3 months? Or if we could grow a field of wheat in 4 120 minutes instead of 120 days? Our food problems would be over. But James knows better. Back to that phrase we spoke of. Good things come to those who wait. Like what?