Summary: People need the Lord!
Did you hear last week about the family that tried to auction itself off on the Internet website called E-Bay? E-Bay is a well-known site that auctions off thousands of items from the memorable to the ridiculous!
A family composed of a husband and wife and two kids, offered themselves to provide life-long friendship and support among other things. Bids went into the millions for the family. However, it is illegal to sell people in this country and so no bids could be accepted.
Sounds incredible and ridiculous doesn’t it? But, people pay money for peace and love and contentment, correct? Some of that money goes to things like drugs and alcohol. Some goes for various aspects of sex. Some goes into buying things to impress people and get friends.
People, and that includes you and me, need love, companionship, respect, honor, and a whole host of other things. But, the problem is that we turn to all sorts of sources but the primary source to meet these legitimate human needs.
Last week we looked at five Biblical characters as illustrations of what it means to be fully following persons of God by being decisive like Joshua, courageous like Esther, wise like Solomon, willing like Peter, and passionately committed like Paul. (Overhead 1)
This week we continue to discover what it means to be fully following persons of God by understanding that we express our commitment to people by being hopeful like David, holy like Joseph, authentic like Jeremiah, and celebrative like Nehemiah. (Overhead 2) But how do we do that? (Overhead 3)
In James 5:14-16, which was read a few moments ago, there are two ways that we faithfully and Biblically express our commitment to others. One way is clearly stated in the passage - prayer. The other way is implied in the process of prayer and confession - relationship.
As we read through this passage, it assumes there are good and trusting relationships in place. Otherwise why confess your sins and acknowledge your physical needs with corporate intercession and anointing?
Laced throughout this passage is an unspoken assumption that when the church is at its best as God’s people, meaningful relationships are in place that God uses to draw people closer to one another and to Himself. In other words, a very important avenue to being a fully following congregation is the avenue of standing with others during times of trial and difficulty - physically and otherwise.
But in this process of prayer and intercession, what do we have to offer? I suggest that what we have to offer is hope, holiness, authenticity, and celebration based on the acts of God through Christ as stated in the Bible and in our own lives.
In Psalm 40 we read these words, “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.”