The Life of James pt.1
Matthew 4:21-25 open to…
What is it in a man’s life that would cause him to leave the only vocation (job / job skills) that he knows? what would possess a man to forsake life, as he had known it during his entire adult existence, for the unknown?
After all , what security could this Jesus offer James? Many other preachers at this time had traveled the dusty roads of Israel, and where were they? Why should he give up everything to follow Christ?
Life Lessons from the Life of James…
1. HE BRAVED THE UNKNOWN TO WALK WITH GOD!
James found the Pearl of great price. He found the true reality of life; he found what the prophets and scribes of the Old Testament had spoken of for years; and now he would follow this Jesus wherever he went.
the unknown is a scary place for humans to travel… but when you are holding the hand of Jesus, there is peace.
Elisha was much like James as he not only left his oxen and yoke, but sacrificed them in a final good-bye to his former manner of life.
he took off the yoke of the world and was willing to put on the yoke of the Lord even though he was unsure of where the Lord would take him… he sacrificed all that he had ever known (as did James, Moses, other of today) that give up careers to step into the yoke of the Lord and the calling of Christ… Elisha sacrificed all so that there was a point of no return… (Iron Mountain in Ca & Pa… no rehire) will you do the same?
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I might gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8
the apostle Paul had a similar experience as he left the privileges of the Sanhedrin and counted them as loss that he may gain Christ. Each of these men found the Pearl of great price (to be paid), that is, they found the heart of God’s calling for their lives.
if you are holding the hand of Jesus today, it doesn’t matter what turns are in the road or how many dark places lie in life’s terrain; because in your hand is the Pearl, Heaven’s eternal gem, and it matters not what lies behind, only where He is taking you…
If you are anxious about the future… that is your opportunity to trust Jesus… to place your hand in His.
2. HE BRAVED CONFORMITY TO LIKE JESUS!
who was James?
James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name… Sons of Thunder) Mark 3:17
James had a reputation as a hot head, in fact he was known as one of the sons of thunder.
It is interesting how men gain a reputation for something, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to maintain a life-style that reinforces that reputation. (La Porte Bros. @ St. Gens)
James was probably the kind of man who would fight at the drop of a hat. one cross word might spark the short fuse of this son of thunder, until he met Jesus
on one occasion Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria and received a less than warm wlcome from the Samaritans… James and John were ready to call down fire from heaven to consume the whole community. He was immediately rebuked by the Master, and at once James knew that he was destined to change…
change is not easy in the human heart, especially when you have a reputation to uphold. yet after just a short time of walking with Jesus, James understood his destiny. James like every believer after him, was predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus, the Christ.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. Rom. 8:29
James no longer had the privilege to be a short-tempered son of thunder, because now he was committed to the Price of Peace
Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6
as a Christian, you no longer have the luxury of being who you were before you met Jesus. Like James, upon embracing Jesus you are required to release the old man, with all of its traces of Adam… Release self and be conformed to Jesus…
what areas of your life need change in order for you to be more like Jesus? Identify the area and ask the Holy Spirit to transform you by His power.
3. HE BRAVED THE CROWDS AND SAW A MIRACLE!
James saw Jairus approaching Jesus, he saw the panicked look in his eyes. it was no ordinary burden that Jairus carried. it was the fear of losing his twelve year old daughter that propelled this man through the crowds to find Jesus.
Jesus hears the request and began the journey to their house, when all of a sudden a woman with the issue of blood stopped Him. it seemed like hours, but James had learned that each person was important.
just as Jesus had resumed the journey to Jairus’ house, the bad news came… too much time had elapsed and the girl was dead.
undaunted by this message of death, Jesus continued to the house, when he finally arrived He was met by a barrage of grief. weeping and brokenness filled the room.
then Jesus announced that she was only sleeping and that she would breath again… some scoffed… then Jesus dismissed all but the girls parents and Peter, James and John.
then it happened! Jesus took her by the hand and commanded her to live…and she lived.
James would never forget this miracle; many nights his closing thoughts would be the vision of that dead body resurrected to the land of the living…
some events in a persons life shape every new day. this must have been one of those events for the disciple.
jesus spoke and even death gave up its captive.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
If the Master could overcome death… what other enemy could stand in His way? Jesus has overcome death, so what enemy stands before you that He has not already defeated? James know Jesus as the miracle worker… do you?
do you need a miracle in your life today/ trust Him who raised the dead to act for you…
a) face the unknown and allow your anxiety of the unknown be your opportunity to trust Jesus
b) what areas of your life need change in order for you to be more like Jesus…ask the Holy Spirit to transform you by His power.
c) do you need a miracle in your life? seek the one who raised the dead to act for you.