Summary: Patience, Prayer, Love, Healing
LIFE APP – Talking to the App Builder
James 5:7-20 (p. 849) October 19, 2014
I downloaded a hunting app for my iPhone last week...it was produced by Mossy Oak and it would tell you the weather, the wind direction, and other vital info. It could not guarantee that I will get a giant “buck” that surpassed the state record...but I bought it nonetheless.
While filling out some of the necessary info I ran into some issues I didn’t understand, and when it comes to technology, that’s not too difficult for me. (for the past two Wednesdays I couldn’t even get the DVD player to work in my class! lol)
But this App had a “live” help feature...where I could talk to the App builders and they would explain how to load in my locations, even pinpoint them via GPS.
Talking to the App builder from Mossy Oak, or whoever they partnered with, to make this app helped me understand a lot of things that didn’t make sense.
I think James was a firm believer in talking with “the heavenly App builder” when our patience is tested...when life demands a very real application of what we say we believe because we as Christ followers.
“Be patient, then brothers and sisters until the Lord’s coming.”
Last week James mentioned people who were abused and mistreated by powerful rich individuals who cared more for their wealth than the needs of others...The same kind of people who murdered the “innocent one,” Jess, for their own “evil agendas.”
James says...if you want to live out your faith in the real world...a place where innocence is killed and poor people are mistreated...Be patient until the Lord’s return.
I. BE PATIENT IN THE FACE OF SUFFERING
There are some “test tubes” that are great places for patience to be produced over the fire. Places that we learn that prayer is a lot more than, “God bless this meal!”
James reminds those who are suffering, those who are being mistreated or persecuted for their faith that God holds the test tube in His hand. He did this for the prophets He sent...and He did this for Job through His time of suffering.
The whole point here is...God is working...TRUST HIM WHILE HE’S WORKING.
“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.” (James 5:8)
Scripturally people need to understand to become a child of God, you die to self and sin...it’s covered by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross...We are buried with Him in death, and rise to be led by the Holy Spirit in new life. That’s what believing, accepting, confessing, repenting and being baptized is all about.
And for those who just think it’s about them not going to Hell...here’s a wake up call...Romans 8:28-29.
ROMANS 8:28-39 (p. 787)
A quicker paraphrase...God has a plan for His people...He calls and for those who answer, He saves. And then He begins to shape our attitudes and hearts into the attitude and heart of Jesus. Since He loved us so much He gave His precious son. He will give us everything we need for that to happen...No matter what we go through here...God’s still in control. WE WIN!!!
There are many who call themselves Christians but have no desire to be shaped by God. No desire to be conformed in His test tube to have the attitude and heart of Jesus. These individuals are who Christ is talking to in Matthew 7:21-23.
MATTHEW 7:21-23 (p. 679)
You cannot know Jesus without participating with Him in the “test tube” of life! The apostle Paul says:
“I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrections and participate in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. (Phil. 3:10)
How do you come to know Christ...and the power of His resurrection...you participate with Christ in His life, its sufferings and struggles...even death...and God works...and God provides...and God gives an ultimate victory beyond this life.
You believe, like Jesus...that even if there is a cross...even if there is suffering...God rewards faithful, obedience on the other side of it, even if it’s after death.
Jesus says, “you know we count as blessed those who have persevered.” (v.11)
Remember Christianity is only a theory until it’s tested.
Faith that stands firm...Faith that doesn’t grumble...having stood the test...according to James will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
By the way...that crown...that reward isn’t given until the Judge returns...but it’s essential to remember.
II. THE LORD’S RETURN IS NEAR
I want to live my life so that if I know the Lord was returning tomorrow I wouldn’t change a thing.