Summary: This sermon is for Christians to remember that they are to look at thier ultimate prize, Jesus.
Look at the Prize Set Before Us
Intro: Look up in the sky, it’s . . . (Looking back at the T.V. show Superman)
I. Look Upward and Be Calm – Vs. 7 – Look up to the heavens
A. Be Patient – The Greek word is makrothumeo and it means to wait patiently
B. Be Calm - Wait until the coming of the Lord -
C. Receive the gift – The farmer receives the gift of rain, but the one who waits on the Lord receives the imperishable crown.,
II. Look Inward and Be Clean – Vs. 8-9 – Look inside your heart
A. Be Patient – Vs. 8 – James again tells his readers to be patient, again we are to wait patiently
B. Be Clean - Establish your hearts – Vs. 8 – Prepare your hearts for the Lord
C. Don’t condemn one another – Vs. 9 – We need to stop complaining with our fellow believers over petty things. James tells us what will happen if we don’t (9b).
III. Look Backward and Be Challenged – Vs. 10-11 – Look at the past for guidance
A. The prophets – Vs. 10 – These are the men God used to speak to the Israelites
in the OT. Look at how they were treated by the people.
B. Be Challenged – By those who endure – Vs. 11 – Those who stood fast to their believes.
C. The Lord’s mercy – Vs. 11 – Psalm 100:5 says, “For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations.”
IV. Look Forward and Be Consistent – Vs. 12 - Look to the future for assurance
A. How we are to act – How do people see you today? Do you “swear” outside these walls? This word “swear” not only means obscene words in the Greek language but also it
means “affirm,” “threaten,” “ call someone or thing to witness,” or “with an oath.” James tells us (12a). Christians should not “swear” under oath by heaven or earth
B. Be Consistent – Let your answer be your answer – In whatever you do let your “yes” be yes and your “no” no, James tells us not to be wishy washy.
C. Don’t fall into judgment – The Greek word is hupokrisis and it also means “condemnation” and is where we get our word hypocrisy from. James tells us
that we should let our answer be true or else we will fall into hypocrisy, condemnation, and judgment.
Conclusion: Rocky Balboa (Talk about Rocky’s experience in overcoming obstacles and how we as Christains overcome our obstacles by looking at the prize set before us.)