Hello Beautiful People!
Its amazing to see so many of you on board with the James Challengehaving done the #EstherChallenge , #RuthChallenge and #LWChallenge. For those that still don’t know what it is, don’t worry! The James Challenge is a 5 day challenge, where we read the 5 chapters in the book of James in the Bible! It is not just about reading, I would love for us to share our understanding of what we have read with each other, so as you read, feel free to hashtag #JamesChallenge if you have twitter. In addition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your notes for each chapter, or a summary and I will put it up on this blog page!
The book of James really focuses on our attitudes and behaviours as Christians which I believe is so key in really getting the most out of our Christian walk and abiding in God’s will for us!Some points I haven’t touched on in my summary are covered in everyone elses contributions, so I didn’t want to repeat and bore you all!
Day Five- Chapter Five
KEY POINTS FOR Me, Sheena and Mustie, Ben (My house-mates as we discussed James 5; what a blessing it is to live with people that I can discuss the Bible and Christianity with on a regular basis):
James 5 brings the multiple themes in the preceding chapters together!
Where do you place your values?
James 5:1-5, really focuses on the attitude of man to his wealth and brethren. Where do your values lie? In the Day 4 post we looked at how it is wrong for us to only care about increasing our wealth without caring for those in need, our friends…selfish ambition. God is just and James really convey’s the result of those who selfishly chase after wealth.
A rich life on earth does not and cannot compare to what God has in store for us in heaven. It is all futile. You can store up so much wealth on earth, but it will not follow you to the grave. In Ecclesiastes (2:26; 6:2) Solomon laments about this, you have so much only for the next guy to enjoy the fruits of your labour
Appropriate Action for your Emotions
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
The verses above give practical guidelines for our response to our various emotions. Something that all of us need to take note of and put into practice. It highlights two things for me: The power of prayer and the power of fellowship/unity/accountability.
Prayer is so key! Its our main way to communicate with God. Throughout the book of James he talks about prayer and how we must pray with the right motive, but this chapter highlights something new in latter part verse 16 ‘The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’. To be righteous is to have right standing with God. Our righteousness doesn’t come through our works, but it comes through our belief and total reliance on the redeeming power of Christ. When we grasp that understanding of righteousness, then there will be a fulfilment of scripture! Our prayers won’t be wishy washy but they will be powerful and effective! Read my blog post on Prayer for a greater understanding!
Should I really confess my sins to others?
Some of you can’t confess your sins to others because you can’t even confess it to yourself or God. The feeling of condemnation, pride, shame stops us from doing this important thing. To confess your sin to your brother or sister in Christ is not to give them something to gossip about, but it is an act of seeking wise counsel and it is also an opportunity to share a testimony of how God enabled you to overcome that sin.
Its not just a problem with the individual caught in sin..we need to think about why people don’t feel comfortable about speaking of their sins??? Christians being judgemental makes it hard. The holier than thou attitude pushes people away. Sometimes we take the seat of God’s judgement and try to enforce it, but James talks about not judging our bretheren. There’s a difference between being judgemental and giving constructive criticism. Romans 14 is amazing in challenging our judgemental tendencies!
Why do you swear?
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. (James 5:12 NIV)
The habits of saying swear down, swear up or swear on mums life or swear to God need to be cut out! Yeah I know its just slang and we don’t think it means anything, but let us not forget what James has been telling us these past five days, that our words carry so much power!!! The Bible is very clear, Our slang needs to be in check. A lot of us are even remixing biblical terms to common colloquial words. Be careful of how you use certain words because it could be seen as blasphemous and disrespectful. This is something that I know for a fact that I need to work on!! Can’t be calling ratchet ungodly things anointed, glorious, righteous, biblical…just a few ones that I know people use on a regular basis! Remember out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, get your slang right, get your heart right! Luke 6:45.
What Everyone Else Doing James Challenge Has Learned:
Just to say I am thoroughly enjoying all these challenges that you are putting place, it truly is wonderful and well done to you!
James chapter 5 for me teaches that Jesus is just around the corner, he is just around corner and with that we must always have it in mind and must always be prepared for Jesus’ coming in whatever we do, it makes us better people and better as a Christian also.
The book of James teaches us about faith and how we must continue to have faith. Faith is some sort of strength. Looking at James 2:26 it says: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Really enjoy the challenges. Twitter name is @NalaMiimii98
Thank You and God Bless You x