Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. James 5:17
The Apostle James brings up Elijah as an example for the power of prayer. Now you might say, “Well Elijah was a prophet and lived a holy life” however if you studied the life of Elijah he was a flawed human just like us all. Yes he was a prophet, but he suffered from mental illness, to the point he wanted to kill himself. However God had a special plan and purpose for Elijahs life
So what is my point? My point is don’t think because you struggle in your faith or have imperfections that God wont answer you or use you to accomplish His will. Elijah in faith still worshipped and prayed to God, and he answered him and did supernatural things
And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. James 5:18
Elijah prayed that it wouldn’t rain and God stopped the rain for 3 years. And then when Elijah prayed again for it to rain, God provided the rain again. Nothing is impossible for God, Nothing! And Elijah making a request to God to stop the rain may seem ridiculous. However God answered his prayer!
There is power in prayer by faith! Now I’m not saying God will do whatever you ask of him, but if its his will he will let it be done! Don’t believe God couldn’t use you or answer your prayer, he loves you! You may not be perfect, none of us are including Elijah, that is why we have a Risen Savior to reconcile us with God, Amen!
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: James 5:13-14
How many Christians actually pray over people when they are sick or in need of a healing? I’ve been to many Church Services in my life throughout many different denominations, and I rarely have seen this done. Why is this? I think its because of a few reasons:
- Most people don’t really believe in the power of prayer– Most Christians will say “I’ll pray for you” but most don’t actually believe God could heal you at that moment. If you study the healings of Jesus, everytime Jesus says “Your faith has made you well”. Meaning prayer is only as good as your faith.
- Most Church services have become to scripted– Most Church services you go to, its like going to a show. They have a script they follow, everyone does their part, and everyone goes home. There is very little time or opportunities to allow the Holy Spirit to work in most Services. Secondly most services are controlled by one person. If that one person doesn’t have the gift of healing by the Holy Spirit, then nobody will ever be healed. However if you allow the congregation to pray over people, better chances someone is anointed with that gift
- The Pentecostal movement– A lot of Christians shy away from healing and prayer because of the abuse of the Pentecostal movement. Yes there has been a lot of false prophets and fake healings throughout the years, however this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still follow the Word of God and use our gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much James 5:15-16
Notice a couple things here, the prayer of faith shall heal you. Remember what Jesus said , you cant be healed without faith. Do you truly believe in the power of prayer? Second notice the contrast between sin and healing. Is God with holding healing in your life due to unconfessed sin?
One practice Christians have gotten away from is confessing sin to one another. How often did you ever go to a service and somebody stood up and repented of their sin? Probably never. This is part of the purpose of the Church
Believe in the power of prayer and healing. Confess any unrepented sin to God. Run to the Great Physician, our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.James 5:7-8
Patience is probably one of the toughest lessons we learn as humans. Especially living in a society of today, were everything is instant. But are their lessons we can learn during the waiting period? Can waiting actually strengthen our faith? I believe so, and I think when you experience the process of Gods promise coming to pass, you understand how deep our relationship with Him is
James uses an example of a farmer waiting on his crops to grow. The farmer knows his crops will eventually bloom, but he must wait! This is the same with the coming of our Lord Jesus. We know he will return but we must wait until all things are accomplished.
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. James 5:9
Its our human nature to want to “put people in their place” when they wronged us or said something we don’t agree with. However we need to put things in perspective, in the grand scheme of things, what does it matter? Jesus is standing at the door, are you going to waste your time on petty arguments or are you going to be prepared for his return?
Its interesting because most will say “Christ is taking too long to return” yet if Christ did return today many would not be ready. So which is it?
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:10-11
James uses Job as an example, we all know Job was tested and suffered greatly. However Job knew that God would redeem him, Job had Godly patience. The Lord is full of mercy and compassion and he will deliver You! We just need to have the patience and faith to truly put our trust in Him , Amen!
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. James 5:1-2
One common thing you see in the New Testament is the dire warning of being rich. In fact Jesus taught about this subject many times saying “It will be easier for a camel going through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven” ( Mark 10:25) So the question is who are the rich? And why are the rich singled out as condemned?
If we look at the global picture today, every American would be considered rich by the worlds standards. Rich people are those who hoard their money without helping others, Rich people use their wealth to oppress others, Rich people rely on their riches rather than God. This is why Jesus and the Apostles warned about becoming Rich, as it often leads to more sin
With money comes power, how do you use this power? Are you relying on this power to save you? As all material wealth will become ashes and dust, in the end its just useless objects that wont save your soul!
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. James 5:3-4
I know a lot of people will be offended by this message, why? Because we are all guilty of relying on our wealth, hording more than we need to have security. But what we don’t understand is our wealth can actually condemn us.
How many Churches and Ministries have become corrupted because of the love of money? They started out with good intentions and then the power came flowing in. This is why Jesus said “ What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. James 5:5-6
The Prosperity Gospel has misled millions to Hell. They believe in a false gospel , they believe in a false Jesus. The believe that following God is to live a life of pleasure. But Jesus said “Anyone who wants to be his disciple must Deny Themselves, Carry their Cross, and Follow Christ” (Matthew 16:24)
Are you relying on God as your provider or your wealth? Is Jesus your Master or is your wealth? Do you oppress people with your money or do you treat them fairly? Do you help those out in need when you are able to? These are questions we should ponder as Christians to stay on the narrow road, Amen
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:13-14
One of my life motto’s is when Jesus said “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own” (Matthew 6:34) Often times we are continually looking ahead, worrying about tomorrow, worrying about next week, worrying about next month, and in the midst of all this worrying we are never living in the present
When we apply Jesus simple teaching to only take one day at a time, it takes so much weight off our shoulders. Not only that, we can seize the day, enjoy the moments we have today! We get so wrapped up in planning and preparations, we don’t even stop to take a breathe and enjoy these simple moments we are in right now
As James says here “Your life is like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow” We need to put that in perspective. We always believe we have so much time to do so many things. But this isn’t true, tomorrow is never promised to anyone. Now we do have the promise of eternal life through Christ, but this world were living in right now is temporary.
Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. James 4:15-16
How many of us when we do make future plans say “If it’s the Lords will, then I’ll do it”? No we usually say I want to do this, and I want to do that, how do you know that is Gods will for your life at all? Another thing we need to learn is to stay connected to your Lord. If your truly his follower, and he is your Master, shouldn’t you listen to him?
Now its not always easy finding Gods will for our lives, it takes patience and perseverance. Yes we need to maintain our personal relationship with Christ , to know what his will is for our life. If we don’t remain in a relationship with Christ, why would you expect to know what he wants for you?
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17
James actually goes on to say, if we know Gods will and we refuse to do it, its actually a sin. If you know someone is in need and you can help them, if you refuse its actually a sin. Sometimes we can tell the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us to go talk to someone or help someone, when we refuse that calling its actually going against the will of The Lord
Stay focused on today, be in the moments today. Don’t be so drifted in future plans that you cant seize today. Continually ask God to lead your life and find his will in Jesus name Amen!
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. James 4:11
If Christians would just read this message , maybe there would be less strife among the body of Christ. Everyone thinks they are the chosen Christian. They believe they have the right interpretations of all the scriptures, they believe they have the correct translation of the Bible, they believe they do all the correct practices. Maybe we know these people, maybe we have been this person. We need to continually remind ourselves to humble ourselves before God
I understand, when you have the Holy Spirit, and the scales have been removed from your eyes, it becomes a powerful thing. We you start to look at scripture in a new light and understand what God is saying, you want to share it with the world. We just have to remember Pride comes destruction.
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? James 4:12
Jesus is our Lord, meaning Master. He is the only one who can save and destroy, not us. So we need to stop acting like we have the authority to condemn and save. Its our job to lead people to Christ, not to be their judge. Now can we give advice or counseling, of course. However were not going to stand on our soapbox and pretend were above everyone. Remember Christian, you were dead in your sins also and Christ still died for you
The Holy Spirit is the Convictor of Sin ( John 16:8) When God convicts you of your sin , you will be brought to your knees in true repentance. We are not the Holy Spirit, We are the hands and feet of Christ. Amen!
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8
Often people will say “It feels like God is so far away” or maybe you don’t feel Gods presence in your life. What are you doing to get near God? Often we expect things to happen without us doing anything, as most of us know , this is not how a relationship works
The Bible tells us Draw near to God and he will draw near to you! So the next question would be, how do we draw near to God? Prayer is essential, as Leonard Ravenhill says “If your not praying your straying, and a pastor whos not praying is playing” Prayer should be central to a Christians life. One suggestion I would have is find a closet or place where you can be alone and prayer there. Alone time with God is essential
Another way to get close to God is through his Word (The Bible). God didn’t have his word written by men through inspiration of the Holy Spirit for no reason. This is your letters from God, this is your instructions for life. To neglect daily reading of his word is to spiritually starve. Many phone apps today have free devotional plans to read. Try using one of them to keep you on task.
Next I think an often overlooked practice is Communion. Jesus instituted communion , not to give us another task to do, but to sit at His Table and fellowship with Him. That’s what the word Communion means to Commune with Christ. I personally take Communion every morning to spend time with the Lord and start my day off right
And very importantly we need the Holy Spirit. Without the intercession of the Spirit in our lives its impossible for us to understand God. The Holy Spirit was sent for many reason for our benefit. He is our teacher, convictor, and mediator for us with Christ
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:9-10
Notice James isn’t giving a prosperity gospel here, hes telling people be afflicted, be mourning, remove your joy, what is James talking about here? Hes talking about Godly sorrow of our sins, hes talking about true repentance.
If you really want to draw near to God, repent of your sins. The truth is God doesn’t want fellowship with wicked people. You might say well how do I become saved? Repent and receive Jesus as your Lord and you’ll become Born Again! Amen!