Lesson 10- Don't Leave God Out!
Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/30/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!
Review Lesson 9
Read James 5:7-20
7 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
We can’t make Christ return any sooner than planned, but we are not to just sit back and wait. A farmer doesn’t take the summer off after planting and before the harvest. There are many tasks/chores to be done while waiting. As Christians, we are to work faithfully to build His Kingdom until His return.
9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
When things go wrong, we tend to grumble and blame others for our miseries. Blaming others is easier than owning up to our responsibility in the situation.
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
Many of the prophets were persecuted and suffered greatly, such as Moses, Elijah and Jeremiah. James is instructing us to look to them as examples.
12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.
“Take an oath”, as used here, means swearing. This was an attempt to involve the authority of God to support a claim or a promise. As often is the case, the Lord’s name was debased by overuse and using it to support trivial or even untrue statements.
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
The initiative for prayer lies with the sick person. In the Bible, oil is both a medicine and a symbol of the
Spirit of God. (Luke 10 and1 Samuel 16). Here it is used to bring healing in response to obedience and faith of the elders.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
Jesus made it possible for us to go directly to God and confess, but confessing to each other still has importance. 1) If our sin is against an individual and we must ask forgiveness 2) If our sin has affected the church 3) If we need support or wise counsel 4) If we find ourselves doubting God’s forgiveness.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
James is talking about a believer who has fallen away and into sin. He is urging us to help those who have. God’s word isn’t just something we read or listen to but it must be something we do.
· What are some things we can accomplish for the Kingdom as we wait for Christ’s return?
· What are some practical ways we can avoid grumbling about others and shifting blame?
· Whose faith is James talking about in verse 15 when he says “a prayer offered in faith”?
· What has been/is your understanding of anointing with oil? What have you been taught?
· Why do some see prayer for healing as a last resort?
Review the book of James
Meditate/Memorize James 5:14