Daily Devotion in James 5

Daily Nugget:
As James concluded his letter, he gave his readers some spiritual advice. Most likely his advice was to halt practices that were going on in the lives of Christians then. His spiritual council included:

  • That certain rich men, mostly likely unsaved (James 5:1-6), used their power and finances to take advantage of those they employed. James scolded them and told them their ill-gotten wealth was corrupted. God’s hand of blessing was not on them because of their atrocious behavior.
  • Encouragement to Christians that they needed to be patient, as the Lord would someday return (James 5:7-8). Even during those times, early Christians expected the Lord to return. Like those people, all we can do is wait patiently and work until He comes.
  • Not to hold grudges against others (James 5:9-11) — especially Christians.
  • Not to swear. Although no one should utter filthy language, that is not the type of swearing it refers to here. James told these people not to make promises, or oaths, bound to something on this earth or elsewhere. We would relate this to those saying, “I promise on a stack of Bibles,” or “I promise on my mother’s name.” James said simply that a “yes” or “no” was sufficient (James 5:12).
  • To pray for healing when you are sick (James 5:13-16) and have others pray for you.
  • Confess your faults one to another (James 5:16). That humbling act would certainly limit continued sin and wrong-doing.

Although applicable to people of James’ era, this good spiritual counsel can be applied today. All the early church faced then is still prevalent today. Man, his sin, and his weaknesses have changed little since then. The counsel given in James will help and change the hearts of Christians even today.

Today’s Thought: 
“God paid the price; we get the change.” — Author Unknown

Words to Understand:
Cankered: corrupted; decaying
Effectual: producing the desired effect
Fervent: passionate; zealous
Sabaoth: Sabbath

Today’s Reading:
James 5
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 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.
4 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.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
7 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.
8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11 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.
12 ¶ But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 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:
15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins

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