James 4

  • Vs. 11 -12 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
    • Luk 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.
    • Pro 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
    • 1Th 4:8 Therefore he who despises does not despise man, but God, who also has given us His Holy Spirit.
    • The law of Moses says: Lev 19:16 You shall not go as a slanderer among your people; you shall not stand against the blood of your neighbor. I am Jehovah.
    • The Law of Jesus says:Mat 7:1 Judge not, that you may not be judged.
    • Who are we to judge? We think we know as much as God when we judge. We think we know all the reasons why someone said or did something. We never know the inner man. Only God does.
      • I don’t even know myself! How can I judge others? But I still do sometimes. This verse hits home for me. I hope to change my thinking on this issue. To be able to catch myself when I think I know why someone did or said something. I am not God, I cannot know everything!
    • Yours and mine challenge for the week is to try and recognize when we judge. And to be hyper-vigilante to recognize if we are stating our judgments to others and therefore causing others to think about judging too.
      • I never really thought about until now, but we are tempting others to sin, by sharing our sin with them!
  • Vs. 13-17 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
    • We really do need to get it! We have no control. We do not know what the next moment holds. We make plans and do not even consider that we are not in control, that God is and that if we make plans, it is nothing compared to God’s will!
    • Our lives are short, and even though we know this of sorts, we act like we have control over it and what we will do and how long we will live and never consider that only God has that power. It is prideful of us. It is sinful
    • It is prideful of us. It is sinful. It is boastful.
      • I think we do not give sin its due in our lives. James said that planning for tomorrow without considering that only God has control of tomorrow is evil!
        • Have we ever considered this as evil? And if this is evil, think of all the evil we do!
        • How many of us are sinning without even knowing it?
    • And then when we know what we is the good thing to do, but don’t do it, there we go again sinning
      • Again I ask, how many times are we sinning without even recognizing it as sin?
      • John 9:41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains.
      • Luk 12:47 And that servant who knew his lord’s will and did not prepare, nor did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he not knowing, and doing things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomever much is given, of him much shall be required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
      • John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
      • Barnes says: The highest privilege conferred on a mortal, besides that of securing the salvation of his own soul, is that of doing good to others – of alleviating sorrow, instructing ignorance, raising up the bowed down, comforting those that mourn, delivering the wronged and the oppressed, supplying the wants of the needy guiding inquirers into the way of truth, and sending liberty, knowledge, and salvation around the world. If a man does not do this when he has the means, he sins against his own soul, against humanity, and against his Maker; if he does it cheerfully and to the extent of his means, it likens him more than anything else to God.
      • We are safest in our walk when we have the least confidence in ourselves to reach any future goals, but have confidence that God’s will is the way it will and should go!
    • I believe this: Before we have obtained certain knowledge and we sin, we are guilty, criminally, lets say. But once we know something and sin anyway, we are evil. We are choosing evil. And we are deserving of much more punishment than the one who did not know.
      • We need to be much more aware of our choices in our daily lives. Are we choosing to do good? Or are we choosing to be evil?

James Chapter 5

 vs. 1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.

    • Who is James talking to? In James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion, greeting: …so to the 12 tribes in general. Other times he says brother. I believe and many others do, believe that at this time there was no middle class, it was the extreme rich and the extreme poor. And the rich were not inclined to listen to the gospel.
      • So James I believe James was talking to the church about the wealthy oppressors. In part to warn them and in part to comfort those who were being oppressed
      • But even if he is, we can learn a lot from it. We can learn what a love of money will do to us. I, also, believe that we do not have to rich to have a love of money. Many poor people with do evil things to get a bit of money!
      • Money is not evil No thing is evil. They are all amoral They have a absence of morality. But the lust we have for things is where the evil comes in.
  • 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
    • Look up Proverbs 18:11, Proverbs 28:11 Proverbs 22:7, Luke 16:19-31, Luke 12 and the story of the rich man, 1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 6:24. There are more, and if you have a desire to hoard your money, I would suggest you look them all up. If you think of money as your salvation, look them up. If your focus in life is on how to get more money, look them up!
    • Did you know that, according to J. Vernon McGee, that in the fruit belt of California the organization of farmers dumped fruit, tons of it, so that the price of fruit would go up This was some time ago Like in the 60s or 70s. Now if they did that then, no telling what all is happening that we are very unaware of.
    • If you are blessed with money, you have to be careful. Never be a hoarder. Be thankful, pay wages fairly, help the poor and needy. But in all of it, do with the right kind of heart! Not just so God will bless you, but because you were given that money for some reason, and it is apparent in God’s word that it is not to hoard it!
    • Proverbs 30: 8 says, “…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” If we are in some extreme circumstance, we can see God more clearly.
    • James is making it very clear what kind of world we live in. Full of evil, greed and not “for” God. We need to not be naive about this.
  • Vs. 7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
    • Back to the Christian. (Brother is almost always revering to the Christian in the New Testament.) James is going to tell us what we can do while in this evil world.
    • We are to patient.
      • How long? Until the return of Jesus. Then we won’t need patience anymore.
      • How are we to be patient? Like the farmer who knows what is coming. Not exactly when, but he knows it is coming. So we just wait for the day, while planting seeds.
      • We are to persistently endure. To plan on it, to do it with a will, a choice of being patient. Not just waiting. It is to be our attitude. Everyone is waiting on the coming of Christ rather they realize it or not. We have to wait. We cannot change the date. But we are to be of a right attitude during the wait. One of hope, one of knowing joy is to come, one of “this evil world will pass away:, one of “I am going to love while waiting’, one of “and while I wait, I will plant some seeds and pray for God to water them”!