stripped of everything

Blogger Small Group

with 10 comments

This weeks Small Group in partnership with Consuming Worship we reach the final chapter of our study of James; James chapter five(5). (Side Note: If you haven’t read James chapter four(4), but want to participate. Read it now and write about it. Any input is better than no input. Everyone is welcome.) [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

James 5:1-6

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire.”

Wow. James is clearly making a point to the people that if you live for the world. If you live for your possessions and for wealth. That not if you live full of excess wealth, fortune, food, etc, will you then fall short, but if you live in all of that partnered with the sensation of greed and selfish desires will you then fall short[updated].

One part that stands out to me is where James goes from talking about “fattened yourselves” to the next sentence referencing murder. Perhaps James is simply just talking about the different ways we are being selfish and different ways back then they were living their lives. Or, perhaps James is trying to help us understand that there is no reason for us to over eat when many are without. There is no reason for us to live in excess wealth, with so many are living in poverty. Maybe James is saying that if we know these things, yet do NOTHING to solve the problems, then we are murdering the hungry, we are creating the poverty, etc.

James…you are one bold BA.

James 5:7-9 – Throughout scripture God tells us time and time again to “be patient”. Now James speaks up about it(again). I have always loved the reference in patience about the farmer waiting for his crops. So often we live our lives like it’s a hundred meter dash. To us there can NEVER be enough time in a day because we are always on the go. We always have to be doing something. If we aren’t in control, we freak. Yet, we are reminded time and time again that this life we are living is a marathon. We need to pace ourselves and be patient in the Lord’s time. He is coming, however it will be on his terms, not ours.

At the end he says this,

“The Judge is standing at the door!”

Two things here; Judge is capitalized, and the exclamation mark at the end. He tells us, God is standing at the door, he’s ready to come back. He’s waiting, for us to be ready, to prepare, yet to be patient. The exclamation point to me is sign of great importance. James wants us desperately to hear this, so bad that he shouts it. James only uses the exclamation when it is something we need to hear.(take a look at James 5:4)

James 5:10-12 – So you’re going through hell in your life right now are ya? Well, good. In the end you are blessed. God’s favor is upon you. Every time I read how someone in the bible goes through something terrible I always remember Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

It doesn’t mean I understand why he allows such things, but I KNOW that God loves us. He does not like for us to suffer, yet when we do, I know that He is working, and will make us more disciplined and healthier because of the suffering.

“Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”

I have nothing to say about the above scripture except for that I love it.

James 5:13-16 – Again like James has throughout the whole book, here he doesn’t fluff anything up so you have to look deep within to see the truth. James completely tells us what we need and how we can get those things that we do need.

I can’t get passed the amount of times James stresses the importance of prayer. The power of prayer. The effectiveness of prayer. The healing power of prayer. Knowing all of this, why is it that we(me) continue to suck at going to Him in prayer? I have no answer.

James 5:17-20 – Want proof of the last set of scriptures. James gives it to us here. He finishes with showing us that God is real. He shows us that the power of prayer is real. He does this by telling us of the outcomes of situations that were documented as truth. He doesn’t just tell us of the small situations, but he tells us of a man who prayed for drought, and for three and a half years there was no rain. It wasn’t until the man prayed again that the rain came back.

The book of James has challenged me in a different way than I thought it would. James has pushed me in ways I needed to be pushed, yet affirmed me in the areas that was filled with doubt. I’m not sure I was really serious about this small group the first couple weeks. On the outside and on the blog I said I was, however the first week or two, I just wrote the initial thoughts in my head. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking over the scripture. The third week starting out was the same way as well. However, somewhere in writing the third weeks findings God convicted me. He broke me down and pierced my heart using my own current situation. It was then that I found myself connected and convicted by the words of James.

I look forward to the next book that we dive in. I continue to pray for where God is going to lead us and also I continue to seek the members of the small group for any suggestion for a reading. If you believe God is convicting you and this group to read and study a certain book, let me know, let’s pray about it together.

Again, if you’re new and not sure what to do, below I have posted the instructions to the group. Take the time to read them, it will help make this group much easier for you.

INSTRUCTIONS

[p.s. Don’t forget to link back to here so everyone can go back and forth easily and to leave a comment. Be blessed]

[due to wordpress.com to post your link or see links to others blogs and findings from this weeks scripture, you have to click the Mr Linky icon]

Advertisements

Written by vagabondrunn

May 27, 2008 at 10:26 am

10 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post (on chapter 4) and there is still time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small […]

  2. I agree with you when you say you should not live for wealth, that can consume us, but I don’t think that is the root of the issue, I think it is more down the line of greed in a way.

    Wealth is not evil, many great biblical leaders were very wealthy, but it is what we do with that which God has given us that makes it our downfall or obedience. Great post.

    Scott Fillmer

    May 27, 2008 at 12:18 pm

  3. I would agree Scott. Completely. I think I just lacked the explanation detail of the problem of wealth, which you’re right, is completely about greed.

    However, I also believe that if we are wealthy, we are to use that wealth in a sense to help the hungry, sick, poor, and so on. We should not keep it all for ourselves. Our purpose here is to glorify God, not ourselves, our wealth, or the items in which we own.

    vagabondrunn

    May 27, 2008 at 12:41 pm

  4. It’s the whole story of investing your talent (yearly wage is it’s translation). One guy buries it, one guy earns more w/ it….it’s all about being a good steward w/ what He gave you. Seems like God puts different things on our hearts to support too.

    What about those who don’t have a lot of extra resources ($) to give, can acts of service count instead? I tithe, but I don’t give $ to other activities (Dave Ramsey plan), but I see so many folks giving their time, attention & love to things that are for the Kingdom.

    Mandy

    May 27, 2008 at 2:42 pm

  5. […] This is a Blogger Small Group entry in partnership with Run’n Like a Vagabond. […]

  6. Two things… 1. Maybe James is saying that if we know these things, yet do NOTHING to solve the problems, then we are murdering the hungry, we are creating the poverty, etc. – something I struggle with… helping others… doing what I know is right, yet turn my head… I have blogged on this more than once. Not a good look at myself. Then I look at Acts 2:44 and I know what is intended. I know it can happen. I know it probably does even today.

    2. I can’t get passed the amount of times James stresses the importance of prayer. – so true… something I struggle with is my prayer life. Life gets in the way… Ugh…

    Michael

    May 27, 2008 at 3:50 pm

  7. […] posting is part of a Blog Small Group. If you would like to get involved go here. It’s a really good way to study scripture and […]

  8. That wraps up the study on James. The man was short and to the point. This is my favorite book in the bible. I would like to do Matthew next. Anyone else have an opinion?

    Heath Spurlock

    May 27, 2008 at 7:33 pm

  9. […] is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post (on chapter 5) and there is still time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small […]

  10. […] is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post (on chapter 5) and there is still time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: