JAMES, THE WORLD’S PASTOR
Today’s Reading: James 3-5
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Key Verses: James 4:7, 5:16
Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you…Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 3 focuses on that “little member that boasts great things,” the tongue. James has a definition of a “perfect man” as “one who does not stumble in word” (the tongue). It’s encouraging to note that James is human as he says, “We [includes himself] all stumble in many things.” James tells us that “No man can tame the tongue.” So-o-o do we just give up? Never!!! Our key verses have the answer as to how not to be “hung by the tongue!” Firstly, “Resist the devil.” Secondly, “Confess.” Thirdly, “Pray!” Fourthly, we should daily present our bodies (that would include our tongues) as living sacrifices, “Holy acceptable to God!” (Romans 12:1).
James 4 exhorts us to “Lament and mourn and weep!” When is the last time we experienced this depth of sorrow over our sins? “Repent” was in the first recorded words of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2) and Jesus (Matthew 4:17), as well as in Peter’s response to the question he was asked on the birthday of the Church! (Acts 2:37-38). Pastor James teaches, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up!”
James 5 will spill over into my PERSONAL WORDS section below.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I ask for Your free gift of grace so I may learn daily to give over to You all the members of my body, in particular, that unruly member, the tongue. Thank You, Jesus, for the gift of Your brother, James, as a Pastor to the Church of all times and all places. I pray for these mercies from Your most gracious hand, in Your Name, Jesus, Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
James 5 – I always look for words which are repeated such as “be patient” (twice). This blog is intended to help “establish” our “hearts” (5:8). May it be so for us all! Now I encourage everyone to read again James 5:13-16. The Pastor gives the protocol for a joyful, clean and healthy life. In my years as a Pastor, I put this into practice constantly. Every Sunday the Elders and I would offer to pray over anyone desiring healing. We would place olive oil on those asking for anointing. Many testified to God’s healing power. When I began travelling as an Evangelist in the 1970s, I would insist that Pastors and Elders be involved in praying for the sick. For a period of five years, from about 1972 to 1977, I would ask who in the congregation had a medically documented healing. If so, I asked people to stay behind to tell me about it. I discovered approximately 40 people who had confirmation from their doctors which attested to a miraculous cure. I asked each one, “Who prayed for you and where were you prayed for?” Of course many said that people everywhere were praying for them. Then I would ask them, “Were you prayed for and anointed with oil by your Pastor and the Elders of your local Church?” In 100% of these cases the answer was, “Yes!” For this reason I discourage people from traveling many miles to be prayed for by an evangelist. The evangelist’s job (like Billy Graham) is to get people to believe in Jesus for the salvation of their never-dying souls. The job of the Church is to do as Pastor James instructs us. Amen! Amen! and Amen!!!
Yours, as an Assistant Pastor to James, Jerusalem’s first Pastor,
P.S. I’ve personally experienced God’s power to heal when I was a 19-year-old college student. I was prayed for by fellow students, and as the Doctors would not allow me to be moved from my dorm room, two Pastors/Teachers came into my room. They prayed fervently because the medical doctors had told them that I would be “carried out feet first,” or in other words, they expected me to die. I don’t have room here to give the details, but it’s sufficient to say that as they anointed me and laid their hands on my head, my 105+ fever dissipated. I was delirious, but at the same time it was like a beautiful cooling shower was falling on me. I got up, dressed, got in my ’47 Plymouth car, and drove to the hospital Emergency Department. I announced that I was well and that God had healed me. I did elect for surgery which would make it impossible for the same thing to happen again. I benefited from God’s healing power and from the good works of skilled medical practitioners. James is my very, very Senior Pastor! Amen again!!!