The Other Six
Scripture Reading for 12/15/19 Isaiah 35, Matthew 11:2-15
Day 1 - Read James 5:7-8. In this passage, we're told to have patience in waiting for the day of the Lord. What are some aspects of life that caused you to want Christ to return right now? God delays the second coming for a reason, so that many might be saved. Read 2 Peter 3:9. We, also, are called to be involved in the ministry of reconciliation. Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. This means we are to share the gospel with people so they might be forgiven and saved. So, our patient waiting for Jesus to return is not just sitting around but sharing Jesus with others. What can you do to share Jesus with others?
Day 2 - Read James 5:9. God warns us not to grumble against one another. Why do we grumble against others? Why do you grumble against others? What sets you off? When we grumble against others, it's a form of being unforgiving. We are refusing to forgive and show mercy and Grace. Of course, we love it when others forgive us and show us grace. Here we're encouraged to do that for others. Not just because we like it when others forgive us, but because Jesus shows that Grace and forgiveness to us.
Day 3 - Read James 5:10-11. In this passage, we returned to the topic of patience, but this time patience in suffering. None of us likes to suffer. However, life is filled with suffering. What are some things that you are going through right now which you are struggling to have patience with? Take a few minutes to pray and ask God not only for relief from the suffering but for patients during the suffering.
Day 4 – Read James 5:12. Have you ever heard someone say something and then follow it with, "I swear to God!" They are trying to convince others that they are telling the truth. Sometimes, when people aren't believed, it's because they have given good reason not to trust them. They have lied in the past or have not followed through with a promise. The command of James 5:12 avoids that problem. If your, "yes," always means yes and your, "no," always means no then people won't have reason to disbelieve you. In other words, just be honest.
Day 5 - Read James 5. James deals with the life of the church quite a bit. Here encourages us to pray for one another, particularly pray for those who are sick. I think we generally understand this. However, it's interesting that James approaches this from the perspective of the person who is sick "let him call the elders” ... Many times, the reason people are not prayed for in the church is not because the church is unwilling, but because they do not know. This is because we don't share when we need prayer, when we're struggling, when we're sick. In this passage we are encouraged to humble ourselves and ask for prayer. Is there something that you need pray for right now? Share it with someone and ask them to pray for you. Is there someone you know who needs prayer? Take a few minutes to pray for them.
Day 6 - Read James 5:19-20. "He got caught doing what?! And he still has the gall to show up in church?" This is the attitude I hear sometimes from people in the church. Rather than showing love and forgiveness, we condemn. James, on the other hand, encourages us to lead them back to the truth and the forgiveness of sins. Similarly, sometimes people just disappear from church. We may notice, but not take the time to contact them and see what's going on. They may be wandering away and need a friend to lead them back. Note, this isn't contacting them to badger them about missing church, but lovingly talking with them to find out what is going on and encourage them. Is there someone you know who has been missing from church? Give them a call and lovingly see how they are doing. They might just need to hear from a friend and be invited back