22 June 2021
Hello Living Word Church,
I smiled when I read this week’s memory verse because it connected so well with the conclusion of our sermons from Revelation.
James 5:8 (NIV) “You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
I admit, I have read James many times, but never think of James as a book that reminds us of the Lord’s coming – but indeed it does!
The preceding verse, James 5:7, speaks about patience -specifically being patient until the coming of the Lord. We are to be patient just like a farmer patiently waits for the early and late rains, and then the precious fruit comes forward.
Anyone who has done gardening realizes that the growing of plants is something we cannot ultimately control. Some years the tomatoes are BIG and other years, they are small. Yes, we can add fertilizer and water and pull the weeds, but we cannot make the sun shine, nor the rain fall. Some things are out of our control. James 5:7 is letting us know that God is control, and frankly – we are not.
But according to James 5:8, we do have a role to play regarding the coming of our Lord - We are to patiently wait and stand firm. My Bible translation (ESV) uses the phrase “establish your heart” in place of “stand firm,” which reminds me that my inner-being, my emotions, can fluctuate. God’s Word is making me aware of that, so I can guard my emotions from running my life and my mouth! (which James addresses in chapter 1). Rather than being emotionally impulsive or being emotionally swayed, we are to be people of great patience and firmness in our conviction that Jesus is Lord.
So, we pray. Come Lord Jesus. Come at the appointed hour. Come and save. Come and make all things new. And give us patient resolve to faithfully and firmly endure until you come.