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The Book of James – Prayer FAQ James 5:13-15

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Introduction

James finishes his letter by reminding us of the power of prayer in verses 13-20.  We will be covering verses 13-15 in this post.  These verses cover three types of prayer requests: affliction, prayers of praise and sickness.

There is something I have noticed during prayer requests over the years: requests for sickness far outnumber prayer requests for the lost.  Our bible is full of challenges for us to tell the lost about Jesus.  When we get out of balance on our requests it says something about us; it says we are living in the here and now and are not thinking so much about spiritual matters.  However, to say that asking for, or praying for, the sick shouldn’t be done is not right either.  James clearly states that we can ask for, and pray for, the sick. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” – Paul the apostle

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A Servant’s Heart

Philippians 2:13-18 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.   Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.   For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

Paul often referred to himself in introduction to a church as doulos theos or doulos Christos which is to say slave or bond-servant of Christ.  Paul had a servant’s heart.  His desire was for the local assembly and the individual in Christ to serve Christ with their whole heart not because of commandment but out of love for the savior.  Paul didn’t mind sacrificing of himself for the cause of Christ, in fact, it brought him great joy to know that his sacrifice of time, effort, and ultimately his own life would increase the faith of others and bring glory to Jesus Christ.  Paul esteemed his brethren in Christ more than himself… “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3

This is the very essence of a servant’s heart.  Christ Himself told His followers that He came not to be ministered unto but to minister.  Here at Servants’ Journal we desire to possess that servant’s heart and to encourage fellow servants in the same.  In keeping with our new theme and focus to possess a servant’s heart, I thought it fitting to post a memorial to some heroes of the faith from the last century whose sacrifice help renew a fire for missions in our country. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Book of James – Faith Revealed James 2:20-26

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Introduction

We have one final post on faith.  In our two previous posts James introduced the subject and stated emphatically Christians will act different as a result of their faith.  You cannot say you have faith and not produce any results.  In our last post we talked about the fact that Satan believes in Jesus but that didn’t save him.  We found out that we must believe and submit to the Lord’s will.  This week James gives us Old Testament examples to illustrate what he is saying. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Book of James – Satan Believes James 2:19

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Introduction

James continues the theme of faith in our next verse. Last time James taught us that faith in Jesus will produce results.  Historically in our country, and even today, most people say they are Christian or believe in God.  In this post we are going to dig a little deeper into the term “believing in Jesus”.  The question we will be asking… Is saying “I believe” enough? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Book of James – Faith and Works James 2:14-18

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Introduction

Starting in verse 14 James will now shift his focus to the subject of faith, more specifically, the faith necessary to be counted as a Christian.

There are those in the Christian community that feel the need to take God’s mysteries and transfer them into intellectual thoughts.  There is a place for this type of approach.  Paul, when addressing the Corinthian Church said this… 1Co 9:19-23  For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Paul acknowledged that we are all different so varied approaches can prove beneficial when proclaiming the gospel.  With this in mind taking an intellectual approach to scripture is right and helpful when giving the gospel message to those who prefer to conceptualize and debate Christianity at a philosophical level.  Unfortunately some want to force fit basic concepts into intellectual discourse.  What we are about to cover is the very essence of Christianity yet it can be discussed in very simple terms.  James is going to tell us what role faith plays in the Christian life. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Merry Christmas Grandpa

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Introduction

On Christmas Eve 2001, and continuing into Christmas day, I spent Christmas alone with my Grandpa.  That’s right, just the two of us.  My wife and children had gone to my in-laws home; my side of the family was gathering at my Uncle’s house.  This Christmas it was just going to be me and grandpa.

Less than two months before my Grandma had passed away.  She died in early November, one month short of their 74th wedding anniversary.  It wasn’t a misprint, almost 74 years of marriage.  As you might have guessed they started their marriage at a young age.  After a long drawn out courtship, two months, they were married and began their life together.

The Setting

In the 1980s my Grandpa had major health issues that changed him.  The damage sustained during these days quickly took away his ability to function independently and do the thing he loved the most, preaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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The Book of James – Pursuit of Wisdom James 1:5-8

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Introduction

Who can resist an invitation to gain wisdom?  Not just any wisdom, we are talking about wisdom from on high.  The words of James, if we heed them, will change our life.  Before we begin let me remind you, God always keeps His promises. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Give Me That Man-Made Religion – Acts 7:40b-41

Introduction

The title of my post is a play on words of an old song entitled “Give me that old-time religion”.  Our scripture text is taken from Acts chapter 7 covering the events leading up to the stoning of Stephen.  Before they stoned him Stephen recounted a history of the nation of Israel.  We will focus on one event in that history, the making of the golden calf.  The original account of the story Stephen mentions is in Exodus chapter 32.

In Acts 7:40 the children of Israel told Aaron, Moses’ brother…“Make us gods to go before us”.  Moses, as commanded, had ascended the mountain to meet with God.  He had been gone, in the estimation of some, too long and his return was called into question.  They saw an opportunity to make some changes due to the fact that they were already questioning Moses’ leadership.  They had decided to create a god in their image and to their own liking.

You might be thinking “that’s insane”, you can’t create a god.  First off I would agree, that is insane, but you don’t have to be a history major to know that since the beginning of recorded time our history is full of such efforts.  In my years on this earth I have personally witnessed the birth of new man-made gods.

Why does man seek to create their own god?  Clearly, in the case of Israel, they wanted a god they could see.  Over and over again the children of Israel desired to be like the nations around them who served rocks, trees, crafted precious metals and even the sun and moon.  An inanimate object, like the golden calf, is not going to deliver any laws.  This is man’s effort to tell God how things are going to work from now on. How great is this?  Decide what your god will look like and how it will act.  You can then make up your own rituals and rules to fit your lifestyle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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Reflection…

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!  Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog and I am thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to serve Him.  One year ago today I posted my first blog post and felt led to call it ‘Think on These Things…’.  As Christians we are a part of the same spiritual body and are instructed in God’s word to consider or esteem one another more than ourselves.  We should seek to do and say those things which are spiritually edifying to each other.

The word edify means to instruct or improve someone spiritually or intellectually.  Over the past year, it has been my prayer that this blog will be a blessing and spiritually edifying to the reader.  I have also been blessed to have a good Christian brother agree to come on board and contribute posts under the pen name ‘The Servant’.  The Lord continues to use him in writing posts that are both timely and encouraging.  In these last days, we need to try to do more for our savior Jesus Christ and also more to be a help to one another. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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I can’t wait to talk to Dad – Luke 11:1-13

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Introduction

At our last Men’s Prayer Breakfast I listened as a brother spoke about his dad: in 1984 his dad was operated on to remove a tumor on the side of his face.  The removal changed his appearance but the biggest loss, to his son anyway, was his ability to hear; all hearing was lost on one side and the other ear was greatly impaired.  I found out after breakfast that the brother was four years old when this happened.

Fast forward to September 2013, this same father met with a specialist regarding a new device that might restore some of his hearing.  After the tests were completed it was determined that this man’s hearing will be improved by the device.  The father said “Order me one”. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Lessons from A Servant

 

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