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James 5:12-20 Devotional – Day 2

By February 28, 2023Daily Devotional

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

Unlike human anger, God’s wrath is never capricious, self-indulgent, or irritable. It is the right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil. Nahum 1:2-8 

Nahum 1:2-3
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies. 3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

Praise God for His Wrath
In general venting is seen as a bad thing. When God vents His wrath, it is terrifying but ultimately good. God vents His wrath because He is fully just, infinite in love, and completely good. He is holy. Praise God for His wrath. Without wrath there would be no justice or love.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for Youth Horizons. Ask God to strengthen and grow their ministry as they serve kids at-risk.

James 5:12-20 – English Standard Version
12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

James writes that if a person is never at fault in what they say they are perfect, able to keep their entire body in check. The implication is that we are not going to perfect the use of the tongue. Of course, we must try to get better, but perfection is not going to happen in this life. The follow up for this reality is that the lower the trust between two people, the more perfect communication has to be. There is little to no room for mistakes, misunderstandings, or to innocently misspeak. This becomes a kind of death spiral…low trust, imperfect words, less trust. We simply must give others the grace that we need ourselves. We cannot expect perfection from others, even as we hope that they do not expect it from us. We must build trust by putting others’ needs ahead of our own in practical ways. This will position us for continued relationships, even when we make mistakes with our words. High trust allows for imperfect communication. It also allows for us to simply be able to say “yes” or “no” without becoming angry, demanding, anxious, or any other worried or manipulative approach. If you trust me, I don’t need to “swear by heaven;” my word is enough.

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