14th Sunday in Pentecost
Scripture: James 17-27
James is much like our Lord in that he calls it as he sees it.
Jesus often loses patience with the scribes and Pharisees, primarily when they are not living the law that they want to preserve, but He spoke with good reason.
There are few individuals who have not been unimpressed by the dangers of being too quick to speak and too slow to listen. A scholar’s work includes these words: “quick to hear and quick to forget” and “slow to hear and slow to forget”
Be ye swift to hear the words that you may be correct to understand them. Remember, if we are slow to anger one might not stick their foot in their mouth.
While one might be tempted to be angry with a slow learner, a backwards person, and especially a lazy person, we might accomplish more of our desire if we encourage these persons and do not expect them to measure up to our standards. Our response to them always shows our true character.
Here James presents us with a vivid picture. Paul speaks of a man who goes to the church service, listens to the message, and leaves thinking that his listening has made him a Christian. He deceives himself thinking that attendance in public worship, hearing the word preached, is enough that he has faithfully served the Lord that day. It is not ok that he has shut his eyes, plugged up his ears, and closed his mind and heart to what has just happened in the worship service to and for him.
James is seeking to remind us that what we hear in the service must be lived out daily in our lives as we interact with one another.
I was appointed to a local church with much pride that they had 5 weekly services of Bible study and prayer meetings. About 50 people were involved in these special services. They were extreamly proud of this track record. Then a newcomer was asked to join in one or two of them. He said, “You must be quite knowledgeable about the scriptures and your love of the Lord is wonderful, but what are you doing with all that knowledge and love in making new disciples for the Lord, spending 5 nights in a week in these 2 events? When do you go out to the streets of your community and tell of his love?”
That went over like a bucket of ice water being poured over their heads!
Don’t you know that the worship service is to equip you to share your love and knowledge of the lord.
The Sunday morning worship, Sunday school classes, prayer meetings, and bible studies are all wonderful, but they were meant to prepare us to tell His story in making new disciples.
Do you recall the words of that great hymn “Jesus Calls Us?”
“Jesus calls us o’re the tumult
Of our lives wild, restless sea
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth
Saying Christian follow me!”
Are we faithful to His calling?
The problem today is the church today has become a spectator sport. We come to the church to be with others like ourselves who love the Lord. We take in great spiritual insights that make us feel good, thinking we have met our spiritual duties for the week. Then we go home and return next week once again to have that warm fuzzy feeling. But God has blessed us with relatively little blessings because we did not labor in His vineyard.
Jesus calls us. Yes Jesus calls us even you and me. What are we doing about that calling?
Let us pray...