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Being Real In Spiritual Labor

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Being Real In Spiritual Labor
James 5:7–12 NLT
7 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! 10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. 12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.
INTRODUCTION:

I- LABOR WITH PATIENCE ().

7 Dear brothers and sisters,* be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

James 5:7–8 NLT
7 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

A- Keep on laboring patiently until Jesus returns (Verse 7 a, 8 b).

(Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί)
Μακροθυμήσατε οὖν, ἀδελφοί)
1- Do not give up – keep on track for Jesus.
()
Galatians 6:9 NLT
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
a. like Paul in the early Christians
()
2 Corinthians 6:4–5 NLT
4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.
2- The only retirement date for the believer is given here.
a- τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου! (vs. 7)
b- ὅτι ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἤγγικεν
τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου
ὅτι ἡ παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἤγγικεν
(vs. 8).

B- Keep working the vineyard until Jesus returns (verse 7 b, 8 a).

1- James points to the farmers who must labor with patience and dependence upon the Lord, while waiting for the harvest.
a- There are some things that the farmer can do:
(1) prepare the ground
(2) plant the seed
(3) cultivate the plants
b- There are some things that the former cannot do:
(1) create the seed
(2) cause it to rain
(3) prevent storms
(4) because the seed to germinate
(5) make the plants grow and produce
c- The reference to the earlier and latter rains in verse 7:
(1) The autumn rains usually appeared in October and softened the ground for planting. The spring rains usually came in April or May and matured the crops for harvest. The fact that the farmer had to wait for these rains showed his stamina or patience. The farmer had learned to trust in the reliability of God to supply the needs for his crops.
II- LABOR WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE ().
(2) The believer is to patiently continue to do the work of following Christ and building Christ’s kingdom until the Lord returns. The rains of adversity and persecution actually lead to the increase in the harvest from the believer’s life.
Holman New Testament Commentary: Hebrews & James 1. An Appeal for Stamina in Trials (vv. 7–11)

The blessed hope of the Christian is the personal, bodily return of Jesus Christ (see Titus 2:12–13). We must not allow events to dull our hope in Jesus’ return. We must not reduce our hope for Jesus’ return to something like the transformation of society by Christian values. Jesus will come personally!

The hope of Jesus’ return gave the early Christians hope as they faced hardship (Heb. 9:28). We must look at time from the viewpoint of the God for whom a thousand years is only a day (2 Pet. 3:8; 2 Cor. 4:16–18). Though centuries have passed since Jesus promised to return, we serve a God for whom the length of time does not imply a failed promise. Our hope of Christ’s return is an encouragement for us to obey him.

J. Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission in the 1860s. He believed fervently in the impending return of Christ. His belief influenced him to make the evangelism of unreached areas of China his primary aim. His beliefs about Christ’s return gave him direction and urgency in the establishment of the mission.

Our belief in the return of Christ can provide us courage to face difficulty. It can give us stamina to endure persecution. It can deepen our hope that God will provide us reward and recognition to vindicate our actions.

II- LABOR WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE ().

The autumn rains usually appeared in October and softened the ground for planting. The spring rains usually came in April or May and matured the crops for harvest. The fact that the farmer had to wait for these rains showed his stamina or patience. The farmer had learned to trust in the reliability of God to supply the needs for his crops. II- LABOR WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE ().
James 5:9–11 NLT
9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! 10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.

A- Keep a positive attitude toward fellow believers ().

James 5:9 NLT
9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
1- Do not hold grudges ()
Leviticus 19:18 NLT
18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
2- Do not grumble against each other ()
Galatians 5:26 NLT
26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
3- Jesus will hold you accountable for grudge carrying and grumbling ().
2 Corinthians 5:10 NLT
10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

B- Keep a positive attitude toward the work ().

James 5:10–11 NLT
10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
1- Look to God’s word for examples:
a- The Old Testament prophets:
(1) Jeremiah
Holman New Testament Commentary: Hebrews & James 1. An Appeal for Stamina in Trials (vv. 7–11)

In Jeremiah 38, King Zedekiah wrongly imprisoned the prophet Jeremiah in a muddy dungeon and left him to die. Jeremiah voiced no complaint toward God or his captors. When Zedekiah summoned him and asked for his advice in a matter, Jeremiah told him, “Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared” (Jer. 38:20). Jeremiah spoke in the name of the Lord and showed obedience despite intense suffering. He showed long-suffering in that he neither complained nor found fault with God’s treatment. We are to imitate behavior like that.

(2) Hosea
How was he able do it?
He knew who they were working for.
He kept their eye on eternity.
He remembered God’s sustaining hand.
b- Job
Job continue to be faithful to God through all of his adversities.
He was able to do so by remembering that he served a faithful God.
()
Job 19:25–26 NLT
25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. 26 And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!
Job 19:25 NLT
25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.

III- LABOR WITH PRODUCTIVE WORDS ().

James 5:12 NLT
12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.

A- Do not elevate your own opinion about the teachings of Scripture.

1- James’ reference to the taking of oaths is a reference to the Jewish custom that Jesus condemned in the Gospels.
a- They would swear on sacred objects in an attempt to elevate the authority of their own ideas.
b- The practice was considered to be profane in Jewish culture, but was nevertheless practiced.
* In the New Testament period, some Jews used oaths for frivolous swearing. They would make a statement such as “by my life” or “by my head” to bolster the truth of a promise or statement. They also used evasive swearing. If a person swore by the name of God, his oath was binding. If he swore by another object such as heaven or earth, his oath was not binding. Jesus condemned such false actions. He wanted the words of his followers to be so patently honest that they needed no additional confirmation. James affirmed what Jesus had already said. He wanted an individual’s yes to mean yes, and the no to mean no. God would judge the words of an evasive or frivolous swearer.
()
Matthew 5:33–37 NLT
33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
Matthew 12:36 NLT
36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.
In the New Testament period, some Jews used oaths for frivolous swearing. They would make a statement such as “by my life” or “by my head” to bolster the truth of a promise or statement. They also used evasive swearing. If a person swore by the name of God, his oath was binding. If he swore by another object such as heaven or earth, his oath was not binding. Jesus condemned such false actions. He wanted the words of his followers to be so patently honest that they needed no additional confirmation. James affirmed what Jesus had already said. He wanted an individual’s yes to mean yes, and the no to mean no. God would judge the words of an evasive or frivolous swearer (see ).
2- In our own culture, people often use oaths and profane language in an attempt to give weight to their words and ideas.
a- The child of God should avoid such practices.
3- Christ followers should rely on the authority of God’s word rather than their own opinions.
2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
a- Jesus warns against teaching human opinion rather than God’s word. () – he warned of judgment against the prophetess Jezebel and her followers In the church at Thyatira.

B- Keep your communications in harmony with biblical teaching in order to avoid judgment.

1- The biblical principles are simple:
Ephesians 4:29 NLT
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
a- A believer’s language should promote positive testimony for Christ.
b- A believer’s language should promote the growth of other Christians.
c- A believer’s language should help lost people understand how to trust Christ as Savior.
CONCLUSION:
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