From Ben Fronczek... James (Part 14) James' Final Advise -PRAY

James  (Part 14) James' Final Advise -PRAY

James 5:13-18 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

In presenting this series of lessons from the epistle of James, I tried to do so from the perspective of someone who quite literally grew up with Jesus; that is in the same household. James was a step-brother of Jesus. I am sure that there are so much more I could have added, but I hope that these lesson have given you a new perspective on what James wrote here.

In these final verses of this epistle, don’t miss the importance of what James is saying here. No matter what the situation, in the good times or bad, we need to go to God and talk with Him.  I believe James learned this from his brother Jesus. Can you just imagine the prayers that James and his family heard from Jesus’ lip as they were growing up? Well James closes his letter by letting us know that the privilege of communicating with God is for all of us.
Martin Luther said, “As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.”

J.G. Ryle wrote: “Prayer is the simplest of acts.   It is simply speaking to God. It needs neither learning, nor wisdom, nor book knowledge to begin it.              It needs nothing but heart and will.  The weakest infant can cry when he is hungry. The poorest beggar can hold out his hands for alms and does not wait to find words.  The most ignored man will find something to say to God, if he only has a mind. “

Andrew Murray said: “The powers of the eternal world have been placed at prayers disposal.   It is the very essence of true religion, the channel of blessing, the secret of power and life. “
Charles Spurgeon: “Prayers are the believer’s weapons of war. When the battle is too hard for us, we call in our great ally, who, as it were, lies in ambush until faith gives the signal by crying out, ARISE O LORD!!” Prayer is the slender nerve, which unleashed the muscles of an omnipotent God”
In this passage James highlights several different scenarios when we need to turn to God and pray.

#1. When are in trouble, Pray. (v. 13a)
When James speaks of trouble here it means ‘when we suffering through tough times.’   It’s not necessarily related to physical problems. It’s like when there isn’t enough money to pay the bills. Or when you feel like the rug is being pulled out from under your life, or when someone gives you a hard time, James tells us to pray!
This is not too difficult to understand, but notice what is not telling us;   He’s didn’t say that when you pray, God will always take away that trouble.
No matter how much we would like to find that promise, it just isn’t here.       In trying to bring about a greater good, God may be allowing a chain of events to unfold that you find troublesome.  As a matter of fact, in James 1:2-5 James wrote “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God.”        
Troubles are part of life, but in the midst of them we have a choice as to how we are going to act and react. We can trust God and ask  Him for help and understanding and allow Him to use those hard times to mold us into who He wants us to be, or we can allow the trials to beat us down and beat us up.
We can find strength and power in our troubles by turning to God while in them. “Is any one of you in trouble? (James says,) He should pray.”

#2. The 2nd thing that James tells us, that those who are happy, ‘well you should sing praises to God.’ (13b)      We teach our kids to say “thank you” when they receive something from someone, but all too often we are not genuinely thankful to the one who gives us everything we have. It is those prayers of thanksgiving that we often forget or neglect.
When we are in the deepest of trouble, it’s easy to remember to run to God and prayer. But when we are on the mountaintop and thing are going well, sometimes we have a tendency to forget God. James closes his letter by reminding us not to forget to praise and thank Him in heartfelt songs of praise!

We all have many reasons to rejoice! We are a people who have experienced God’s touch in so many ways. We live in a beautiful area. We all have nice homes and plenty of food. Many times we were sick or injured and have been physically healed. Now as a Christian we have purpose, we have the hope of heaven and eternal life,  our sins have been forgiven. We have a new family, new brothers and sisters.  There are all kinds of reason to be happy, and we need to be reminded, “Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise!”

#3.  James then goes on to address, those who are sick.    Now when there is sickness in the family, it is never a happy time. Many times our church has prayed for those who were sick and on some occasions we saw healings that seemed almost miraculous. Was it God who brought the sick ones back to health? I have no doubt in my mind.

In these verses James encourages us to recognize this fact; that we need to go to God, whether it is during times of trouble or in times of happiness or in times of sickness. We are to seek Him out.  He is our Father.

Regarding some special cases, James talks a little more about praying in such times of sickness and gives us some procedures to follow. Notice he says that the sick person needs to take the initiative to call the Elders.    After the sick person or their family takes the initiative to contact the elders, elders are given specific instructions about what they are to do.
First, they are to anoint with oil. Then they are to pray over the sick individual.  In the Greek it says, “…let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil in the name of the Lord.”   We need to recognize what this is all about.

In the Bible there are two terms used for “anoint.” The Greek word ‘chrio’ is the word used to refer to a ceremonial anointing. Like when Samuel anointed Saul and David with oil to declare them King.

In this passage we find a different word altogether, ‘aleipho’. It is the same word which is used in the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you remember that story, the Samaritan took the victim, anointed him with oil and took him to an inn. The word can be used to refer to a medicinal application of oil. It means “to apply or rub him with oil.”  Oil among these ancient people was highly valued for its therapeutic qualities. The oil provided more refreshment and soothing comfort than it did real relief for serious ailments. People even drank it as well as rubbing it on themselves as a medication.

James instructed that in times of weakness, spiritual or physical, Christians should ask their church elders to visit them, to pray for them, and to minister to them in Jesus’ name.
This is not about some procedure where the Elders of the church function in some mystical role. It is about them serving, helping and praying for their members.

But even in all this like Jesus we need to remember to say ‘Thy will be done Lord.’  Every sick person that is prayed for will not recover. The fact of the matter is, every person born into this world is terminal. All of us are going to die.  If every person we prayed for was made better, none of our friends or family would ever die. Even so, we still have seen God do some amazing things when we pray for certain people.

In our small group we always spend a considerable amount of time sharing prayer requests and lifting those people we care about up before God. I believe we have seen some miraculous recoveries take place. But we still need to remember, God has a plan for each of us, and we need to trust God when things don’t quite go the way we would have them.

James even goes on to say pray for people even when they are sick spiritually. He writes, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Bad habits, a guilty conscious, a sinful life style can have an effect on our body’s physical condition as well as our spirit.   We know that now, and they really believed it back then. Read the book of Job. His friends that came to visit him were convinced that the reason for all the calamity and sickness in his life was due to him practicing sin and so they advised his to repent.
Sometimes the best medicine to confess our sin to the one we committed it against. If we know that we sinned against God we need to anti-up and confess it to Him. If we sinned against a person we need anti-up and confess what we did to them. If we sin against a group of people or our church we are encourage to anti-up and confess to them.  And James lets us know when that takes place, and the person is forgiven, and prayed for, a real healing takes place.
Notice that it is not just the elders who are to do the praying, rather we are to pray for one another. We all have the responsibility of praying for one another’s needs, struggles, and hurts.
James ends his letter by letting us know just how powerful our prayers are. In verse 16 he writes, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” NIV. The NLT puts it this way, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” The Amplified Bible says, ”The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].”

Get the idea? And then James illustrates this very point by referring to a great man of prayer, Elijah. When Elijah prayed things happened showing that God  cares about what matters to you and me.

And when Elijah prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years. When he prayed for the widows son, He came back to life. When he prayed that the Lord would consume the offering drenched in water at that competition against the 400 prophets of Baal the Lord send fire that not only consumed the wet sacrifice but also the water, and the rocks all around. When he later prayed for rain after three and half years. it poured.

Knowing that intercessory prayer is a mighty weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I urge people everywhere to pray. The reason why it is so powerful and effective is because God cares about what matters to us.  Father God really does care for us, so humbly seek Him out and talk to Him.

In closing Peter wrote in1 Pet. 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

From Jim McGuiggan... Tailor-made babies

Tailor-made babies

Well, everyone knew it was going to happen. Even those who said it wouldn’t. Come on, we knew it would, didn’t we! It began with, let’s give people the choice to end the developing human’s life if he or she doesn’t have a suitably healthy body or mind. It was all for the child’s benefit. Of course it was, yes, certainly it was!
Some idiots said, "Watch, before very long ‘the parents’ will be wanting to choose the colour of the baby’s eyes and to fine tune the baby’s features. They’ll say things like, ‘No, no, we want the cheekbones a bit higher. You know what we mean, something like Carol Vorderman’s. And one thing we simply won’t tolerate is a weak chin. We loathe weak chins—and ears that stick out and...’ "

To which we replied—that is, the wise among us replied—"Don’t be ridiculous! No one would go that far. We’re far too morally and socially sophisticated for that."

We’ve now heard that a committee of scientists and others has advised the government that ‘parents’ should be given the right to choose the baby’s gender. (It’s true that there was furious division in the committee over the recommendations included in the report, but it still made it to the government and is being "given careful consideration.")

‘Parents’ are to be given the veto over the developing human’s life not on grounds of health, not on any grounds that lie in the baby, but because ‘the parents’ don’t want that kind of baby.
"Oh come on darling, let’s have another go. It’s true that we haven’t yet got the little girl we want and have had to dump the last two but maybe third time will be lucky."

"Yes, George, but what if it’s another boy—wouldn’t that be terrible! I don’t know that I could bear it. Three times in a row. You can’t expect me to live with that kind of stress and disappointment. It’s all too much." (She sobs bitterly. Poor thing.)

"Steady, darling, steady. They can do magical things now these medical people. And not only can they do them, they’re eager to please people like us that know exactly what we want and will not settle for anything else. We don’t have to roll the dice any more. They’ll see to it that we get the exact model we want."

"Oh, George, you’re so reassuring," she cooed, "You’ll make a wonderful father for our little pet. You’ll sacrifice everything for her. You’re that kind of man."

"Oh, Cynthia," he cooed back, "I love it that you see those qualities in me. But it’s really you, dear, you bring them out in me."

"I feel better already. Let’s go down and pick through those dresses and shirts and see if we can get something that pleases us. If not we'll get them tailor-made. And on the way home we can stop off at that little shop and get some ice-cream on the way home. Won’t that be fun? They have so many flavours," she said with a sweet giggle, "we're simply spoiled with choices."

From Mark Copeland... The Christian And Money (1 Timothy 6:6-10,17-19)

                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                 The Christian And Money (6:6-10,17-19)


1. The Bible says a great deal about money...
   a. It speaks about earning and spending, saving and giving
   b. It even tells about wasting our money

2. It puts to rest two commonly held misconceptions about money...
   a. That money provides ultimate security - Pr 23:4-5; Lk 12:15
   b. That God condemns the rich for being rich
      1) He certainly hates false gain, wrong motives for getting rich,
         and lack of compassionate generosity among the wealthy
      2) But some of the most godly people in the Bible were rich (Job,
         Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, Barnabas, Philemon, Lydia)

3. The Bible also teaches that both the rich and poor must fight similar
   battles, such as...
   a. Envy of others
   b. Greed for more

4. One passage in particular addresses several attitudes that often
   accompany money...
   a. It is found in 1Ti 6:6-10,17-19
   b. Which can be divided into three sections:  reminders, warnings and

[First, let's consider the...]


      1. As did some in Timothy's day - 1Ti 6:5
      2. As some do today (cf. "The Gospel Of Health And Wealth")
      3. Religion (godliness) is of value only when joined with
         contentment - 1Ti 6:6

      1. That which constitutes true wealth - 1Ti 6:6
         a. A consistent, authentic walk with God
         b. Combined with satisfaction and peace within (regardless of
      2. The key is contentment!
         a. A quality that is learned - cf. Php 4:11-12
         b. How is it learned?  By having:
            1) A proper perspective on life - 1Ti 6:7
               a) "You can't take with you"
               b) "What did he leave behind?"  "Everything."
               c) Ever see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer?
            2) An understanding of the true physical necessities of life
               - 1Ti 6:8
               a) Food and clothing
               b) Shelter is not a necessity, as millions exist without
                  it (e.g., in India)

[Thus the reminder to those not rich as to the key to true wealth:
godliness with contentment!  To those who want to get rich, Paul
provides a...]


      1. He is talking of those "who desire to be rich" - 1Ti 6:9
         a. Those who have a firm resolve, a strong determination
         b. One who is possessed with the thought of getting rich
      2. Such will "fall"
         a. Note the certainty:  those who desire to be rich fall - cf.
            Pr 28:20
         b. Into what will one fall? - 1Ti 6:9
            1) Temptations!
            2) Snares!
            3) Many foolish and harmful lusts!

      1. Note carefully what Paul says - 1Ti 6:10
         a) It is the love of money, not money itself
         b) It is "a" root of all kinds of evil (ASV, NKJV), not "the"
            root of all evil
      2. Those who long for money (in greediness), will experience two
         a) They will stray from the faith - cf. Mt 6:24
         b) They will suffer many sorrows - cf. Pr 28:20

[Be careful, or you will find yourself in "the black hole of greed"!
This warning applies both to the poor (who want to get rich) and the
rich (who want to be richer).  And now, we find Paul giving...]


      1. That is, high-minded or conceited - 1Ti 6:17; cf. Jm 4:6
      2. Remember that what you have ultimately comes from God!

      1. Riches are "uncertain" (especially in our economy!) - 1Ti 6:17
      2. Riches are "insufficient" - cf. Lk 12:15-21 (the parable of the
         rich fool)

      1. Note the repeated emphasis - 1Ti 6:18
         a. "Do good, be rich in good works"
         b. "Ready to give, willing to share"
      2. Look beyond the "good life" - 1Ti 6:19
         a. Store up a good foundation for "the time to come"
         b. Lay hold on "eternal life"!


1. This does not exhaust the subject of money, but we have addressed
   several critical issues...
   a. For those struggling to make ends meet
      1) Guard against being envious of the wealthy
      2) Focus on learning contentment in life
   b. For those engaged in the pursuit of money
      1) It's only a matter of time before you will be ensnared and
      2) In the process, you will lose the very things you think money
         can provide (peace, happiness, love, satisfaction)
   c. For those blessed to be rich
      1) Put away any conceit
      2) Forget about finding ultimate security in riches
      3) Tap into that which is life eternal, by cultivating generosity

2. Speaking of riches, the greatest treasures are those found in Jesus
   a. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of
      sins, according to the riches of His grace." - Ep 1:7
   b. "In Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
      - Col 2:3
   c. "And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality
      and power - Col 2:10

3. Why not come to Jesus today in complete obedience to His will...
   a. Place your faith in Him who died for your sins
   b. Repent of your sins
   c. Confess your faith in the risen Christ, the Son of God
   d. Be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins

Then you can begin to experience the "true riches" which Jesus offers to
all who will obey Him...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading January 13

Bible Reading   

January 13

The World English Bible

Jan. 13
Genesis 13

Gen 13:1 Abram went up out of Egypt: he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South.
Gen 13:2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
Gen 13:3 He went on his journeys from the South even to Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
Gen 13:4 to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on the name of Yahweh.
Gen 13:5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
Gen 13:6 The land was not able to bear them, that they might live together: for their substance was great, so that they could not live together.
Gen 13:7 There was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite lived in the land at that time.
Gen 13:8 Abram said to Lot, "Please, let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are relatives.
Gen 13:9 Isn't the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left."
Gen 13:10 Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well-watered everywhere, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar.
Gen 13:11 So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot traveled east, and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Gen 13:12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners against Yahweh.
Gen 13:14 Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, "Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward,
Gen 13:15 for all the land which you see, I will give to you, and to your offspring forever.
Gen 13:16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed may also be numbered.
Gen 13:17 Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its breadth; for I will give it to you."
Gen 13:18 Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to Yahweh. 

Jan. 13,14
Matthew 7

Mat 7:1 "Don't judge, so that you won't be judged.
Mat 7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you.
Mat 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how will you tell your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye?
Mat 7:5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.
Mat 7:6 "Don't give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Mat 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.
Mat 7:8 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.
Mat 7:9 Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Mat 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent?
Mat 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Mat 7:12 Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Mat 7:13 "Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it.
Mat 7:14 How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.
Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree can't produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that doesn't grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?'
Mat 7:23 Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.'
Mat 7:24 "Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock.
Mat 7:25 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Mat 7:26 Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.
Mat 7:27 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell-and great was its fall."
Mat 7:28 It happened, when Jesus had finished saying these things, that the multitudes were astonished at his teaching,
Mat 7:29 for he taught them with authority, and not like the scribes. 


From Gary... Destiny

This picture shows the knee-jerk reaction some dogs have to water.  I see it every time I give my dogs a bath; they know what is in store for them and they RESIST!!!  But, what if someone told you YOUR FUTURE... how would YOU REACT???...

John, Chapter 21
 15 So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” 

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” 

He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”   16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” 

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” 

He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”   17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?” 

Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?” He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.” 

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.   18  Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don’t want to go.” 
  19  Now he said this, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. When he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” 

  20  Then Peter, turning around, saw a disciple following. This was the disciple whom Jesus sincerely loved, the one who had also leaned on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who is going to betray You?”  21 Peter seeing him, said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 

  22  Jesus said to him, “If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you? You follow me.”  23 This saying therefore went out among the brothers, that this disciple wouldn’t die. Yet Jesus didn’t say to him that he wouldn’t die, but, “If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you?”

It seems almost too obvious to say, but both Peter and John loved Jesus. They both followed him for the rest of their natural lives.  Peter was crucified (upside-down, by request) and John was exiled to the isle of Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation.  Two very different destinies, for two very different people. Why? Only God knows!!!  We can't predict the future (I really DO NOT want to know it) but we can submit ourselves to God.  Even if we die the worst death imaginable, if we are faithful, we will have our heavenly reward!!!  So, let the future happen and may God help us all to accept our destiny without resistance; for God controls everything and in reality, there really is nothing to worry about. But, try telling that to dogs- they just don't get it!!!