God's Impossible Standard [James 5]
1Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.2Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!4Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
7Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
Passages like James 5 tend to throw me back into a mindset of following rules instead of living by grace. I think it is the fear factor that if I don't do the things right, I will suffer miseries and judgment at the Lord's coming. Some of these verses are scary and I am such a mess!!! But then, I remember that me trying to be good doesn't work and that God's standard is truly impossible. That is why my Jesus had to die so He could fulfill that standard for me. And now, I can look at God's commands in a new way, as an opportunity for running to Him acknowledging that I can't live His way, but through His Spirit and the work of His Son, He can do all things in me. I can look forward to the coming of Jesus with eager expectation knowing that He is the One who makes me ready for His coming. He is producing in me, through these verses, a burden to tell as many people as the Lord brings my way about the wonderful grace of God who will take away the fear and replace it with peace and joy.
James 5:11 ...the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
We praise you that you are full of compassion and are merciful and that you are coming again for us. Cause us to be ready for you as we spend time in the Word getting to know you and acknowledging our weaknesses and learning to walk in Your power through the Spirit of Christ.