Tag: The Lord is coming
Scripture reading for December 16th: James 1-5
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Not many people like trials. It takes an act of faith to count being in a trial ‘joy’. James said we should embrace trials with joy because we know that they develop perseverance. We need perseverance to grow up and mature. He was the pastor of the church in Jerusalem that endured many trials and much persecution.
“Be patient, then brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The judge is standing at the door.” James 5:7-9
We also need patience because Jesus is coming. Farmers regularly must be patient and wait upon God for the needed rains to grow and mature their crops. The crop of eternal life will be ripe when Jesus comes back. Grumbling is a sign of impatience. God will judge those who are impatient and fail to wait.
“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11)
James is always addressing the “brothers” in an encouraging way, appealing to their past knowledge and understanding as Jewish believers. They were familiar with the prophets and their suffering–especially Job. Job suffered patiently and God restored him completely at the end of his trial.
“Is anyone in trouble? He should pray.” (James 5:13a) James ends his letter with an encouragement to pray when in trials or trouble. Prayer helps us to persevere and develops patience. He will answer us today as well! Jesus is coming!
Scripture reading for September 20th: Micah 1-2
Micah began his ministry with a vision of the Lord coming to visit the earth. “Hear, O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all who are in it, that the Sovereign Lord may witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple. Look! The Lord is coming from His dwelling place; He comes down and treads the high places of the earth. The mountains melt beneath Him and valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope. (Micah 1:2-4) God’s coming would be sudden and earth-shaking! There would be great glory and would get mankind’s attention quickly!
The reason for this coming of the Lord was to judge Israel’s sins. These sins included idolatry in Samaria and Jerusalem! (Micah 1:5-7) The worship of these idols included prostitution, and sexual sin was rampant. God was angry and about to bring disaster upon His idolatrous people! They would be overrun and go into exile!
“If a liar or deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ he would be just the prophet for this people.” (Micah 2:11)
God’s word to His people through Micah was strong because the people were headed for judgment. The Israelites had grown corrupt and had forsaken the Lord. They were coveting fields and defrauding their neighbors of their property and ability to make a living. The rich were taking advantage of the poor and were not aware that the Lord was displeased and about to come to them in judgment. God had sent prophets to them to warn them but they refused to listen. They told them not to prophesy to them, they did not want to hear that the Lord was angry. (Micah 2:6-7) God told them that their attitudes and actions were taking away blessing from their own children! (Micah 2:9)
When people are worldly, they seek a god that will fit their lifestyle. This is our plight in America today. Many carnal Christians say they love God, but do not want to hear rebuke for their sins. They want smooth messages that make them feel good in their sins. They value their pocket books more than righteousness in their elected officials. Homes are being broken by sexual idolatry. Would God recommend a deceiving prophet who will prophesy plenty of wine and beer for us? Are we listening to one?