James?Straw or Substance?

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:19-20 Walking with you through the practical Epistle of James this month has been a privilege I cherish and an opportunity I approached prayerfully . . . and somewhat anxiously. At this point I feel safe in reporting to you that Martin Luther called the book of James “a letter of straw.” James, straw or substance? Luther contended that “the just shall live by faith alone” over against a salvation claimed by “works righteousness.” Nothing in James …

The Power of Prayer

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:16-18 James calls us to pray on this Memorial Day (USA). Prayer is a normal maintenance procedure for spiritual health. It is not alternative medicine. As we gratefully remember those who died serving us, let our “living memorial” be a ministry of healing through mutual confession and prayer by serving as priests with each other. We recall Elijah to whom James refers as “human just like us.” Elijah’s prayers brought in changes God ordained for his purpose. …

An Office Call At Home

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:13-15 In my church ordained leaders “hold offices.” This passage says plainly the office of an elder is a person, not a place. And the person makes house calls on people needing healing and forgiveness. Before we discuss the gift of healing, let us recall the trouble and happiness that co-exist in any church family. It is not a place only for those in full gloom, nor those in full bloom. There is room in the church …

God Is Not My Co-Signer

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:12 Anxiety about our credit may tempt us to seek a co- signer whose added security guarantees our worth and covers our debt in case of default. Many of the loans held by readers will give evidence to the helpfulness of a co-signer. James warns us that our personal integrity should be able to stand its own ground. If my yes or no is looked upon as “not worth enough,” I ought not try to add to …

Celebrate Your Mentors

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:10-11 My life has been mentored by the influence of many “professors” of whom some were professional. In the most generic sense, a professor is one who makes an open declaration of faith! So, I believe James refers to the “scattered ones” (1:1) as professors of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:5, nrsv). Here in verse 10 James instructs …

When Will Your Investment Mature?

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:7-9 Living each day with a keen awareness of eternity is a steward’s true focus. The “returns” of the rich, just referred to, may have been exhilarating in the short term. But, the long term produces those stubborn earthly consumers moths and rust! The end- of-the-week paycheck, the year-end growth in principal and interest, or the long-term maturity bonds none provide adequate yield. James reminds us that the only safe long-term investment is in the one who …