Prayer

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : James 5:12–20 The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (v. 16) “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Here is James, who has been insisting that real religion is a practical matter, now speaking of prayer. One who has had so much to say about our faith showing itself in our conduct might be expected to have very little to say about prayer. It frequently happens …

On Riches

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : James 4:13–5:6 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. (v. 5) In Africa, from where I am writing, we hear a good deal in the press about the evils of the former imperialists or colonial rulers. There is often little appreciation for what the riches of the “imperialists” have done, and any remaining problems are the legacy of the failures of the “imperialists.” James makes it plain that God also has a very definite …

The Law of Love

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : James 4:1–12 There is only one lawgiver and judge. . . . But who are you to judge your neighbor? (v. 12) “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers,” says James (v. 11). It is the love of finding fault that James here rebukes. A critical, censorious attitude toward others violates the law of love. The whole law of God is summed up in one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We all find it very easy …

The Tongue

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : James 3:1–18 From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (v. 10) Today the searchlight of God’s Word focuses upon the tongue. How small it is and yet what chaos it can create! Who of us is not convicted by what James writes? Of the tongue, James says, “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of …

Relevant Religion

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : James 2:14–26 So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (v. 17) The question of the relationship between faith and works for the Christian is more than a theological argument. The glory of the gospel centers in what God himself has done to save us through the gift of Christ, his beloved Son. What we could not do, God himself has done. It was God’s initiative. It was God’s provision. Christ Jesus came …

Difficult Times

Harvey Hoekstra

READ : 2 Timothy 3:1–9 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. (v. 1) We live in a world that stands opposed to God. Listen again to Paul as he warns Timothy what to expect: “People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers …