Vs. 23, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” Peter exhorts us all on how to live in this crazy world. We have hope we hold onto that literally is “living” and grows (Vs. 3)…not just a living, but also a lasting hope! This hope leads to faith…a faith that is not tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. Hope also should lead us to live a life of holiness (Vs. 13-21). Such a simple word, but so hard to live by. Holiness means to live “set apart” from the world. Remember, if we are not “set apart” from the world, that means we are putting the world first and that translates into “hatred towards God.” Let’s let God’s enduring Word change these wretched hearts of ours.\
Regarding application…How are Christians to Love? Vs. 22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” Answer: Love deeply from the heart! Question: How do we love sincerely and deeply? Answer: Obey God’s Word/Truth! Do you see where this is going? We cannot love sincerely & deeply if we are not rooted in God’s Word! We may be able to grasp a little of what love is…but in order to live and love the church & its people…we must first walk daily with Jesus. We cannot seperate obedience & love. It’s preposterous to hear some Christians talk about modern day “Legalism” and how we should just love each other. This life is not a “free pass” to Heaven when it comes to life on earth before eternity! We are called to take up the cross of suffering & shame. Question: Are you loving your brothers & sisters deeply?
Vs. 8, “You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” While there are several ending thoughts James gives, the key thought is once again the second coming of Christ. When Christians honestly look for the return of Christ, they can’t help but show the evidence of hope in their lives! While there were a few good rich people, God does not pull any punches when it comes to the rich. The rich often live very selfish lives and God warns us time and time again not to love money because James outlines a little bit of what might happen if you do (Vs. 1-6). We also see that we must be careful with swearing by an oath (like putting your hand on a Bible and swearing you are telling the truth). The way we live our lives should be enough of a testimony of our promises. And of course, when trials inevitably enter our lives…Question: What must a Christian do? Pray, Pray & Pray!
Regarding application…How We Pray For Others. Vs. 16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” S.A.G. (Student Accountability Group)…this is one of the inspirations of why we have S.A.G’s! We can’t make it on our own if we do not learn to pray for each other! In order to pray, we must break the dividing walls and humble ourselves so that through prayer we can truly be healed. Whether you are in the Youth group are you are at your own church…we must learn to depend upon each other! “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17). I’m looking forward to our first Corona Prayer Night tonight!