Posts Tagged ‘James 5:16’

If he shall hear

May 10, 2016

matthew-1815_3431_1600x1200The Verse of the Day for May 10, 2016 is found in Matthew 18:15 (KJV):

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

In any attempt to heal a broken relationship that may have been the result of an offense, whether deliberate or unknowingly committed, Jesus Christ encourages his followers to go the individual who caused the offense and confront the person and bring the offense to his or her attention. If the person hears you, then you have reconciled the relationship. The key to success lies in the conditional phrase, “If he shall hear. . .” indicating the possibility that the person will not hear.

Earlier in Matthew, the Disciples ask the Lord Jesus why he speaks in parables, and he responds:

Matthew 13:13

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

His response indicates that people can hear and yet not hear, personalized and poetically put this way:

Those who have eyes to see will behold the real me.

Those who don’t, won’t.

Those with ears to hear will also hear me.

Without ears to hear, they will not hear me.

Today’s Verse of the Day also brings to mind the Verse of the Day for May 6, 2016 which centered on James 5:16 (KJV), a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The previous blog post also discussed Matthew 18:15. Here is an excerpt from that entry:

In examining the Matthew 18:15, what does it mean to “tell him his fault”? A similar phrase used in James 5:16 is also translated . . .”to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth. . .

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationships, first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NLT) offer this exhortation

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, [a] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Matthew West expresses the essence of today’s comments in the song: “Forgiveness.”

Confess your faults and be healed

May 6, 2016

James_5-16
The Verse of the Day for yesterday, May 5, 2016, the National Day of Prayer, emphasized the power of prayer on a corporate level, as groups of individuals focused on the powerful words of 2 Chronicles 7:14. This conditional sentence indicates that if the people of God will meet certain conditions, God will respond and heal their land. The Verse of the Day for today, May 6, 2016, however, looks at the powerful effects of praying for one another on an individual level, as expressed in James 5:16 (KJV):

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Here is how the New Living Translation renders the verse:

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

We find a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another in Matthew 18:15 (KJV):

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Take a look at the New Living Translation:

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

In examining the verses found in James and Matthew, we ask, what does it mean to “tell him his fault” or “point out the offense”? Similar expressions are also translated “to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth.

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. 1 John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationships, first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 offer this exhortation:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I recall lyrics” which are addressed first to God and then to others in this original song:

Please Forgive Me

For each careless word and each thoughtless deed,
For each time I failed to follow your lead,
Each time I ignored you and went astray.
And let go your hand and walked my own way.

Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me this time.
Please forgive me each time.
Please forgive me.

Though I may have offended unknowingly,
I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.
As God in Christ Jesus has forgiven me,
I release all past hurts, and I set you free.

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you
I forgive you.
I forgive you this time.
I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

God first gave to us so that we might live.
We give to others when we learn to forgive.
Jesus, our example so perfect and true,
Said, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do.”

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you
I forgive you.
I forgive you this time.
I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

Do not resist Him; He wants you to yield.
Accept His forgiveness, and you will be healed.
Each sin committed, each iniquity
Is cast into the depths of the deepest sea.

God forgives you.
God forgives you.
God forgives you
God forgives you.
God forgives you this time.
God forgives you each time.
God forgives you.

Oscar Paris closes this blog entry with a beautiful musical reminder to “Forgive one another”:

We pray: God answers

May 6, 2015

James_5-16

The Verse of the Day for May 6, 2015 brings to mind the power of prayer. A published Examiner.com article on prayer is adapted as the following blog is re-posted on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe on the day before the National Day of Prayer:

In its simplest form prayer is communication with God. For the Christian believer, however, this conversation should not always lapse into a monologue of personal petitions. Brother Lawrence reminds us, prayer is a unique privilege: “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Indeed, prayer should be ongoing in every Christian believer. Jesus Christ declared that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The subject of prayer has been examined over the centuries, and believers today seek to more fully comprehend its amazing power.

The Bible has also revealed a number of kinds of prayer which form the bedrock of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray:

1 Timothy 2:1 introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

  1. Supplications
    With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it.       White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
  2. Intercessions
    To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provide protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)
  3. Prayers
    As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— ” (Ephesians 6:18)
  4. Thanksgiving
    Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.(I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

Sometime ago I heard the story of someone who had prayed, and God answered her prayer in a most unexpectant way. A statement was made at the end of the story which inspired this poem:

We Pray—God Answers

 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray,

 believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

 Mark 11:24

We pray, asking to receive and seeking to find.

If we knock, the door shall be opened all our days,

For God answers prayer in one of three sovereign ways:

Sometimes we pray and find that the answer is “yes.”

In Christ each promise is “yes” and “amen”,

For God is not a man that He should lie.

He has already spoken—What shall we say then

But give thanks, for when we call Him, He hears each cry.

Other times we find that the answer is “not yet.”

 We need more patience so that after we have done

All the will of God, as sons we might be instilled

With confident assurance given to each one,

Set as an empty vessel, yet to be fulfilled.

Or God may say, “I have something better in mind.”

 Before we abandon hope, feeling left behind,

Though it may seem we cannot pass another test,

But if we stop and think a moment, we will find

God, our all-wise Father, really knows what is best.

The accompanying video features the song “Pray for Me” by Michael W. Smith who reminds us to pray for one another:

1 Timothy 2:1-2: Always something to pray about

November 7, 2014

8095416890_cf2bfbea29_bIn response to the Verse of the Day for November 7, 2014, I am revising and re-posting the blog entry from a year ago which introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.

I Timothy 2:1-2:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Supplications
With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it. White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Intercessions
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge,” providing protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Prayers
As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

As I was working on this blog entry, I recalled a comment from Graham Cooke, who exhorted believers to compose and pray a prayer for patience. I followed his advice and would like to share the following poem in closing:

A Prayer for Patience

“My suggestion for people in a season of birth or upgrade                                                                                      

is to write out a prayer for patience and pray it every day.”  

Graham Cooke

 

For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance,                                                                  

so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God,                                                   

and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

Hebrews 10:36 (Amplified Bible)

I look back and pause and then look ahead to see

Clearly who God is, who He wants to be for me.

I still journey down the road less travelled by

And pray that patience may serve as a trusted ally.

I must say “No” to the pressures of this life

And say “Yes” to the rest God gives, despite the strife.

As I stay my mind on Him, I abide in peace.

When I praise God, works of the enemy decrease.

May I remain and not fall by the wayside as some

But like Job wait until at last my change shall come.

Patient endurance seems delayed for some reason,

But fruit abounds to those who wait in this season.

I pray that in this time of transition and shift

That I embrace waiting as a wonderful gift.

This  woodcarving by Elijah Pierce is called the Power of Prayer, the subject of the Verse of the Day.

This woodcarving by Elijah Pierce is called the Power of Prayer, the subject of the Verse of the Day.

Without question in the midst of the turbulent times in which we live, there is always something to pray about. Gateway Worship offer “As We Pray”, a fitting musical reminder related to the Verse of the Day.

Confess your faults

May 10, 2014

Matthew-18 15

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matthew 18:15 KJV

The Verse of the Day for May 10, 2014 brings to mind the Verse of the Day for May 6, 2014 which centered on James 5:16, a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

In examining the Matthew 18:15, what does it mean to “tell him his fault”? A similar phrase used in James 5:16 is also translated  “. . .to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth.

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationship first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 offer this exhortation:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Oscar Paris closes this blog entry with a beautiful musical reminder to “Forgive one another”:

Effectual, fervent prayer

May 6, 2014

James_5-16

The Verse of the Day for May 6, 2014 brings to mind the power of prayer. Five years ago, I published an Examiner.com article on prayer which is adapted as the following blog entry on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.

In its simplest form prayer is communication with God. For the Christian believer, however, this conversation should not always lapse into a monologue of personal petitions. Brother Lawrence reminds us, prayer is a unique privilege: “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Indeed, prayer should be ongoing in every Christian believer. Jesus Christ declared that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The subject of prayer has been examined over the centuries, and believers today seek to more fully comprehend its amazing power.

The Bible has also revealed a number of kinds of prayer which form the bedrock of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ in whose name we pray:

1 Timothy 2:1 introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

  1. Supplications
    With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it. White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)
  2. Intercessions
    To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provide protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)
  3. Prayers
    As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion. Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— ” (Ephesians 6:18)
  4. Thanksgiving
    Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.” It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.(I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

Sometime ago I heard the story of someone who had prayed, and God answered her prayer in a most unexpectant way. A statement was made at the end of the story which inspired this poem:

We Pray—God Answers

 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray,

 believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

 Mark 11:24

 

We pray, asking to receive and seeking to find.

If we knock, the door shall be opened all our days,

For God answers prayer in one of three sovereign ways:

 

Sometimes we pray and find that the answer is “yes.”

In Christ each promise is “yes” and “amen”,

For God is not a man that He should lie.

He has already spoken—What shall we say then

But give thanks, for when we call Him, He hears each cry.

 

 

Other times we find that the answer is “not yet.”

We need more patience so that after we have done

All the will of God, as sons we might be instilled

With confident assurance given to each one,

Set as an empty vessel, yet to be fulfilled.

 

Or God may say, “I have something better in mind.”

Before we abandon hope, feeling left behind,

Though it may seem we cannot pass another test,

But if we stop and think a moment, we will find

God, our all-wise Father, really knows what is best.

 

The accompanying video features the song “Pray for Me” by Michael W. Smith who reminds us to pray for one another.