Now James comes at the rich folk pretty hard out of the gate here. However, his words are targeting those fat cats who got richer off making others poorer. James is spotlighting those who got their wealth kinda like the dudes who run sweatshops and enjoy themselves some child labor. Ill-gotten gains comes to mind. That, and“eye for an eye,” but that’s old school Old Testament, so anyways…
These people…man, they look like they’re in for a hurtin’. All of the worldly excesses that they have fattened themselves up with will be their undoing come time for judgment and eternal placement. The Richie Rich crew who got their dough through hard work and God-glorifying, they’re good. They still can’t take it with them, but they needn’t worry about being charbroiled in the afterlife like their evil counterparts.
James also speaks of patience. Patience for the return of Jesus to bring the faithful home. He likens it to a farmer being patient for the rains. And this may be hard for,well, EVERYONE, since we depend on drive-thrus, instant coffee and have a device that allows us to skip commercials because to have to wait two minutes to be able to watch more “stars” dancing is unacceptable to us.
Not sure James would have loved the advent of DVRs. Kinda goes against his whole “learn to be patient” idea.
He also says be patient in the midst of suffering, because in the end, that is where you can see Jesus pull the clutch moves and deliver you in your hour of need. That’s where your faith and hopeful endurance is tested. If you got patience on the brain, then you’re golden.
James also talks about the power of prayer. That it can LITERALLY heal someone. Like, physically make someone who is not healthy, healthy again. Believe it. He says prayer over others, for others, is the ticket. He says that prayer only works for those who believe it can work. The Bible throws around a term that seems appropriate here: FAITH. Prayer requires it. FYI.
Lastly, James is all about roping in those wandering sheep. Should you see a stray, or suspect that one’s about to scale the wall, bring them back in. If you do, you just saved a life. And a soul.