The CJCN Evensong Lesson and Prayer.
By Senior Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.
(1) James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. (2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
New King James Version.
James addresses his book, “To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.” Since the breadth of this address does not indicate that the people were enduring any common experience, James is likely giving counsel of timeless and general application that is indispensable to growth in godly character to all sorts of people under every circumstance. At the very beginning he writes,
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (1:2-4)
Is patience that important? How important is it that we grow to be perfect and entire? James is clearly saying that patience is a vital ingredient to achieving this. Notice that he does not perceive patience as passive. It works! The fruit of its work can be either another virtue it is producing or in preserving itself, for that, too, is sometimes necessary.
Patience is not merely a fixed determination to hold our place in the teeth of the wind, but to make actual progress in spite of it. A ship may ride out a strong wind with a snug anchor and strong chains, yet another may set the sails to take advantage of the wind to bring it closer to its destination. It is this latter attitude that James is bidding us have and use.
Christ is a good example of this. Luke 9:51 says, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” All His life the shadow of His crucifixion hung over Him, yet without faltering, swerving, or resisting, He took every step of His path and nothing turned Him aside because He came into the world for that hour. His resolve never broke. He would not blench from carrying out His duty.
Lord God, we come before you and ask you to turn our hearts and minds to you alone, to you who have power over the whole world and who can do everything in our hearts according to your will. Let there be light in our time. Hear and answer the many prayers that have already come to you, rising for centuries before your throne, prayers for your kingdom and for your will on earth. This earth has become the prey of evil. We are poor and needy, and you alone can help us. Help us, O Lord, our God and Father. After this misery let your day come, your great day over all the world and over all peoples. In Jesus we Pray. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
May God bless you all and ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’, Amen.
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