Challenges From James: Run the Race

Podcast: 
Date: 
Thursday, 2/4/2010
Speaker: 
Pastor Lucas Forsthoff
Scripture: 
Duration: 
29:56

Challenge From James: Run The Race

James 4:13-5:20
To walk with the Lord over a long period of time is not always easy. We hear people all the time being criticized for their faith (Psalm 35:3 Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, "I am your salvation, doubting their relationship with God, and we are constantly working our salvation on our knees and trying to be a good Christian.
We realize that we are running a race and this race is not easy but it is a strenuous marathon…that takes your entire life. This marathon we are running must be run with others in mind, patience, and prayer.
James 4:13-17

Protect//Be careful about the place you decide to live.

Be careful…
1. About the job you choose and the job your wife chooses
a. When Jen was looking for a teaching job, I told her the places she does not want to work and the schools I recommend for her to work at.
2. About the friends you and your wife choose
3. About the place you live
4. About the friends your children have
5. About what school your children are going to
Genesis 19:1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.
We are introduced to Lot living in Sodom…a place God wants to destroy so the city must be evil, perverted, and vile. We all know cities just like this one…Vegas, LA, and any hot spot for spring break.
v.4-5 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”
v. 8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
Lot is living in a perverted city becoming numb to the perversion and living as a perverted man. But he is a child of God…yes, but a very weak, pathetic child of God.
Many of us have let our surroundings determine what our life is going to be like. We have stopped reading our Bible and listening to the voice of God. We live like the world because you have been living in the world for too long. We are supposed to live in the world but not be like the world. There is a big difference.

Patience//Be Patient and Persevere.

v. 7-8 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
You have to be patient when you are running a marathon, you can’t bust out really fast in the beginning because by the end of the race you won’t have anything left in your tank to finish.
5 Steps of the Farmer
1. Plowing, weeding, and chasing birds away
2. Waited for the early rains (October and November) before he could plant seed.
3. Waited for the latter rains (March and April)
4. Waited for the harvest while food supplies got low
a. Not uncommon for food to be rationed and the children to be crying from hunger pains waiting for the harvest
5. With his life in his hands, he had to wait for conditions outside of his control.
Sometimes you begin to doubt why you are doing all of this but God says, be patient because nothing is going to truly make your life perfect until I return.

Pray

James 5:13-20 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore 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.
17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Prayer when…
1. You are suffering
2. When you or someone is sick
3. You have to confess sin
4. You need healing
5. You know someone has to turn back to God
a. We must always be willing to accept people who have turned away from God.