Wednesday, September 16, 2015
James 5 Living Bible
1 Look here, you rich men, now is the time to cry and groan with anguished grief because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is even now rotting away, and your fine clothes are becoming mere moth-eaten rags. 3 The value of your gold and silver is dropping fast, yet it will stand as evidence against you and eat your flesh like fire. That is what you have stored up for yourselves to receive on that coming day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. Their cries have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
5 You have spent your years here on earth having fun, satisfying your every whim, and now your fat hearts are ready for the slaughter. 6 You have condemned and killed good men who had no power to defend themselves against you.
7 Now as for you, dear brothers who are waiting for the Lord’s return, be patient, like a farmer who waits until the autumn for his precious harvest to ripen. 8 Yes, be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers. Are you yourselves above criticism? For see! The great Judge is coming. He is almost here. Let him do whatever criticizing must be done.
10 For examples of patience in suffering, look at the Lord’s prophets. 11 We know how happy they are now because they stayed true to him then, even though they suffered greatly for it. Job is an example of a man who continued to trust the Lord in sorrow; from his experiences we can see how the Lord’s plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy.
12 But most of all, dear brothers, do not swear either by heaven or earth or anything else; just say a simple yes or no so that you will not sin and be condemned for it.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually be singing praises to the Lord.
14 Is anyone sick? He should call for the elders of the church and they should pray over him and pour a little oil upon him, calling on the Lord to heal him. 15 And their prayer, if offered in faith, will heal him, for the Lord will make him well; and if his sickness was caused by some sin, the Lord will forgive him.
16 Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as completely human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed again, this time that it would rain, and down it poured, and the grass turned green and the gardens began to grow again.
19 Dear brothers, if anyone has slipped away from God and no longer trusts the Lord and someone helps him understand the Truth again, 20 that person who brings him back to God will have saved a wandering soul from death, bringing about the forgiveness of his many sins.