Our church, Solid Rock, has been going through the Book of James this year. It has been interesting and timely. It seems like each week's news was custom made for the next Sunday's sermon. Here's a link to the series. http://tinyurl.com/dk8rcc
We are finishing up James 5. http://tinyurl.com/a9njal
We are living in a time where our greed has caught up with us. It has affected all political parties and people. I don't care your beliefs, if you live in America, you have been caught up in it. I know I have.
We are seeing our wealth eaten away, not only because of Wall Street greed or political bumbling, but because we also invested in things that were temporary. We like things. We are a consumer nation. We like instant gratification. We also like to think that we are not part of the problem. But we are.
While we might not be the wealthy CEO, greedy sales rep or insensitive government employee, we all have helped support those who do take advantage of the poor, needy or helpless. Either through action or inaction. Who has ever bought something from China or another impoverished country? We might not like the conditions, but we love the products and prices. Who has truly lived out the Shema? To love God with all your Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength and to love your neighbor as yourself? Who has consistently looked after the poor and needy? The widows and orphans. Who has ever walked by someone in need and not done what was right?
God is calling the world to account for it's greed and lack of concern for those in need.
But he also gives hope to those who love Him. In vs. 7 we are told to be patient and wait. The illustration is that of a farmer waiting patiently for his crops to be ready for harvest. The farmer waits with anticipation for that day when all his hard work and toil bears fruit. We are also asked to endure. While it is not comfortable, God will give us the strength to endure.
I have had a tough year with work and finances. While I still have a job, my circumstances have prevented me from earning a living. While this is about to change, it has been hard. It has been easy to say "Why Me?"
What I feel God is asking me to do is to simplify my life and spend more time with him. To stop planning and start trusting. To do each day what I know I need to do and let Him provide the clients and finances. To replace planning time with prayer time. To replace striving with seeking Him.
This isn't new to me. I have done it in the past and it has worked. As I have drawn closer to God, He has always provided.
Lord, give me the strength to change my habits yet again.
Anyway, it's late and I need to sleep.