James was writing mainly to believers who were in difficulties that were largely outside of their control.He wanted to encourage them, help them and, in some cases, warn them.James is the closest thing that the New Testament gets to Old Testament wisdom literature … it has a very Jewish flavour … it’s pithy, direct and in your face … and not everyone liked it.
A few weeks ago I told a story about **possibly** the Apostle Paul’s favourite churchOn Paul’s second missionary journey there was a place where he only stayed a month , before he and Silas were chased out of the town by a murderous crowd. But the people there made such a big impression on him that he wrote two encouraging letters to themAs it turned out, Paul was unable to return, but hemanagedto send in Timothy who came back with ‘an encouraging report’.But in the midst of all this … he also said
Why ‘James’?1.Have faith2.Be patient3.Seek wisdom4.Act rightly5.Work well6. Speak carefully7. Live humbly8. Keep going9. Expect miracles10.Rescue people
Paul’s favourite church?• … received … in much affliction … joy … a ‘model’• Great desire to see them ‘face to face’• Live well, continue to love one another• Don’t worry about death, Jesus will return• Rejoice, pray and give thanks – trust the Spirit
1 Thessalonians 5:14And we urge you, brothers,admonish the idle,encourage the fainthearted,help the weak,be patient with them all.
John 13: 34-35‘A new command I give you: love one another.As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are mydisciples, if you love one another.’
Talking to difficult people?1. Definitely me2. Probably you3. Certainly others4. So … trust in God … and be led by the Spirit