Wednesday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: James 5:12-20 (NKJV)
5:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes,” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
“He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
We live in a world where sin is accepted, where the slogan of a whole generation is “don’t judge me!,” where those who would speak against sin are themselves branded as the ultimate sinners, “intolerant” or “judgmental.” It is a formidable challenge. Long ago, when Boy Scouts promised to keep themselves “morally straight,” people knew what that meant. Not anymore.
Yet sin is, ultimately, our real problem; not only particular sins, but more importantly the original sin that corrupts us all. Nor do we point out someone else’s sins (or sinful nature) from a sense of judgmental superiority. Rather, we do so that through repentant faith in Christ Jesus they may pass out of judgment into life.
Of course the first step is to examine our own lives, confess our own sins, and receive the forgiveness we so desperately need ourselves. But don’t stop there. As opportunities arise, point the wayward and the unbelieving to the Word of God so they may see their sin, repent, and be made heirs with us of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.
We pray: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. And as Your forgiven one, use me to speak Your Word, that other souls too may be saved from death and receive eternal life. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.