Watch out, the Lord’s coming is near!

Watch out, the Lord’s coming is near!

James 5 v. 7 – 12

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.’

James’ encouragement is to practice patience, in the face of opposition and persecution.
Perseverance and patience are the keys, and God provides such.
In the meantime, we are to guard our tongues against:
(i) back-biting, and grumbling against each other – those persecuted need to stand strong together, not tear each other apart
(ii) becoming unreliable – our words must match our actions. God’s people should be able to be taken at their word.
Those who grumble, moan, back-bite and judge should beware…the Judge is at the door.
Those who seek and practice patience and guard unity should be encouraged…the Lord is near, and coming soon.

Lord Jesus,
stir up Your gift
of patience within us
as we wait for Your coming.
Stir up a passion for unity
not a perverse enjoyment of disunity
and discord.
And guard our tongues today
from speaking ill of others
but rather speaking encouragement
and from speaking platitudes and half-truths
rather than being taken at our word.
Yours is the glory
Yours is the power
Yours is the kingdom.

Phil Gough