For the last year or so, I have been swept away by the book of James. I am trying to put my finger on why I am taken with the man and the book for some time now. Do I have a crush on James? Maybe, but it goes way deeper than that. I have a feeling in my heart when I think about James’ leadership at the Jerusalem Council in the early days of the church. I think about how he put together some simple rules for the newly saved Gentiles rather than bury them with Jewish law. The ability to execute decision making with great wisdom and fairness is commendable. That is probably one reason why James was known as James the Just. If there is an admiration scale in me, I think wisdom and fairness tips the scale; of course, in favor of James and my desire to learn from his life.
I think about James’ life experiences and history with his family and brother Jesus. All of this must have been working through his mind and soul as he sought to lead and feed the Jerusalem church and beyond. He had the Word on paper and he had seen the Word face to face. I am reminded that we all are capable of doing great things when we have had a face to face encounter with the Word on paper or in person.
Scholars say James had another nickname – – camel knees. I don’t really like the sound of that knobby phrase. There had to have been a better Jewish word to describe a prayerful person. In any case, James was highly regarded for his consistent prayer life. Looking forward 30 or 40 years, I hope to think that I will have put in enough time with the Lord to be remembered in such a way. I find that rather challenging when I think about the day to day tasks of getting up, making lunch, getting out the door. The daily challenges that scrape away at the precious minutes we have under the sun. The frustrations of what is and isn’t and how long until. We are all living in an opportunity to seek the Lord at all costs. To intelligently and intentionally push through the grind to the matters of the heart. The things that really matter to the Lord.
Because really, I think it is the heart of James that has swept me away. It is the heart of a brother that had a remarkable encounter with the resurrected Lord and never looked back, not once. My heart can’t travel past that. I am swimming in the revelation. If you think you might be taken by James as well, take a look below. I am going to hunt for the Jesus in James until my heart is quenched. For now, I just can’t get enough.
Pastor Bob Coy’s sermon on February 2, 2014
Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon James: Jesus’ Bold Little Brother
Beth Moore’s bible study, Mercy Triumphs