L. Chancy Gore, bishop & hope dealer,
the refuge church of the lake cities
FIELD NOTES FOR AN END TIME CHURCH
Behold, we count them happy which endure.
Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord;
that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
The Book of James was written by James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of James is really a retelling of Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” in many ways. James was the practical pastor of the Jerusalem church. The basic theme throughout the Book of James is simply that of daily faith in action.
James writes to encourage believers who were scattered here and yonder due to the persecution, at the time, in Jerusalem. He writes to help them keep living for God and keep the right perspective of faith during the difficult and hard times of life. He gives them some “field notes” on living for God through the good, the bad and even the ugly times of life.
Perhaps during this unique year of 2020 we could use these field notes from Pastor James more than ever. Let’s go over these biblical field notes together.
FIELD NOTE #1 MONEY & RICHES WILL NOT INSULATE YOU FROM ALL OF LIFE’S
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
This is not a discourse against money or riches. Rather, the main point is a matter of one’s heart about money and riches. Money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil!
This is a matter of desire, heart and motive. Basically, James was letting the people of God know that even if you have money and riches, none of us are exempt from all of life’s troubles and trials. Money will not keep us from pain, tears, fears and bleeding in life. However, it takes money, in many ways, to make life work. Keep your heart, perspective and attitude towards money right.
FIELD NOTE #2 BE PATIENT!
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Pastor James encourages the believers to be patient in their suffering knowing that the Lord is one day coming back. Keep your hearts and spirit right. Jesus is coming back one day!
FIELD NOTE #3 DON’T GROAN OR GRUDGE OVER ONE ANOTHER!
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
The note here is to not become grieved with one another. They were encouraged to not allow themselves to cause one another to groan or be grieved with each other. In short, don’t cause one another to have a grudge and don’t hold grudges against each other. The Lord is soon to come. We don’t have time for drama, bitterness, grudges and suchlike! He encourages them to look to the Old Testament prophets for an example of staying faithful to God in the midst of suffering.
FIELD NOTE #4 KEEP ON ENDURING!
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
The field note here is simply to keep on keeping on child of God! Do not quit! Keep living for God!
FIELD NOTE #5 WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
The saints were scattered and suffering. Pastor James encourages them that because of the given season they were going through they should be careful of what they say as well as how they say it to one another. He encourages them to keep their word. Perhaps, during all this current chaotic crisis and season we are in we too should be careful of what we say and how we say it. Watch your mouth. Watch you words. Watch what you text, tweet, post and etc. Of course, this field note is good for all seasons of life.
FIELD NOTE #6 PRAY!
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.
Prayer is still our answer! My apostolic Pentecostal grandmother, “Nanny”, used to tell me, “Pray Son. Pray much. Pray. Pray. Pray.” Lord, teach us to pray. Saturate your whole life in prayer. Prayer will carry you the suffering and keep your mind and spirit right.
FIELD NOTE #7 SING PSALMS!
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Keep singing! Don’t’ lose your song! Keep singing even in the midst of suffering! Godly music, singing and worship will carry you through!
FIELD NOTE #8 CALL FOR THE PASTORS!
14 Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Stay connected to your pastor. You cannot overlook the plan of God for there to be a pastor and shepherd in your life. Especially during times of suffering or sickness. We are called to exercise our faith and call for the pastors to pray for us. Make it your mission to stay connected to your man of God who watches over your soul.
FIELD NOTE #9 FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER!
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We must exercise caution here. This is not an open statement to just blurt out all your
shortcoming to everyone or the whole church. More than likely, it is within the context of an extension of the pastor pray for others as well as ongoing conversation and healing help. Likewise, we should all pray for one another. Do not overlook the field note of forgiveness!
FIELD NOTE #10 PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER!
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
We need one another. We need to pray for one another. Pray for one another to be healed. Pray for one another to “make it through”! Pray for others to have victory and healing in their suffering. Like Elijah, pray fervently. Pray again. Keep praying for one another to be healed. Thank God for the gift of prayer!
FIELD NOTE #11 KEEP CONVERTING SOULS!
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
We should actively encourage our brothers and sisters in the Lord to not error from the truth but to keep living for God. We should also be actively reaching out for new souls. Our main mission is to seek and to save the lost and to keep the saved, saved. Keep reaching for souls!