James 5:1-11 | “If this should be my last day on this earth, how then shall I live?”
November 15, 2020

James 5:1-11 | “If this should be my last day on this earth, how then shall I live?”

Passage: James 5:1-11

“…in those days Christians neither spoke of nor thought of preaching as "sitting round" the word of God; or of preachers who "shared" it; or, for that matter, of clergymen who gave "talks." All of that would have betrayed to them an anthropocentric, horizontal, minimalistic, nondynamic—indeed (paradoxically), monological—view of preaching. No, they sat "under" the Word because they believed that the most important thing about preaching was that in and through it they heard the voice of Christ, bowed before Him, and worshiped Him. Preaching was not so much the transfer of information (no matter how insightful), but the reality of submissive communion with Christ. The goal was not instruction, but adoration.”

Sinclair B. Ferguson

The same radioactive “poison” that makes that wealth useless will also be the “poison” that eats men’s fIesh like fire.
Hodges, Z. C.

He could only understand what had happened to him, as already said, in terms of divine providence. God had stopped him from going in ways he would otherwise have taken and constrained him to convictions for which the thought of taking any credit to himself was abhorrent. He was never more in earnest than when he said, “I am such a sinner that God has always had to compel me to do things.” And again: “My whole life experiences are proof of the sovereignty of God and his direct interference in the lives of men. I cannot help believing what I believe. I would be a madman to believe anything else.

When you come to where I am, there is only one thing that matters, that is your relationship to him and your knowledge of him. Nothing else matters. All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Our best works are tainted. We are sinners saved by grace. We are debtors to mercy alone. 

To this I replied that I used foolishly to think that there was something rather wrong about some of the old saints who, when dying, prayed the words that Jesus commended, “God be merciful to me a sinner”. He proceeded: 

So did I, but it's rubbish. That’s where you will come to. I've been brought to that. Daniel Rowland said at the end, “I am nothing but an old sinner saved by the grace of God.” I say exactly the same. Then, after a pause, with profound emotion and broken voice, “God is very patient with us and very kind and he suffers our manners like he did with the children of Israel... The love of God!”

It so happened that I had been recently reading the words of Abraham Kuyper on Jacob, who, when the end drew near, “strengthened himself and . . . worshipped”. Kuypers exposition of Jacobs experience was remarkably parallel to that of this later servant of God. Commenting on the exercise of faith necessary for a dying believer, Kuyper wrote: 

“It must not be conceded that on his death-bed a man is permitted to let himself passively be overcome by his distress and by his weakness. In dying, the will, the courage and the elasticity of faith must still struggle against the weakness of the flesh. In this holy moment the spirit, not the flesh, must conquer. And this is what Jacob did. 

He strengthened himself in order that he might die in a godly manner . . . His mighty spirit shook itself awake. And so he glorified God in his dying. Dying he worshipped. In dying he felt to offer unto his God the sacrifice of worship and adoration; to give Him praise, thanksgiving and honor; to lose himself in the greatness and Majesty, in the grace and compassion of his God; and thus to offer Him the fruit of the lips, in a better fashion than he had ever been able to do in life. Such a solemn worship on one s death-bed is a summary of the worship which we have offered unto God in our life”

Iain Murray / Lloyd Jones


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