Finishing Strong

LifestyleChristianity13Throughout this Epistle we've seen the way to endure thru adversity as James concludes by encouraging us to finish strong. For those who know they are Israelites yet still see living by faith as unnecessary, life can become quite difficult to bear. Some may secretly wonder sometimes, "Why has God made it this way?!" It's not Him. It's a matter of inwardly yearning for what your Father has in store for you by following the words of Christ in your life. Some think they have the perfect gameplan, while proudly wearing the uniform, but may realize later on, they're not even in the game. For those who are humble, here's more keys to carry you to victory.

JAMES 5:8-9

8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Everyone has a place in God's overall plan, even those with wrong intentions. God is in control and so complete is His power that He can use anything to fulfill His purposes, and all for His glory. Becoming a "patient" Christian certainly does involve controlling your mind, as well as knowing what's in "your heart". As seen previously in this study, those who gain the closest intimacy with God, humble themselves and repent of being double minded by fully trusting God in their hearts. A clear indication one has done so is patience with others and not being so apt to complain. How serious then is it when one is not only impatient and full of complaints, but always tries to shift all the blame and negative attention to someone else? Though some may think themselves clever, still our Father "standeth before the door" of every heart with perfect knowledge of every circumstance.

As you will see, only those who are weak and refuse to establish their hearts remain continually impatient. While with "the Lord" we can know all ends well and all in due time. If we're not careful though, we can slip into being frustrated even when "the Lord draweth nigh" to bless us. James explains how to thwart this ahead of time thru patience as you "stablish your heart" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #4741 to turn resolutely in a certain direction. This is a by-product of conversion (which James gets into later), fixing the direction of your heart upon becoming more conscious of God. Therefore, what others say of you, or even how they treat you, does not have to affect you, unless you allow it to. Prevent this from occuring by catching yourself before you lose patience and start complaining.

Obviously the foundation we establish our hearts upon is loving our brethren. This involves focusing on being patient, as he says, "Grudge not one against another, brethren". Notice as well, so as not to miss its seriousness, "lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door." This language only serves to illustrate how God is living inside each of us, as if He is standing right at the door of our hearts. FINISHING STRONG IS ABOUT MOTIVATING YOURSELF INWARDLY TO BE PATIENT. Take responsibility for your attitude by always wanting to think the best of others. This "door" represents how open your life is to the thoughts and ways of God. The way we treat our brethren reflects how much the door of our heart is open; for how can we say we love God Who we don't see, if we do not love our brother whom we do. So of course, to "Be ye patient" is in relation to others. Not only do we wait upon our harvests, but we look to wait on one another as well.

Everyday we are closer to "the coming of the Lord". What we see here certainly helps prepare us for that day. The New Revised Standard Version puts verses 8 and 9 this way: "You also must be patient. Strengthen your heart, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See the Judge is standing at the doors!" So to "Grudge" is to grumble which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #4727, to sigh, murmur... -with grief, groan. When we've sown good seed, expecting God's blessings to occur, we must not lose patience. Taking our frustrations out on others only prolongs the process. Besides, God always ends up providing more than what we asked for. So our attitude should always be to give to others. Neither should we harbor bad feelings toward our brethren.

One who is looking to finish strong isn't looking to blame, tear down, or cause divisions. The warning is- don't do any of this, "lest ye be condemned" or be judged personally by God. Those who foolishly believe we cannot sin against one another with our words have already condemned themselves; for there is always One standing and listening at the door. Though one may have the door of his heart closed off to his brother and therefore God Himself, that doesn't mean God isn't there, ready to judge.

ROMANS 12:18

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

We should want things to be as good as possible between us and every other white person, even those we may not like or agree with. Yet one is following the equivilant of a made-up or pagan god if he imagines he is getting by with mistreating his brethren by for instance, murmuring evil against them. For even when it comes to judgment, God "draweth nigh" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1448, to make near...approach. Once the gavel strikes due to the lies which have poured forth to fill an enemy's cup of judgment, God's Spirit moves to avenge and vindicate our innocence- their opportunity for repentance being over.

Those who finish strong trust God to do what's best for His ultimate glory, as the 37th Psalm proclaims, "he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." Fix your direction towards God's kingdom and the Light will shine through the open door of your heart. David for instance, had two chances to kill King Saul- what did he do? He refused to touch God's annointed and in God's time, Saul ended up falling on his own sword. Though at times, things looked quite dim for David, his heart was open and his trust in God eventually paid off, big time.

Do you want a strong faith like that? Then just "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts". As we've said, lifestyle Christianity is not looking back or too far ahead, but living by faith in the NOW. Though this was written two thousand years ago, our attitude is to always be looking "for the coming of the Lord". One who is full of bitterness and contention is not looking for Christ to return. James has instructed us to carefully choose our words before we speak, as in chapter 1: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."

JAMES 5:10-11

10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 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.

Who finished strong, exhibiting the power and faith of God in the Old Testament? It was "the prophets" of course. What they expressed was in "the name" or by the authority "of the Lord", regardless of whatever opposition or circumstances they faced. They modeled the quality of strength and endurance lasting faith provides. We see here that "suffering affliction" isn't some never-ending cycle, but (if approached in faith) can result in us being "happy" like the prophets. For the Bible says nowhere we will ever be exempt from pain and suffering. But if we trust God, we will discover the trial only came to pass. Our merciful God does not put more on us than we are able to bear and provides a way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13). In addition, as there is much history we can learn about our ancestors, God also intends for us to glean how to live by faith from them and not keep making the same mistakes:

ROMANS 15:4

4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

When the New Testament refers back to the Old, it's not only to remind us of what happened, but to give us examples of strong faith to follow in our lives today. If you read the Book of Job for instance, you cannot help but recognize a man with amazing "patience". He was a man who had it all, then lost it all in a painful way, never seeming to find out why. His friends were not much help either. When they weren't misunderstanding him, they were giving him some pretty horrible advice. At one point things got so bad for Job, his wife told him he should just curse God and die. But "the patience of Job" endured thru all the adversity to a new life of even greater blessings. Here we have recorded the conclusion of his life after all he went through:

JOB 42:10-17

10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. 15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. 16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. 17 So Job died, being old and full of days.

Neither Job nor anyone else in the Bible were poor, wretched, and suffering their whole lives, as some foolishly purport. Though Job lost it all, he trusted God and ended up finishing strong. In fact, he wound up with "twice as much as he had before" because "the Lord" was with Him, for our text says our Father "is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." Our text also speaks of seeing "the end of the Lord" for Job which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #5056, to set out for a definite point or goal... result... purpose. Like Job, how many Christians want the patience enough to find out the definite goal or purpose God intends for their lives? This sheds tremendous light on the precise meaning of why Christ described the way to life being narrow and there being few that find it (Matthew 7:13-14). When we consider the depth yet the simplicity of this, it is completely ridiculous to not take living by faith seriously. For if we can endure just long enough to find out our purpose on our own, it's then just a matter of acquiring all we need from God to finish strong like Job, resulting in a fulfilling life.

Who went through more personal suffering than Job?! Yet ultimately Job was able to see God wanted what was best for him because he endured to "the end". The life of Job illustrates perfectly how the God of the Scriptures isn't into allowing our lives to become miserable for no reason. For He actually "is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" towards us in the process. When others suggest otherwise, it exposes they do not know the God of the Scriptures and may be worshiping another god. For this speaks of Him being "very pitiful" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #4184, extremely compassionate. In other words, He cares more than we know, feeling our pain, always knowing our wants and needs. James goes on then to take it all the way, when he speaks of God's "tender mercy" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #3628 from #3627, to exercise pity... have compassion on. God not only feels pity for us while knowing our wants and needs, but is ready and willing to do something about it, if we'll just concentrate on finishing strong like Job did.

There is no pain-free Christianity. That doesn't mean however that in order to become a strong Christian, life has to always be so hard to live. Never forget, His yoke is easy and His burden is light and when we see it as anything else, we are making it that way ourselves. Just know that being "happy" is over the horizon for those who can "endure" whatever sufferings or trials we have to face. In the meantime, be happy now, and excited for what is to come.

JAMES 5:12

12 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.

How can any man truly be what he presents himself to be, if he refuses to control his tongue and turns out to be nothing more than a liar? No Israelite is exempt from this, no matter how gifted or intelligent they may be. James wraps all this up by emphasizing that "above all things" we must keep our word. If one is not trustworthy among his brethren, how can he be of any lasting benefit to the work of the kingdom? No matter how much one knows or how well they can speak, if they do not see the supreme importance of telling the truth in their daily lives, they should expect God's judgment as we already recognized above. James is merely emphasizing again what Christ already taught in the Gospels:

MATTHEW 15:18

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

It's been said that a man's life is a lot like an orange, when pressure is applied, what's truly on the inside comes out. You really find out what a man is made of when he is having problems. Quite a few things have been presented and discussed by James in this Epistle- "BUT ABOVE ALL THINGS" KEEP YOUR WORD. This isn't intended to run contrary to the swearing of oaths in the Old Testament Scriptures as some may suggest. This is simply in reference to being a man of your word; a man of integrity. The point is, there is no need to swear if you are an honest Christian. We should not feel it necessary to emphasize our word with an oath; our word should be enough.

When someone lies to others, he has first deceived himself whether he realizes it or not. Think about it, if one cannot be honest with himself, then he should not be disappointed when others don't want to trust him. Also, if a man is not honest, when things do not go his way, he will begin pointing fingers at others to protect his own interests to place negative attention and blame on someone else. If one is honest however, he will take responsiblity for what he has or has not done, while having a clear conscience regardless of how much others may falsely accuse him. Still yet, it's shameful and sad what lengths a liar will go to, to construct their grand facade to cover up their faults and failures. It is so much simpler to just let "your yea be yea; and your nay, nay" and be at peace. If you have been honest, trust that your Father is well aware of every situation and will bring forth the exacted "condemnation" where it belongs, at just the right time.

Though at times, people will try to use lies to take the attention off of the truth about them that they don't want others to know, God sees it all and knows each heart. A GOOD WAY TO KNOW YOU WILL ALWAYS FINISH STRONG IS TO JUST TELL THE TRUTH AND KEEP YOUR WORD. Therefore, no matter how things turn out or if others want to blame, embellish, and misinterpret things, you can remain peaceful and patient. WHEN YOUR CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR, YOU WILL BE MUCH MORE APT TO JUST LEAVE IT IN GOD'S HANDS. "Deo vindice" or God will vindicate was the Latin slogan of the Confederate Army and is certainly a Biblical principle we can depend on, taught here by James.

PROVERBS 6:16-19

16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Here we recognize there is more that God hates besides non-whites. With this we do not see just a list of random things we should hate. Here described is a pattern of behaviour and a progression of influence which reveals one who is demented and full of darkness. This is one "among brethren" who cloaks himself in false humility yet seeks every opportunity to lift himself up. He has so deceived himself that he reserves the rite to place his "hands" upon even the "innocent", receiving admiration for it from those he has deceived. He is a craftsman of lies, seeking to exploit others' trust, while manipulating their "imaginations" into stirring up further "mischief" and sowing more "discord". In order to keep his diabolical nature and prior misdeeds concealed, it is no stretch for him to spew out anything he feels necessary to further protect himself, disposing of unity, all due to his pernicious ways.

If you ever get on the wrong side of such a one as this, you sure will know it. We may never be able to figure out how some people can treat others so bad and be so evil, unless they just may not be one of us. Regardless, here's how to deal with any level of it you may experience:

JAMES 5:13-15

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 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.

Our concern of course, is to always try to help those who are "among" us. God has the appropriate remedy for every state our people are in, found through expressions of "faith" in Christ, including prayer and singing. If one is "afflicted" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #2553, to undergo hardship... suffer trouble- "let him pray." If we happen to be "merry... sing psalms", expressing your gratitude unto God. If one is "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". Rather than wallowing in misery or taking it out on others, run to the loving, compassionate arms of our God by faith.

We over-complicate life by ignoring the Scriptures and continually looking to the flesh. But if our heart is fixed on finishing strong, we are ready to trust in the power of God found in "the prayer of faith". This of course isn't speaking of flowery, public prayers offered for all to hear, but as the New American Standard Bible puts it, as "prayer, offered in faith". This speaks of faithful prayers with strong, heartfelt feelings toward God. No matter the conditon or state we are in, God is in you and wants to be more involved in your daily life. He also wants us to acknowledge Him by responding to our circumstances or plight His way. We express our awareness of God's presence through responding directly to Him by faith.

The word "church" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1577 which is a calling out... assembly. If we've been called out from the world and even from among our own race to be on the cutting edge, it is something special. How can we neglect so great a salvation because we're afraid of another label or being persecuted for righteousness' sake?! The way we handle hardship and trouble is not through worry or retaliation, but through trusting God in prayer. It also helps to talk to other trustworthy believers, finding the mutual strength we need:

JAMES 5:16

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.

The effectiveness of this will only transpire among those who are humble and have faith. For those who are lifted up in pride and full of doubt, are only interested in hiding their faults, even if they have to make up 'tall tales' about others to do it. You truly will not want to hurt someone else you are praying for. A sad alternative of prayerlessness however, is the good old rumor mill. While all along what we should do is just simply "pray for one another" and go on. If we take pleasure in listening to, or even wanting to believe bad things about another brother, it's proof our hearts are not right, regardless of whether or not what's being said is true.

No matter how pretty a picture one can paint of himself by how bad he can make his brother look, we all still have our own faults to deal with. Confessing and working on our own faults while praying for one another, keeps us humble and encourages transparency. Broadcasting everyone else's alleged faults, true or otherwise, at the very least only further substantiates the accuser's self-righteous pride. If we'd each get busy working on ourselves (as James has told us to, time and time again) we wouldn't have so much time to look for, or invent bad things to say about someone else. When we confess our own faults it is motivated by wanting to grow up, change for the better, and become a stronger, more effective lifestyle Christian. Not confessing your own faults, while putting others under the microscope, only contributes to becoming a more destructive Pharisee.

This "faults" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #3900 a side-slip... (unintentional) error or (willful) transgression. These "faults" then may be manifested accidentally or deliberately. They may be occasional mistakes or even habitual patterns. Either way, we can overcome them more effectively if we will find someone we trust and become accountable "one to another". One of the main purposes of a "church" or an assembly of believers, is to establish accountability among one another. Being "healed" can not only be of physical ailments and sicknesses, but emotionally, spiritually, or in relationships as well. An assembly of believers ought not be a place where people come together to try and hide or cover-up their faults and needs, but where we feel free to "Confess" them "one to another".

To "pray" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #2172 which simply is to wish. To the end of God's ultimately glory, through prayer, we should always wish His best for ourselves and in our fellow Israelites' lives. To wish and desire are synonymous, once again affirming the role desires play in our Christian life and prayers. In this age of 'big pharma' and the medical industry, we should still pray that those we love "may be healed" by God. Our wish for our brethren should always be for God to help them, even see them "healed", not hurt or destroyed.

The word interpreted as "effectual fervent" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1754 which is to be active... be mighty in, shew forth self, work (effectually in). Our prayers are of this quality when we are convinced that the Christian lifestyle of faith is the only way to go. Then we get to the results, expressed by the word "availeth much" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #2480, to have (or exercise) force, might, prevail, be of strength. It's not just having the right beliefs or saying the right words, but just believing that God will intervene in a particular situation which makes this kind of difference. This is where the real strength of God is evident in our lives- through having "effectual fervent" prayers answered. Our power is not in what we can come up with, but in lifting up others to our Father in prayer. In contrast, there is no honesty or consistency in telling someone to their face you love them and are praying for them, while wishing evil upon them or actually doing things in order to hurt or destroy them.

What is it that makes our prayers effective and strong? It can only be our faith. Prayer doesn't even have to involve us talking very much. Just "Be still and know that I am God" as His Spirit moves within your heart, speaking in that still, small voice as only He can.

Though every Israelite is declared righteous thru the redemptive work of Christ, as we should understand by now, the word "righteous" in this context, is about being a man or woman of faith. How much supernatural potential would an assembly of genuinely righteous brethren have, if they would mutually confess their faults and desires, while sincerely praying for one another in faith? For if the "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much", how much the more would that of a whole group of righteous believers, move the heart of God in their prayers of faith?! If you are becoming persuaded of this, there's no limits to what you will do to change yourself, and what you will achieve for God's ultimate glory.

JAMES 5:17-18

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.

As is illustrated by the life of "Elias" or the prophet Elijah, faith is the only option for those who live to see the Hand of God. Elijah was an Israelite "subject to like passions as we are" or was no different than us, though he was a prophet of God. He aligned himself with the purposes of God and "prayed earnestly that it might not rain"- that was the unique desire of his heart which God personally gave him. As a result, the Scriptures proclaim, "it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months ." Why did Elijah have the desire for it not to rain? To turn his people to repentance because they had no faith in God. WE SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP OUR PEOPLE IN MIND IN WHATEVER WE DESIRE AND ASK OF GOD. Our desires should never be selfish, fleshly, or carnal, but always for the purpose of glorifying our God for the good of our people.

JAMES 5:19-20

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.

This Greek word for "soul" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #5590 breathe... spirit... distinguished on the one hand from #4151, which is the rational and immortal soul. Therefore this is not the Greek word for soul which refers to the eternal aspect of our being, but to the source of our physical life here and now. Therefore it cannot be talking about saving someone's soul "from death" for instance, in some eternal hell like some falsely teach. This is the saving of a soul "from" the "death" of having little or no consciousness of God. As you will see, this speaks of saving or delivering one who is in need of conversion.

Throughout this Epistle we see then that lifestyle Christianity is the result of conversion. Christ said in Luke chapter 9: "Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." You cannot take the first part of this verse literal and still come away with its intended meaning. This is a spiritual admonition which emphasizes that if one has not been converted and will not live by Christ words, he is of no more use to God's kingdom than one who is actually dead. "Let the dead bury their dead" speaks of how you must not follow the infuence of those who refuse to live from within by faith. Their tactics include (but are not limited to) creating strawman arguments against those who teach the specific truth which James is speaking of here.

The followers of these teachers of death will remain dead themselves until they finally start following the words of Christ. Paul told Timothy about how those who deny the truth, "heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears". Hearing spiritual truth irritates the carnal perceptions of those who are burying their dead followers beneath their denial of the power of God. Whereas a true man of God sees his responsiblity is to point his brethren to the need for conversion and then teach them how to live by faith. Paul said, "to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." The more one denies the "truth", the more they need their soul saved from death.

There may have been a time for instance when teachers were trying to scare you away from race, saying it was evil or satanic. Yet once you stopped receiving the programming and started thinking for yourself, you recognized it was actually taught in the Bible. It is the same way with faith except, you must look within. Don't allow those who "err from the truth" and seek to maintain control over you, to keep you from looking into the perfect law of liberty in Christ. TUNE OUT THOSE WHO JUST DON'T GET IT, THAT THE CHRISTIAN LIFE COMES FROM WITHIN.

Based upon what James has taught throughout this Epistle from many angles, for one to not see living by faith as the Christian lifestyle, is to "err from the truth", proving that conversion has never taken place in them. Each Israelite who recognizes the privilege of walking in the Spirit by faith, knows they have found The Hidden Treasure in the Field and The Pearl of Great Price Christ spoke of in His parables.

To "err" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #4105 which is to roam... go astray... wander... be out of the way "from the truth"- a certain truth James already alluded to in this Epistle, two other times. In chapter 1 he said, "Of his own will begat he us with the logos of truth" and "lie not against the truth" in chapter 3 which he defines later in that same chapter to be "the wisdom that is from above". THIS IS ALL IN REFERENCE TO THE TRUTH THAT YOU ARE BORN FROM ABOVE AND THAT GOD LIVES INSIDE YOU. Humbling yourself and becoming conscious of this is what the Bible calls 'being converted'.

The word "convert" is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1994 which is simply to turn. Liddell and Scott's defines it as to turn about... to put an enemy to flight... to repent... to recover oneself. What we turn about from, the enemy we put to flight is the old man, our ego, our fleshly attitude, or carnal mindset. To be converted was first explained by Christ in Matthew chapter 18, likened to becoming as a little child; to recover and return to one's true inner self. Therefore, true Biblical conversion doesn't occur thru finding out white people are Israelites and that all non-whites are not. Conversion is an inner change of consciousness that you have the One Who created the white race and everything else, living inside you. Therefore becoming as a little child is in your heart being free to depend upon your Father Who has revealed Himself to you from within.

Conversion is evident when one renounces the fear we've picked up on from society and even so called 'Christianity'. In John chapter 14 Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life". The Apostle Paul in Colossians chapter 1 called this truth, "the mystery among the nations; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory". Ultimately, what good is it to have all the knowledge, facts, and figures, if we end up denying Christ by not trusting Him. Without faith, we either end up being the dead who are being buried, or burying the dead ourselves. Or we can realize our spiritual poverty and be converted from falling short by "the error of" our religious, self-righteous, theological "ways". You can either follow the best Bible interpretations man can come up with and still wind up with death, or  follow Christ and finish strong, it's your choice.   

Learning the truth about race is necessary and narrows down who we can reach, but it's not conversion; it's only milk. The meat of the Scriptures is everything connected to this truth; that you need to get yourself out of the way so He can be the strength of your life. We can waste the rest of our lives being burdened, angry, and even puffed up in knowledge, merely seeing the kingdom of God. Or we can have the abundant life Christ talked about, walking in "the truth" which guides us to the kingdom of God, knowing it "shall hide a multitude of sins." We must first however be persuaded ourselves, before we can ever "converteth" another "sinner from the error of his way" and "save a soul from death" or the lost, walking dead of our race.

As we have shown previously, sin is commonly defined as missing the mark depicting how our "way" is similiar to shooting arrows at the target of the glory of God. Therefore this "multitude of sins" would be like still making all our continued attempts and ending up with nothing but a huge pile of arrows falling short of the target, not having enough strength to finish. But once we begin to shoot the arrows with the strength of our faith from within, we discover the intended goal for our lives and God provides all we need to teach others as well- finishing strong.

REFLECTION

This concludes our study of the Epistle of James. Though some consider Christianity to be only a religion or a collection of preferred beliefs, clearly we see it is to become every Israelite's lifestyle, being the only way to life taught by Christ. Wisdom from on high leads to walking in the Spirit of God, trusting Him to see us through all our adversity, as we patiently depend upon His strength and anticipate His blessings. Faith is not a spectator sport but the narrow way which leads to life as God fills our hearts and lives with His desires. As we are faithful to depend upon Him, He will always provide what makes us most effective for His ultimate glory.