Praying with Power

William C. Brownson

READ : James 5:16-18 When what you want most is for God to be honored and served, there are no limits to the power of your praying. Have you ever heard people make claims for the power of prayer that seemed exaggerated to you? I have. The impression is sometimes given that any person, praying about anything, can achieve amazing results. That kind of sweeping claim can hardly be supported from Scripture or from common experience. Prayer is not magic. …

Two-Way Confession

William C. Brownson

READ : James 5:16 We all know the importance of confessing our sins to God. What about confessing them to each other? Mutual Confession I want to think with you now about a practice that is highly rewarding, yet quite unpopular. It can generate untold joy, but is usually neglected. What I have in mind is the mutual confession of our sins. Listen to these words from James, chapter 5, verse 16: “Confess your sins to one another, and pray …

Waiting Patiently

William C. Brownson

READ : James 5:7-9 How does the thought of Jesus’ return at the end of the age affect your living today? A Central Conviction One of the central convictions of the New Testament, perhaps the most startling of all, is that Jesus of Nazareth will one day return to the earth. So common was this belief among the early Christians that the apostles were rarely concerned to convince anyone about it. They straighten out errors about the Lord’s return in …

Taking God Seriously

William C. Brownson

READ : James 4:13-16 When you sketch your plans for the future, where is God in the picture? Presuming About the Future One of our most common human failings is presuming about the future. Listen to this searching word by the New Testament author of James, the brother of Jesus: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain’; whereas you do …

Taming That Wild Thing: the Tongue

William C. Brownson

READ : James 3:7-8 What does it take to transform the way we speak? The Power of Small Things Many a bully has discovered that small doesn’t always mean weak. Tiny isn’t necessarily timid. Calvin Murphy, I remember, was a rather short man playing in a game for giants – professional basketball. When bigger opponents, however, tried to intimidate Calvin, they discovered to their surprise that he was tougher, stronger, and more formidable than they were. Murphy, the little man, …

The Faith That Welcomes Everyone

William C. Brownson

READ : James 2:1-4 Can I possibly be both a believer in Jesus and a snob? What Is a “Snob”? Think with me now about the sin of snobbery. It’s a peculiar trait. We recognize it quite readily in other people and cordially despise it. But sometimes we succumb to it quite unwittingly ourselves, never imagining that we could be guilty of such a thing. If someone accused us of it, we would be horrified. “Me? A snob?” Just what …