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Nov 18, 2018

Everyday faith takes off its watch

Everyday faith takes off its watch

Passage: James 5:7-12

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Everyday Faith: A study in the book of James

Category: Faith

One walks by faith by living with patience. For what our faith is centered on is not only what is true now, but what will be truer still in time. We’ll listen to James’s understanding of what marks our patience and what cultivates it.

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Joel 2:23
Call To Worship: Psalm 13
Sermon Title: Everyday faith takes off its watch
Central Text: James 5:7-12
Confession of Sin (see readings below)
Assurance of Pardon: Titus 3:3-7
Response: Communion!
Benediction: Jude, verses 24-25
Post-Service Text: James 5:7a

11.18.18 Sermon Notes


Sideways - Patient Grower

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Joel 2:23
23 “Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the latter rain, as before.”

Call To Worship: Psalm 13
LEADER: 1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

ALL: 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Central Text: James 5:7-12
James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 5:12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Confession of Sin
Leader: Most merciful Father,
We have sinned against and are guilty before you.
Forgive us for the sins of our tongues:
All: for deception and untruthfulness in our dealings with others;
for resentment, coldness, impatience, and tempers out of control.
Leader: Forgive us for the sins of our eyes:
All: for impurity in our glances and imagination,
for pining after more beauty, comfort, status, and wealth
than You have already given us.
Leader: Forgive us for the sins of our hearts:
All: for hard-heartedness toward You and our neighbors;
for pride, self-absorption, self-pity; and above all
for rebelling against Your Lordship and doubting Your love.
Holy Father, kill our envy, remove our pride, melt our hearts.
Give us grace to be holy, kind, gentle, and pure,
to live for You and not for ourselves,
to be transformed into Your likeness.

Assurance of Pardon Titus 3:3-7
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Benediction: Jude, verses 24-25
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Post-Service Text: James 5:7a
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.

Related Scripture

  • Leviticus 19:17-18
  • Psalm 27--in particular the final verse
  • Psalm 31--in particular the final verse
  • Joel 2:23-24
  • Romans 2:4, 3:25
  • Romans 8:23-25
  • Ephesians 4:1-3
  • Colossians 1:9-14
  • 2 Peter 3:4-10

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. In your family or circle of friends, are you the one more likely to have to wait for others, or to be waited for by others? What’s it like to be in that “role” more often than not? Who is the most patient person you know, and how would you guess that came to mark them?
  2. Why might patience be an essential characteristic of faith? Is there such thing as an impatient faith? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think James associates “grumbling”--literally groaning against one another--with the absence of patience? Why might he focus his attention on that inner unrest expressed outwardly? When (and why) are you most likely to grumble?
  4. Why does James appeal to the prophets and to Job as examples of what he’s encouraging the church to practice? How do their imperfect examples--think of Job’s false but forgivable thoughts and conclusions--encourage you in your desire to be steadfast and patient?
  5. How do you cultivate patience on the basis of the gospel, both in what has happened and what is still to happen?
  6. We all need patience in the little things--if only because impatience ends up making things worse. But where in your life right now do you most need the patience borne of what Jesus has done and will do?


  • ...the church lives between two advents. Jesus Christ has come; Jesus Christ will come. We do not know the day or hour. If you find this tension almost unbearable at times, then you understand the Christian life. - Fleming Rutledge
  • Hope is a revolutionary patience. - Anne Lamott
  • I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived
        of the pleasures of hoeing;
        there is no knowing
    how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise.

    The dry earth like a great scab breaks, revealing
        moist-dark loam-
        the pea-root's home,
    a fertile wound perpetually healing.

    How neatly the green weeds go under!
        The blade chops the earth new.
        Ignorant the wise boy who
    has never performed this simple, stupid, and useful wonder. 
    - John Updike, “Hoeing”
  • What we really need is not some intellectually acceptable answer to life’s most mysterious conundrum about God’s action or inaction. The need is for God and the nurture of the expectation of his coming to be coupled with the patience to wait for him to come in his own time. The waiting is not easy.   - John Bald
  • To see more than a lump of dirt in a sculpture takes a patience that is rarer and rarer in our fast-paced age. -  Dustin Messner
  • If prayer has taught me anything, it has taught me how to wait. - Stanley Hauerwas
  • Every human action gains in honor, in grace, in all true magnificence, by its regard to things that are to come. It is the far sight, the quiet and confident patience, that, above all other attributes, separate man from man, and near him to his Maker. . . . - John Ruskin
  • Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others... but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God "sending us" to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud. ”- C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)



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