Sunday 9/23/12 Pastor Michael sermon= S.O.S. The Critical Function of a Kingdom Church James 5:13-18
S.O.S. signifies “Save Our Ship” when ships are out to sea. They used Morse code to send messages for help. Any ship in distress would use this code to call out for help. Ships knew the signal from the light house would be what they needed to follow to get help. They would get ashore for help to stop them from being destroyed.
The church of the New Testament is the place where people can go to get help. People who are not perfect can get help and not be judged. The church is designed to be an hospital for sick folk. The person in our row may be looking crazy but we need to thank God that they made it to church! We don’t know what they came from and where they were yesterday! Church is not the place to talk about people who are struggling but instead it is the place to help them.
Jesus said come and he will help us. Help is in the house because Jesus is here! Not the preacher, not the choir but Jesus!! The church is an emergency center for all of us who are beat up by life. James is reminding this church that was about to give up, that they are a community church. Vs 13. If there are any sick or suffering, they are to go to church and get prayed for. The only way the church can know of the sick or suffering is that it has a relationship with its members. We need to have deep relationships so we can know how they are doing. We are connected by Jesus Christ so we should be connected with each other also. There is power in being connected to Jesus and power in being connected to each other! God may have a word for us thru the person we are sitting next to. If we both are open to each other, we can get closer and help each other. We should pray for each other because we are all part of God’s family.
James asked if they knew any people suffering. Suffering folk are to pray and to do it with somebody. If they are happy, let them praise God. If they are sick, let them call the elders of the church. The people in the middle that were happy and praising God are the surrendered folk. They surrendered to God and were cheerful and had a praise. They had been sick and suffering but still praised God in the middle of their troubles. God had brought them out and they were happy and praising God still. The depths of our suffering when we praise God will tell us the height of our blessing that is coming !
Praise the Lord!!!