The foundation must be right for having good relationship. James mentioned wealth again (The earlier mention was in James 2:1-4 about our bad behaviour of favoring the rich). It is about how we should not do with wealth.
- We should not hoard it --> Use it for good.
We can immediately recall the Parable of Rich Fool and Jesus' exhortation for us to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. What are treasures for heaven? James covered them later in addressing the Brotherhood (5:13-19).
- We should not use its power to exploit the others. Treat other fairly - pay fair wages and uphold righteousness.
- We should not be self-indulgent. It is not that God is against our enjoying of wealth but that we should be concern about others welfare. We should not be used by wealth but use wealth to bless others.
In order to be able to help others, we must be able to manage ourselves first. Here are a few pointers for maturity:
- Be patient - be like the farmer who sows and wait for the harvest. Invest now for future gains.
- Be steadfast in the work of the Lord despite the suffering, knowing His purpose and His love.
- Do not grumble against one another.
- Be honest and do not try to impress with empty promises - over promising and under deliver. Don't boast.
As the church - the body of people belonging to Christ, we must be concerned about the affairs of our brothers and sisters. Look for them and minister to their needs accordingly.
- People who are suffering - encourage them to pray and to pray with them
- People who are cheerful - encourage them to celebrate and to celebrate with them.
- People who are sick - pray for them with faith and anointing of oil. Help them to repent and forgive if needed.
- Sharing each other burdens and keeping each other accountable.
- Praying for one another - for healing to be whole in spirit, soul and body. How to pray effectively is covered here as well.
- Righteousness - Elijah was like us. Our righteousness is in Christ. Praying for the right cause and using the right methods.
- God's will - Elijah knew the will of God. Be sure it is God's will. There are many right things to do. But we must do the right things at the right time in the right way. Let God leads us. See Joh 15:7, Mat 6:7
- Fervently - Don't give up. Pray till the peace or answer come. See 1 King 18:45 Elijah prayed seven times before the sign of rain was seen.
- Bring the wanderer back.
- How should we handle riches?
- How to live the Christian Life?
- How should we pray?
- What are our responsibilities towards brothers?
- How are we to convert those who err, those who wander away?
- What is the best thing learned today? How do I put it into practice?