December 16, 2021

Wanderers Retrieved, Sins Covered... - The Book of James Bible Series


You guys!??! Today is our last official post in this year-long 2021 James Series!  Man, I hope you have been with me all through the year!  If not, I encourage you to click on the Series Intro page (at the end of this post) and scroll to the bottom, where you can read each post from the whole series!  I will be taking this off the blog early in the New Year with intentions of making it available on Amazon in late Winter or early Spring!  But I'm getting ahead of myself! Today - we dive into the final two verses! (Then we may have one more post to sort of wrap it all up before the end of the year! Maybe.  Because - you know... the Holidays!)

But today's verses are JAMES CHAPTER 5, VERSES 19-20! 


"Finally, as members of God’s beloved family, we must go after the one who wanders from the truth and bring him back. For the one who restores the sinning believer back to God from the error of his way, gives back to his soul life from the dead, and covers over countless sins b)  their demonstration of love!" (The Passion Translation)

I know... the whole study was leading up to this! We MUST go after the one who wanders from the truth and bring him back. In the Greek translation of this verse it means, "save his soul from death." 

Yes. That. 

Let's do that! 

Here's the thing -- we have to know when someone wanders from the truth. And even before that, we have to know and remember that there is One Truth that we can wander away from! 

I know...!? This wreaks of accountability! (Gasp!) 

That is so not popular... in our culture - both in and out of the church - we really just don't want anyone to tell us what to do. (Not even God, if we're being honest!) But in order to know when a brother or sister is wandering away from the truth - we have to be in relationship. More than just passing each other in the hallways or waving from afar in a store... we have to have a connection that lasts longer than a kind greeting or a friendly goodbye! Because it's only when we know each other on a deeper level that anyone will even have the chance at noticing if we are heading down the wrong path.  

And listen, sweet readers, I am nearly allergic to confrontation! So I admit myself that I can sometimes know or suspect this is happening, but to confront someone -even if done in love- is --well, it's counter-cultural. But isn't that what we are supposed to be? Counter-cultural? In it, not of it...? But we don't want to offend... and the lines of right and wrong, black and white --they get blurred and no one wants to step on anyones toes.  

Enter James... we've walked with him all year long now and we know he has little concern of your feelings --but he has great love and care for your soul!  

Lord - make us more like James!


Next up, let's check out how The Amplified Bible expands it:

"My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you strays from the truth and falls into error and [another] one turns him back [to God], let the [latter] one know that the one who has turned a sinner from the error of his way will save that one’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins [that is, obtain the pardon of the many sins committed by the one who has been restored]." (The Amplified Bible)

It is our responsibility and call... it is holy work that simply must be done! 
Lord, give us boldness and compassion and wake us up to those around us who have strayed from the truth and fallen into error. Prepare their hearts and our hearts even now - before any kind of prayer or conversation has begun! 

Lord - we want what You want and what You want is to get Your kids back!


Here it is in The Living Bible:

"Dear brothers, if anyone has slipped away from God and no longer trusts the Lord and someone helps him understand the Truth again, that person who brings him back to God will have saved a wandering soul from death, bringing about the forgiveness of his many sins.

Sincerely, James" (The Living Bible)

Man - in this translation it feels like that widens the road astray, doesn't it? I mean - we're gonna throw Trust in there, too? Like - slipped away, walked away, snuck away, slid away? Sure... but add in 'no longer trusts the Lord' and you add in a multitude of people. Am I right?


Next, let's read this in The Voice translation:

"Brothers and sisters, if someone you know loses his way and rebels against God, pursue him in love and bring him back to the truth. Know this: If you turn a sinner back from the error of his ways, then you will rescue him from the grips of death and cover the pain and consequences of untold sins." (The Voice)

I know I keep reminding you about this --but The Voice translations' target audience is Middle Schoolers! I think that is powerful to remember while you are reading it... I love how this version specifies James is not talking in general terms - but specifically about a brother or sister you know! Again - God is personal... relational... and we are made in His image! He calls us to be personal, --relational, too! And the result of our being obedient to pursue in love and bring the lost one back to the truth is both rescue and redemption. (And we all know the pain and consequences of untold sins... we all need that Love that Covers, right? Let's receive it and give it!)


Lastly, The Message Bible reads like this:

"My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God." (The Message Bible) 

Don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back! <-- This! Let's do this! Because what we are seeing right now - right this very moment is most definitely an epidemic of wandering away from God! We have seem multitudes slip and slide and veer off course!

Let us pray for them to wake up and get right with God... of course! But let's also be willing to go get them and bring them back in love!


Let's pray: 

Father God, we come before You today and we ask for Boldness and Compassion.  We ask, Holy Spirit, that You will open our eyes to see, and open our mouths to speak words of Love and Wisdom and Truth... empower and enable us to see clearly through Grace what needs to be said or reminded and give us the courage to say it!  Lord, You paid our debts and redeemed us all... You do not desire to lose any but that ALL would come to know You and believe in You and be redeemed and restored to right standing with the Father!

Jesus, remind us to pay attention... to check in with friends and family... to create a safe space where real, deep conversations and connections can be shared... stir up within us a unquenchable thirst for Your Word and Your Presence!  For when we are saturated in You - we will not wander off!

Lord - by faith (and by name!) we call back our loved ones who have fallen for lies and gone astray! We claim them once again, as Your family - for Your Glory! God - we really DO want what You want! And what You want really is to get Your kids back!

Lord - we want wanderers retrieved, and sins covered as we return and run back to you! We're so grateful You are a Good, Good Father and You run towards us with a Robe and a Ring! 

Embolden and empower us to point the prodigals back in Your direction.

For the King and His Kingdom,

In Jesus' Name!


Can you believe we did it? We did! We read through the entire book of James this year, verse by verse!  This year held many (read: many, many, many!) challenges - but it also held much wisdom and grace! My prayer is that here in this corner of the interwebs, you were challenged in all the best ways and you will walk away and enter 2022 with more Wisdom and Grace than you had at the start of 2021!

I will be back one more time -- you know... at some point!-- to wrap this whole thing up with a bow! In the meantime, if you read along --whether it was every post, or just one here or there... I'd love to hear YOUR take away of this series and what the Lord taught you through it!  Comment below or send me a direct message and let me know! I'd be so grateful!

ntil next time,

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