Today marks the 3rd day of our 40.DAY season.
I’m excited that, for 40 days straight, (1st July to 9th August, National Day), we’re on the same page with thousands of other Christians, reflecting on the same issues, crying out to God in faith and hope that future generations will reap the answers. The theme this year is “Wisdom from Above” drawn from the Epistle of James.
I find it very interesting that James – the half-brother of Jesus – started out opposing Jesus but he ended up becoming a follower of Jesus. In fact, James became a pillar in the early church. Do you know how difficult it is sometimes for brothers to work together? But here is Jesus’ own half-brother acknowledging Him as Lord (James 1:1)!
My question is: What changed James? What turned him from an opposer to a follower? The apostle Paul gave us a clue in 1 Corinthians 15:7 – “Then he (Jesus) appeared to James, then to all the apostles…” In other words, James had an encounter with the resurrected Christ. And that changed his entire mindset, and he became a tremendous supporter of his own Brother.
That’s the power of one encounter with the manifested presence of God. It will change your life! You may be the “Saul” but one encounter with the Lord and you’ll be a “Paul”. You can be a “James” who’s opposing your own brother but one encounter with the Lord and you can become a pillar of the church. All of us need an encounter with the manifested presence of God.
The 4th century historian, by the name of Eusibius, recorded how people in Jerusalem, they all called him – James the Just or James the Righteous. Which means what? This guy must be really spiritual. That’s why he gained the leadership so fast. Tradition tells us that he was such a prayerful person that his knees were as hard as that of camels. This is an amazing guy!
As we journey together in this 40.DAY season, let us read, reflect, record and respond. May God by His Spirit open our eyes, move our hearts, and stir our wills to be doers of His Word, and not hearers only. Amen!
Pastor Hock Cheng