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October 31 – Seeking wandering brothers and sisters

…let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. – James 5:20

Scripture reading: James 5:19-20

The letter of James is very much a letter calling us to Christ-like action, living in the Lord in the joy of salvation. James ends his letter emphasizing this point. Unlike most other letters in the Bible, James does not end with a concluding greeting but with a call to action.

James recognizes that it is possible that brothers and sisters in the Lord can wander from the truth. But he also lets us know that it is possible to bring wayward brothers or sisters back to a life of service to our Lord, in the joy of salvation. In our present culture, even among Christians, church discipline is often considered mean and uncalled for.

James helps us to see that church discipline is really loving wayward brothers and sisters. It is calling them back to the Lord Jesus Christ so that they will not die eternally in hell. It is helping them see the eternal pit of death that they do not see and are about to fall into. This is why James tells us that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. For as they come back to the Lord, they once again will know the joy of salvation and the forgiveness of all their sins.

James ends this letter by encouraging us to show that we trust God’s promises by going after wandering brothers and sisters in love for their good and for God’s glory.

Suggestions for prayer

That we would lovingly speak to wayward brothers and sisters seeking their souls to be saved, their sins forgiven and not waiting for others to call them back.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.


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