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Working with God to heal the spiritually ill

October 1, 2022

Daily Scripture

James 5:19-20

19 My brothers and sisters, if any of you wander from the truth and someone turns back the wanderer, 20 recognize that whoever brings a sinner back from the wrong path will save them from death and will bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

Today is the last day of our James study. We urge you to remember all five memory verses from this series. If you didn’t memorize and/or download all of them during the series, all five are at

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Clearly James was much more concerned with acting on what we believe than on fancy, high-flown words. So, he ended the letter, not with some elegant flight of rhetoric, but with a simple encouragement to actively help turn back people who are wandering toward a wrong path. The ending of James “is similar to those of 1 John 5:16-20 and Jude 22-23. The endings of all three letters—James, 1 John, and Jude—call on the community to pray for those who sin so that they will change their evil ways.” * This is one value we see in small groups at Resurrection. In the relatively small home-based churches of James’ day, it was easy to notice if one or more members of the group were “wandering” away. That’s more difficult in services with several thousand (both in person and online), although we try. But when you’re involved regularly with people in a small group, it’s quite clear if anyone in the group is in danger of losing their way.

  • Let’s be honest—the call to speak up to “bring a sinner back from the wrong path” may be even more intimidating than being invited to confess your sins to one another. But it’s important, no matter how challenging. “To see someone wandering off in a dangerous direction and do nothing about it is a tragic dereliction of duty. It may be hard to turn them back–they may insist that they are right and we are wrong!–but the effort must be made, precisely in the humility and patience which James has been urging all through.” ** Did anyone ever help to turn you back from wandering toward a wrong path? Are you willing to ask God to give you the humility and patience you need to do that for someone else?

All powerful God, you exercise your power through persuasion and love, not through bullying or force. Help me learn how to draw those I care about to your path in your spirit, with humility and patience. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Sam Wells

Sam Wells

Sam Wells serves as the Resurrection Downtown location's Modern Worship Leader since September, 2020. As well as facilitating Saturday night and Sunday morning worship services, Sam also leads worship online and with our rezlife youth teams. When she’s outside the church buildings you can find her at dog parks around town running with her pup Lilah, reading about the enneagram in local coffee shops, or playing her original tunes at music venues throughout the city!

Don’t know where I’m from
All I know is how to run
And I’m afraid of holding on
“It’s easier to love me when I’m gone”

Do you see through my lie
That says “I’m doing fine”?
Do you know I’m not alright?

Bear your chest
Borrow my mind
Tend the wreck I’ve made inside
For a moment
Not promised tomorrow
Just hold me tonight
Share your ears
I’ll put down my pride

How do you see through my lie
That says “I’m doing fine”?
How do you know I’m not alright?

I wrote this in the Winter of 2019.

Exposing my worst fear–that I had lost my way and was ready to run.

In it are confessions of my inner turmoil (“Its easier to love me when I’m gone”), and a plea (“Share your ears, I’ll put down my pride”). Without the community of loving and gentle people that had been placed in my life, my current status, merely three years later, would be vastly different. Genesis 2:18 said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make for him a helper.”

Community is a blessing–and having people in our life that we can rely on to guide us back home after we’ve lost our way is a beautiful piece in that gift.

Consider who in your life has ministered to you this way…
What thanks can you offer to them today?
Who in your life may need your grace, patience and kind accountability? I encourage you to reach out in gentleness and remind them of your love and care. Simply offering your presence can open many doors for vulnerability, just as it did for me in 2019.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Patrick J. Hartin, study note on James 5:19 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 460NT.

** Wright, N. T., Early Christian Letters for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 43). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition.