Let’s Talk

Monday Morning Moment / Key Takewaway:
Be open and humble to learn and grow. Offer guidance with kindness, clarity, and respect. Foster a culture of mutual growth and encouragement.
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Sermon Handout

Scripture(s):
  • James 5:13-16
Sermon Series:
Speaker:
Todd Legrair
Date:
06/30/2024

Transcript (may contain transcription errors)

My visit really prompted this opportunity. I was here to help celebrate my sister’s seventieth birthday. So um that was a enjoyable moment for me, but when my pastor I consider him my pastor, not just my uncle, but my pastor uh invited me to come and speak, I had to jump on it, because I enjoy being here and I thank you for the reception, I thank you for allowing me to preach to you, to speak to you.

And I thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it, it strengthens me, so I I I asked for your prayers on this morning okay, um ’cause what I’m about to talk about is a passage that I find um challenging in a sense to where when we as believers, as people, students of the gospel, the Bible’s always says study to show thyself approved of God, a workman need not ashamed, but rightly dividing the word of truth. Is that right? And in our reading sometimes we can get comfortable with things that I feel we should challenge. What I mean by that is we can listen to a story for the better part of our understanding our, life and thinking that the story about the Bible that we’re reading has one perspective, okay.

But I’ve learned in my reading and in my study time that if you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you into all truth, your understanding can be broadened. There are things that you can see that you haven’t seen before to help you grow in faith and to walk in the knowledge of the word. Is that right? So in my personal experience I’ve decided to be a Berean. I’ve decided to dive in it for myself, and the passage I’m about to bring is in the book of James chapter five.

So we need to be careful as Christians, as believers to be careful how we conduct ourselves, how we speak to each other. I know sometimes things come off the top of our head and we say something, not knowing the reaction and response that we may get based on what we have said, right. Now in my experience as far as the the body of believers or church people, I have encountered things that at from time to time buffeted me and you know sometimes subtle uh s uh insults and things that I found very
comfortable, for example, let me give you an example. You can be in a body of believers just like this place here, and you have a small body just like you have here. You get to know people and you know them by their faces n not only by their names, but by their appearances. You can call out names and know who you’re talking to and who’s gonna respond to that name, right. So you get comfortable knowing that, right. But then there are people who in the body that you are a part of, some things can be said that can be as offensive, if you will, not purposely or with intent and sometimes maybe perhaps with intent. In the body of believers sometimes a person can become offended, you know. Uh I remember one time I was a part of a choir here in Ohio and sure, everybody can’t sing like angels, right?

Everyone can’t grab the mic and just be a song, song is, or whatever you wanna call it, and really tear up the room, right? But nonetheless sometimes in a person’s heart they just wanna participate and be a part of something, correct? And they wanna sing in the choir if that’s their desire to do, right? But then you may have someone that may say ma why you d why you in the choir you can’t sing, you know. Now now we must understand that in the body of believers you have some that are strong in faith and some that
that are weak in faith. Is that right? Now the strong in faith can repel that and say well who told you that I can’t sing, who gave you judge and jury count up an opinion, right? But then you have some who are weak in faith who can get offended and withdraw and lose their desire to be in the house among the people of God, right?

That’s why you have people jumping from church to church trying to find a place that’s comfortable for them so that they wouldn’t be offended by someone or run from the offense that they had from the previous church, is that right? So we have people in the body of Christ that we need to be cognizant of, and as a pastor, I can look out over the faces and I can call you out one by one, name by name. But there comes a time that during the months or the weeks that follow, service to service, week to week, month, however, sometimes you begin to look out and say, well where’s Sister Anne, I ain’t seen her in a while.
Has anyone seen Sister Anne in a while? And we don’t know why Sister Anne has dropped off and has not been in an attendance. We just think that there’s something wrong, maybe there’s a sickness or whatever the case may be. But months have may have passed. And then you get curious as a pastor, well so could someone please call Sister Anne and see what happened to her. Now you may not know what’s on Sister Anne’s mind, you you don’t know what happened to Sister Anne.

But whatever happened to Sister probably drove her away by someone saying something offensive to her, some kind of a comment, some kind of an insult that can change a person’s heart and their direction as far as being in the house of God and with the people of God. So we as people of God need to be mindful of our conduct, of our speech, of the things that we say or do. I know sometimes things come off the top of our head, I get it, it happens, but we need to be mindful that when we say
that that may have offended somebody, we need to go back and say let me straighten this out, ’cause I remember a testimony Sister Marie gave about how the Lord directed her to go apologize to somebody, that she felt why I didn’t do anything wrong, why should I go talk to this person, why should I say anything.

But when she responded to the Holy Spirit and went to this person and made an apology, it changed the heart of that individual. So going into this particular passage, now I’m not trying to change the storyline, trust me, because what you may currently believe is good. That may be the case, and I’m not trying to change that. But what I’m trying to give you is a broader view of what James is trying to say regarding this passage. It’s not only a physical thing that we need to see, but also a spiritual thing we need to see, because you have some again that are strong in fate, some that are weak in faith. So if you turn the book of James, chapter five, and we’re gonna start with verse fourteen.

And the sermon topic I would like to use today is simply titled let’s talk. Is that alright? Are you praying with me today? I I’m I can’t do the five minute sermon like your pastor, so just bear with me please.
Just bear with me I’ll I’ll try to be out of your way as quickly as I can. But read in this passage I’ve always grew up thinking that James was talking about a physical experience that this person was undergoing or or having at this time. But in my reading and sometimes you have to look at the words how they are put how they are basically expressed if you will.

And sometimes we don’t see past certain words like the words sin or other things that I’ll make clear. But as I read this I’ve come to understand that there’s more to this story than just a physical thing that this person experienced. Amen? I hope I don’t lose your attention because this I find this very interesting. But anyway let me continue. Now it starts I’m gonna start with verse um thirteen in my reading.

Now, granted, those that have a E_S_V_, N_I_V_, or the E_A_S_ y I think it is, or that another translation, let me just get that out. Now, sometimes translations can change a meaning of a word, in so much so that it can change the thought or the intention of what you’re reading. Now, it’s good to have an easy reading Bible, as I have a few own collection. But I think it’s necessary that we look at words in the totality that we should see them, not just as they are, because sometimes when you get the definition of a word, it gives you more clarity to the language of the word, and how we should read the passage. Is that alright? So knowing that, if I can just get this page back up alright, and I will try my best to explain why I say that, but lemme start reading.

Now in the thirteenth verse, yeah the thirteenth verse of James five, is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord, verse fifteen. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sins they shall be forgiven. Then this is the verse that we’re gonna end on. Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed and the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, person, availeth much. Now as we start in that verse again, verse thirteen, is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Okay?

Is any merry? Let him sing Psalms. Amen. Is any sick among you let him call for the elders of the church. I’m gonna stop there for a second. Now let him call for the elders of the church. This person in my reading, in my understanding is a member of a body. He has to be, why? Because he said let them call for the elders of the church. That means this person actually knew that there was somebody they could call on that would come to their aid to their need and pray with them. This wasn’t just a stranger out on the road, this was somebody that was participated in the worship, in the body of believers, someone that was fellowshipping with another brother or another sister that fell by the wayside. Amen? Now when we read this we’re thinking that this person fell by the wayside because of some sin. Now when we look at the word sin, does it always have to be well I lied or I stole something. You know I’ve done something physically that that not only is embarrassing but it has a high consequence if you will.

The sickness that this person is talking about James is not a physical thing, but an emotional thing. Sometimes we can get sick in spirit, amen. Based upon something that may have offended us, may as co may have caused may have caused disappointment, may have caused frustration, but remember sin does not always have to reflect something that you’ve done physically or audibly. It can be of a broken heart, ’cause you gotta remember in the book of M look Jesus said the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has a me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal think about it to heal the what broken-hearted. The word broken-hearted means to be afflicted offended. So you gotta remember that James is talking to a person who is not just physically ill but emotionally ill and sometimes we in the body there are people in the body that are emotionally sick. Now in any given body, I could be wrong you, can push back on me, that’s fine, I can take it There’s. somebody here that has been offended. There’s somebody that something has been said or spoken to you that you have not shared with anybody, not said anything to the pastor. But you’re holding on to something emotionally that is destroying you from the inside out based on what someone may have said or done, what comment that may have been made. D girl, did you bake that chicken? Oh, I ain’t gonna eat that You. know.

Who made the cake? It’s a little dense. I’m not gonna eat that. I mean are you ready to go ’cause I’m not staying here for this, you know. There are things that could be said now see if you said that and the person that baked that cake was behind you and you didn’t see ’em, they heard that. They were offended. They were disappointed. Now they walked away thinking well I ain’t making nothing for them no more. So you have all these things that are going on that are s unspoken and But the broken heart, or the heart I should say has been broken. It has been severed. So James is trying to address not the physical sickness of a man or a person, but the heart that has been broken by a word that was said. Or a gesture that was done. So we need to be cognizant of our behavior. Now things do slip out, things are said, things are done, I get that. But we need to go back and say you know what, I apologize, your cake ain’t that bad, I just won’t eat it no more, but it ain’t that bad. you know, we need to all apologize hey look, there’s a thing on the market called de-ordering if you check it out, but we need to be careful.

Oh, listen, listen, listen Growing. up in church you hear things, things are said, and some people are not apologetic. And I’ve been offended by pastors. I was an associate pastor in Houston, and my pastor told me well, bro, you can’t I said, is that your opinion? ‘Cause I’m not living by it, you know. But the fact that he said it, I’ve had people say very insulting things to me, and they bothered me, but it didn’t cause me to waver I. just kept going on, because I know that I didn’t have to live with that. But that’s my story, right. But James is trying to convey to you and to everyone that listen, let me go back to my page, that if any be afflicted, let him pray, but is anyone sick among you, let call for the elders of the church that he may come and pray. Now, in anointing him with oil again, you might think this is like physical sickness, but you gotta remember

James is trying to help the heart that is be that needs to be healed, that was broken, that was severed by something either the pastor may have done, the first lady may have done, the choir member may have done, the elders may have done, or the lack thereof. That hey, listen, we’re here to strengthen your heart, to turn you back to Jesus, to give you hope and the desire to stand before God in prayer knowing that you are forgiven, you’re not an alien alright, so you can’t cook but s God still loves you, you know what I’m saying? But never mind that. But uh I just want you to know that here in the body of Christ we should be embracing one another surrounding, one another.

There’s a text or there’s a verse in Matthew that talks about when you come to present your offering right, The Bible says you if you have between your sister or between anyone. Before you can present your gift to God, you gotta put it down. You got to go and reconcile this matter, get it straight with this person. That way when you come back to present your offering again, that it will be received and accepted by the Lord. So you just can’t be all willy-nilly up in here thinking that you can come in here and say and do anything you want and live well, you call it live and holy before the Lord. You c there’s a big question to that.

But let me get back to my sermon here. I’m I don’t wanna be drifting ’cause it I can get a little carried away if you will. But getting back to my story, this person was sick. He or she was sick emotionally. And sometimes we need to address the matter hey, we need to be concerned about one another. But as we go on in verse fif uh fifteen, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick. Now again, when you hear that particular scripture, you’re thinking oh, he’s physically ill.

Don’t you realize that the faith that you share with one another can build the heart of a person? Are you aware of that? Now when you come to me, seeing my my expression on my face, something calls me to be sad. Something has distracted me, something has broken my continents to where you’re seeing a different individual. And I can look over the body right now, I can see some faces that are just different from one another.

Yeah okay, we’re different I get that. But I should be able to see as a man of God, as a person of God, that if there is a distressing moment on your life, I should be aware of it at some point. I should be able to say, system brother, are you okay? Is there anything I can say or do? Let me pray with you. So my faith, my belief, my trust is now encouraging you, now embracing whatever hardship that you’re going through, whatever problems that you’re continuing with right now, my faith is encouraging you, my love is and compassion is embracing you. Now I can lift you up out of your situation, whatever it may be emotionally, whatever it may be, I’m pulling you up, giving you strength to walk with your head up now. And James is trying to convey that same information in this passage. Listen, it’s not about a physical sickness, it’s about an emotional sickness.

‘Cause I’m telling you, when Jesus said I’m here to heal the brokenhearted, that means what you’re distressed about, whatever shattered your life, whatever gave you
whatever gave you fear, whatever caused you to withdraw and and shy away from me, I’m here to build you up and bring you back to the place that you can worship me in spirit and in truth. Is that right? So James is just trying to convey to you listen, we are helpers one to another, right. So let’s not lose sight of that. Let’s not just look past somebody to see something else, nor look at the brother or sister that’s in front of you, ’cause they may need you the most. They may need your hand They may need your greetings.

They may need your how you’re doing today. They may need that. But let me move on. Let me move on. Let me move on. Now, the verse I liked in this particular passage is the verse uh sixteen. It reads, “Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed.” I’ma stop right there. Now when you read that in some of the
translations, it reads confess, your sins. Hmm. I find it a little troubling personally, which is my opinion, in in in like I said in some translations, especially the ones that are the E_S_V_ the, N_I_V_ and all those, not that saying that they’re wrong in their expression of the gospel, that’s not my intent. But sometimes words can take away what you’d need actually need to hear.

And again I’m not trying change the story of what James is presenting, you can still walk with that as far as the physical healing and all the other things that you are actually reading in the K_J_V_, not the other translations. I’m just trying to broaden the view of the scripture so that if we see both sides of the man, see the inner man and the outer man. Is that alright? So when it reads confess, your faults one to another, some s uh translations confess, your sins. I find it a little hard for me to walk up to you and say you know what I had yesterday. Should you know that? No, that’s between me and God, that I may repent of my sins and he be just forgive me. Hey, I I looked at this person lustfully or something to that nature, something so hard and difficult that you don’t even wanna hear in my telling you that I’ve done something. Are you following me? No, what are you saying here? Confess your faults. In other words, confess the things that you aggressively done to someone. Again, offend someone. Sometimes offenses can be just as difficult as a confession or as far as using the word lie or other things to say that’s a sin.

No, when you can offend someone that’s just as damaging, that can turn the heart and the mind away from God, away from fellowship, away from anything that has anything to do with church, sometimes you could just be offensive by just looking at someone with an indignant face or an expression, as if don’t come near me. Don’t walk by me. Don’t say nothing to me. That person is already offended by your gestures, by your overall appearance and stature. We need to be careful how we manage our lives, how we manage ourselves in the gospel. I mean you the Bible’s here to lead us and guide us into all truth. But we can’t be narrow-minded thinking that we just can walk away. No, we gotta be broad-minded in the aspect of knowing that there are other differences or other things we need to in the gospel like this story here. It’s not a all it’s not only a physical thing we need to address, but emotional thing we need to address. Like when my wife and I when we have our differences I’m quick to apologize if I wanna eat tomorrow. If I wanna s have a opportunity to sleep in the house, you know, or just create my l homeless sign and say she kicked me out because I didn’t say anything. I’m already on the corner trying to beg for something. But we need to be cognisant of that, amen?

So James is trying to say confess your thoughts. In other words, confess the wrong that I may have done to you, that I may have said to you openly or whatever. I need to confess I need to make it right. So that my fellowship with you and with God is not severed. Sometimes our prayers can be hindered by our conduct. I’m s I’m serious. You may think you didn’t do anything wrong, but every time you pray it’s hitting the ceiling coming back down. So if we be seriously real with ourselves and real with God, then our fellowship can be true. The expression on your face can be more embracing if you will. I can walk up to you and say oh okay you don’t look that mean today, I can hold you and hug you and talk to you. ‘Cause sometimes just the look on your face can repel me, I’m like well I ain’t going over there, you know. But it happens, it happens. I’m almost done.

Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another. Let’s be sincere about our prayers. No, just don’t sit there and say, well yeah, I’m gonna pray for brother so-and-so, yeah, he’s been bothering me lately. No, change your thought. Change your attitude. Change your perspective. ‘Cause the prayers are the righteous available, but let me go into that as well. Now, that you may be healed healed, from rot. Again, when you look at uh I think that’s Isaiah fifty three, it talks about the experience of Christ had, right? And the last of that is um in by and by his stripes you will be healed. Now how many times have we understood that? And I’m not trying to take the effect of that away from where your faith is. ‘Cause see if your faith is there by s by his stripes you are healed, then so be it. Let the stripes that he expressed in this in that word may heal your stripes, may heal you physically, may change everything about you that you’re hurting or whatever may be hurting, that’s fine.

But the expression of that is not so much the physical but the spiritual. He wants to hear you heal you spiritually inside and out that you may be strengthened inside and out. That your heart may be right, your mind may be right, your conduct may be right. But it starts with the heart ‘Cause. you know the Bible says the heart is wicked deceitful evil, but it needs to be changed but thi but let Christ what heal the heart right, Are you understanding me? I I’m almost done. that you may be healed. Now the last part of this reading is that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much. Hmm.

Growing up in Akron I would visit churches. Baptist was m my thing at the time.
And what stood out about a Baptist church was you would get a deacon that would come up and pray.
And he would pray. He would pray hard. But he prayed in such a a r rhythmic way that it kept you intrigued that you just had to listen to what he was saying.

But it was all ritual, not that I’m judging. But every Sunday they get a bishop co I mean a uh yeah a a b not a bishop, but an elder would come up and he would just rant on and pray and have any father would come before you with our heads bowed down. You know you’ve been there you heard that you know I have. And it’s it becomes to the point where alright, are you just saying that to be heard? Are you just doing that ’cause you just wanna to know that if if the pastor wants you to pray, you’d be the one all the time up there praying uh hey, if it works, that’s fine, okay. But my point is the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous let me explain that.

Now, the effectual what, is effectual? Effectual means it’s a person’s heart that has been changed.
a person’s heart that has been yielded to the Lord, a person’s heart that has been changed by the purpose of the Holy Ghost, then now you can approach the Lord in prayer, no prayer-handed, everything has been resolved, a s a clean slate so to speak, and now you know that you can go before God in prayer ’cause you know you repented of your sins and your sorrows and your griefs, you repented of all the things that you may have done to another brother or a sister, you’ve made it right before the Lord, now you can go before the Lord and he can hear your and it becomes effectual, it becomes worth listening to ’cause he knows your heart has been ma changing his right, he knows your heart is now before him and he can see your heart and he know you’re right, he know you’re true, he knows that your expression is just and is holy and is right, that’s an effectual prayer. Now what’s the fervency part? The effectual fervent prayer. Now fervent means consistency.

Given up on your prayers. Even if your prayers hasn’t been answered that week, that month, that year, that decade, you are still fervent in believing knowing that you have laid it before the Lord. You have given it over to him. That’s called fervency. That’s letting God know that I’m not giving up ’cause I know you haven’t given up. So I’ma keep on praying, I’ma keep on believing, I’ma keep on fasting, I’ma keep on rejoicing, I’ma keep on believing knowing that one day.

One day I’ll have that prayer answer. One day I’ll be able to lift my voice, not just then, but as I walk to that blessing, as I walk to that promise, as I walk to that purpose, as I walk to that thing that’s gonna be revealed one day. That’s what the fervency is all about. You don’t need to be loud with it, just be right with it, amen? Just be right with it. I mean look at the example in the following verse. Elisha, he prayed
He prayed fervently. He prayed before the Lord saying don’t let it rain over here. And finally it didn’t rain. But then after the three years he prayed again. Fervancy. And the results was it rained. So I’m des I’m I’m I’m just want you to know there are some things you desire. I know I do. There are some things I want God to do. There are some things I want God to move out of my way, you know. But in until it’s moved,
until I have it, until I receive it, until it’s revealed to me, I’m gonna be fervent. I’m gonna pray. And in my praying I’m gonna be thanks you know with thanksgiving knowing, that the God I serve is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that whatever I could ask or think ’cause that is his promise, that is his word. So you need to stand on it and know that the righteous God that sits high and looks low hey, he’s not too high to where he can’t hear.

And he’s not too low that he got to look and see, you know, he’s right beside you. He said I’ma walk with you. I’m getting ready to close. I just want you to know that when you read this word, the book of James, if I if I was able to give you or convey to you a different view of it, I pray that you could walk away knowing that if my heart is broken, I know he can heal it. And if there’s something that needs to be resolved within the body, confess your faults to one to another. Don’t be afraid, alright?

Don’t be tent, go to your sister and your brother and say if I offend you, I apologize. And if you haven’t, I would rather come to you and say if there is any offense, I apologize. Because I want you to be able to trust me in our fellowship. And this is what James is trying to convey. If there be any sin, no, if there be any hurt or discord, alright, if there be any separation, if there be any disappointment, if there be any sorrow, if there be any grease, grief rather, we need to saying sometimes sin doesn’t always mean something that you’ve done, in a sense where I’ve lied, I’ve stolen.

It can be in in a simple offensive thing said or done, okay. So I hope and pray that what what was said was a eye-opening, was a a different view, a different perspective. So we need to understand that there’s more to a story than what you’ve already understood. We just gotta desire God to open up our eyes and our understanding. For the Holy Spirit is here to lead us and guide us into all truth, right. We gotta let him do it, is that right? Let him be God and Lord in your life, amen. That way you can walk with
understanding knowledge and wisdom and then when you share the gospel you can give that point of view to other people that they may see it differently Amen. And not judge you for well you wrong with that no, you know you need to study more. It’s just that simple Amen. Well. thank you for your time. I pray that something that was said to benefit and help you grow. Again I wanna thank Pastor Will for inviting me to come. I thank you for allowing me to speak before you. God bless.

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