Grace Bible Church of Phoenix

The Wanderers

Preacher: Josh White

The book of James we do have a video update from talo and we’ve been doing Skype in the past and we thought lower to services how we’re going to do this and so we decided we’d ask them if they could send us like a three or four minute video clip and so here is an update from talo and enjoy.

Hey you my dear brothers and sisters. This was in high school you we’re in the night before the summer starts seem a starting makes it even and this is so all the preparation as you can see in the back of the steeple working really hard putting everything together there’s been many days that we were going for this I’m putting a lot of our effort people from all over Central America many people in song America are coming. And I just want you to pray for this the stars to morrow it goes until the fifteenth a lot of training for these people is going to be able to six hundred kids and I just want you to really one of the main things that we need to pray for is for all the people coming from all these other places please come there’s a lot of rain in this area it’s very tropical there’s a lot of rain so please pray for the weather friends I’ve got the amazing things in the life of.

A little leaguers coming from different Pluto were writing their lives we’re putting together an evangelist to go reach We’re going to be child to these places what we missed so blissfully region we’re going to be nursing homes we’re going to be up places for children come home and we’re going to be thinking all the places to live to see the we’re working with the government we call these there’s going to be an amazing. They.

All they’ve been going to be really constantly in the funds going to moving and the like maybe if you look in America really for the practices that are going to have enough to kill you when you knew you were going to Brazil you want a little more reason for steel.

People going to be going to be gone and all over soon for America the drug business a little bit of sleep just pray for you to know there’s been a few more things but I want to give our.

Thanks for being always there to be with Brazil for you all these years I’m thirty and I want to sleep at night all of you I just want to meet you so we’re going to show you what’s behind the camera.

There if you beloved beautiful but it was good but.

You know as we had to realize everything that he just mentioned just happened.

It’s awfully It was a great conference and for those of you who know talo tell has been in our church before he just got married it’s all people for years and years and years of the same way going to get married and so now he just shows off as as new bride so we’re very happy for him and I don’t know the next time he’ll be in the United States but hopefully if he’s able to come we can out here at our church all right I’d like you open your Bible so the Book of James because today is our final sermon in James.

And as I’ve been thinking about that I have really enjoyed it personally preaching through James and studying James I hope you have to and if anyone were to ask you what the book of James is about I hope now that we’ve spent the last about five months doing this that you would be able to answer someone and that your answer would speak something like this that James wrote to the true children of God to encourage them. To actually put their faith into practice and ultimately become mature That’s why James wrote his book that’s why he wrote his letter because he wanted people to become mature and as he finishes his letter he finishes with some prairie question so that’s what we’ve been doing for these last Force three Sundays now and the first Sunday of the new year we looked at first the first two items that James asked us to pray for he asked us to pray for those who are suffering and specifically people who are suffering because of the testimony for Jesus Christ he asks us to pray for people who are sick last week we talked about how he’s asking us to pray for our nation and he uses a great example from Alija how allied to his passion for his nation to turn their hearts back to God and now we’re going to kind of finish up with verses one thousand and twenty and he doesn’t tell us to pray but of course I think that might be implied and we’re supposed to do this anyway but this this last per request is a little difficult because it’s hard to see this happen to another person and sometimes when we see this events or this situation happening to another person we feel helpless and we’re not quite sure what to do before we read the passage I want to put on the screen a hymn and we say a couple him say that was great and this is Come thou fount of every blessing and this is one of the verses or stanza whatever you want to call it a verse or a stanza but as we read this I want you to see if you can relate to this it says oh to Grace how great a debtor daily I am constrained to be led by goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to be prone to wander Lord I feel it prone to leave the god i love.

You ever sung that song before and we sing this song quite often I guess and here in our church you sing those words prone to wanders anyone. Here Can anyone here relate to that.

You know sometimes in our faith personally I can share with myself and I’m sure everyone here would be able to say I feel that way too sometimes I feel like my face is as strong as it can be it is unshakable and I know the right way to think about a situation I know the right way to act in a situation and it’s like my faith is is all encompassing every part of my life and then there are other times in my life and I’m sure you can relate to this where you’re just tired in discouraged and frustrated when you’re around all these you know hypocrites you know people and you think you know maybe maybe there’s something else out there that it’s better than this and so we start to wonder we start to look for different things out there that that might be able to make us happier and ultimately we end up wondering or going after something that is a lie and so our last couple verses in James is a warning about this type of situation and the message that James is giving to us is for those who are at the present time strong in their faith their stable their mature he’s telling them to be on the lookout for those who are wondering but it’s also a warning for all of us that if we don’t put our faith into practice every single one of us at any given moment can be wandering away from the Lord ourselves so let’s read our our passage for today just the last two verses in James verses one thousand and twenty and this is what James says something we should be praying for and also looking out for one thousand says my brothers. If anyone among you wonders from the truth and someone brings him back 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. For this morning we’re definitely going to emphasize the first part of that verse nineteen and then as we read this I hope you realize what this is. Not saying what this is not saying is that you or I can save someone if we see someone wandering from the truth whether they’re saved or unsaved we can’t go after them and save them only God can save a person only the truth or their response to the truth can save someone and so as we read this question the last couple verses we have to ask the question Will who are these wanderers the James is referring to are is James referring to people who are saved people who have have claimed their face in Jesus Christ his death in his resurrection is he talking about people who are true believers or is James talking about the unsaved people who might be aware of the truth before they place their faith in Christ they sort of drift off well I think there is an answer to this question of who is intended audiences but from a practical standpoint it doesn’t matter does it our heart should say it doesn’t matter if they’re saved or unsaved if they’re moving away from the Lord our heart’s desire should be to go after them however I do believe that the primary intention of what James is talking about is he’s dealing with primarily people who are saved I think obviously the application applies to everyone but James main concern here is is for those who have a relationship with God and instead of them working on their maturity they wander away and become friends with the world so this morning let’s consider what James is asking us to do and that is to be able to identify when wandering it’s taking place and also being willing to engage it when we see it happening you know and I was thinking as we’re going through this we’re going to pray at the end of the sermon like we have for the last two and I suspect as we’re going through this.

Most of you here maybe everyone here a name of a family or a friend might come to mind you might be thinking you know this is describing so and so and I hope at the end of this sermon this morning maybe you’ll be praying for them and God will really give you the wisdom and courage meant to do something about it but here we have. Two things that we’re going to look at this morning we’re looking at the danger that James is talking about and then also the goal and so the danger that we see in these two verses is that someone will wander specifically wander away from the truth when James is saying that they’re going to wander he’s talking about they will wander away from the truth the Greek word for wonder is the Greek word play not O. which means to be led away into error or sin some of your translations might say something different than wonder some of yours might say do error but what this is talking about is someone is being led away into sin and error and remember how earlier when James was talking about people who are suffering there’s only four places in the New Testament where this word for suffer is used in three of them were in in TIMOTHY Well Timothy Paul writes to Tim of the about people who wander and so I want to look at a couple examples of wanderers that Paul is addressing to Timothy So turning your Bibles over to First Timothy Chapter one.

And hopefully this will give us a greater understanding of what this wandering looks like and what is it what it means so first some of the chapter one. Here Paul is warning Timothy to look out for the Wanderers.

For some of the Chapter one beginning in verse five it says this.

Is the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith what is a sincere faith a sincere faith is someone who truly understands the truth and they put it into practice verse six Paul warns me says certain persons by swerving from these have wandered into vain discussion desiring to be teachers of the law without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions there’s a lot of people. In the world who have no idea what they’re talking about right but they’ll tell you everything that they know and in this verse it says that they have wondered they have wondered away from the truth and so some people through the temptation of pride they just want to spotlight and so they’ll just wander way from the truth and anyone that will listen to them they’ll talk to them they’ll tell them or anything they want to know another warning which is one I think all of us can relate to and this is in chapter six of First Timothy. For some of the chapter six.

Beginning in verse nine.

Says but those who desire to be rich fall into temptation into a snare into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil and here we see the same word it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains and so this is this is pretty easy to understand because money is a temptation that all of us could easily fallen into we get to this idea that you know I know I should serve the Lord and or should make different priorities in my life but if I were just a little bit harder I can have that whatever it is I can have that Corvet I can have that bigger house I can have these things if I just put more time and energy into to getting more money and Satan has been hard at work trying to convince the whole world that money will get you happiness and so one of the ways that Satan deceives believers and nonbelievers into wondering from the truth is with this temptation of money they’ve wandered away from the face thinking that there is something else out there that can bring them happiness and as we continue to study this before we kind of wander off into what people wonder off into it’s important for us to realize something about the word wonder if this Greek word for Wonder is translated into some other. English words and one of the main words it’s translated into is the word deceived.

This word for Wander is many times translated into the word deceived and the reason for that is because wandering is not so much a physical activity as it is a mental one this wandering begins in the mind and as our minds begin to wonder after things that we think are better than God and His truth then eventually physically we start wandering as well let me give you a couple examples of where this word wander is used in translated into the seed I think I used this verse last week first Corinthians fifteen thirty three I’ll read this for you it’s as Do not be deceived bad company ruins good morals the word for deceived is wander do not wonder away from the truth and think that you can be yoked with people with bad character so do not be deceived you do not wonder from this truth another one is in second Timothy. Second term of the three verses twelve says indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted while evil people in impostors go on from bad to worse deceiving and being deceived but as for you continuing what you have learned and have firmly believed knowing from whom you have learned it and so this wandering is mental people who wander or are deceived they potentially lead other people away and wandering deceive them and so this is why this this warning is so important here in James and there are consequences when a believer wanders away from the truth when they wander away from the truth mentally they also start sinning and so there’s consequences we’re not going to look at all these in greater detail I guess as you go through the Bible you see all these warnings eventually but some of the consequences from God towards a child that wanders away. From the truth in Hebrews Chapter twelve talks about how God will discipline us parents what happens when your child physically wanders away from you and they’re heading towards danger while sometimes if the danger they are getting into is going to be really minor maybe a let them make a mistake so they learn what the consequences of of wandering away but if it’s going to be very severe consequences you’re run after them and you discipline them because you don’t want them to get hurt and so God will discipline us if we start to wander away because he wants what is best for us another consequences judgement at the Bema Seat of Christ if we wander away from the truth that we might lose years of possible ministry that we will be rewarded for at the Bema Seat of Christ and so if someone wanders away there might be a loss of potential rewards when we face a crisis the Bema Seat who are our sins won’t be held against us but the possibility of reward will be lost another consequence from wandering away from the Lord you lose fellowship with other believers you don’t have that support system of having other believers to walk alongside of and another last one I’ll give you last possible consequence of wandering from God is a person’s wandering can lead others astray as well.

Have you ever had a friend or a family member sort of wander away from the Lord and convince you to join them or at least tried to convince you to join them or have you ever or hundred away from the Lord and try to make yourself feel better by having people join you in whatever it is whether it’s it’s things of the mind like gossip and anger and you know things like that or actual sinful activity there are so many warnings all throughout the Bible about this happening and ultimately this wandering is spiritual warfare you know in the fusions Chapter six where Paul is talking about spiritual warfare he says this a fusion Sixten finally be strong in the Lord in the strength of his my. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil and one of the schemes of the devil is to get us to wander and it begins in the mind believing something other than the truth and then eventually leads to action well as we talk about this wandering Can you relate to this I think everyone here should be able to relate to this on some level and have you seen this taking place in the life of another person it’s hard to see that take place isn’t it sometimes they deceive us into thinking that everything is right so James tells us to watch out and so when we find someone who is wandering away from the truth then what are we supposed to do well that brings us to the second point or the goal if we see someone who is wandering the goal is that we will turn them back to bring them back the Greek word here in James to bring back or to turn back is the Greek word at distressful which simply means to turn oneself around so read our passage again for today versus one thousand and twenty in James says My brothers if anyone among you wonders from the truth and someone turns him around or brings him back let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save a soul from decimal cover over a multitude of sins and so the goal is to bring someone back as their wandering away bring them back you know there’s only one of the verse an entire Bible were both of these words for wander and bring back are used in the same sentence it’s found in first Peter two twenty five you can turn there were really you’re really close to it you can turn there if you like but I’ll read this verse for you first Peter two twenty five it says For you were straying like sheep but have now returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls so Peter is saying you at one time wondered. Now you have turned back to the Lord and so as we’re reading this you’re thinking wait is this really for save people do save people really need this yeah absolutely Unfortunately yes this is very true and some of you here might be able to share with others a story about your life how for months or maybe even years of your life you have you wandered away from the Lord but somehow maybe through the testimony of another person or or God just you know really his hand was upon you and or maybe reading God’s word you you came to realize the truth and you turned back and you came back to him and sometimes to get a believer to turn back and to come back to the Lord God will use one of us he will use one of us to do that this is what Paul talks about Ingle ations Chapter six turn over to collations chapter six.

Glaciers Chapter six verse one. It says brothers if anyone is caught in any transgression you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness keep watch on yourself less you to be tempted bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ if anyone is caught in a transgression they are kind of on the outer end of the wandering they’ve been wandering for a while and they’ve pierced themselves now they’re finally caught up in some sinful activity Well what I want to do is I want to look at there’s three examples you might have to go through these rather fast three examples of what happens when someone wandered in how they got brought back three Biblical examples of this and the first one is a really short one but it’s dealing with Peter so look over in Luke Chapter twenty two. Luke Chapter twenty two so we have a couple different examples of people wandering and sometimes when a person wanders away from the Lord. It’s just for a moment it doesn’t go on for a long period of time and others if they wander there and they wander for years and years and years but here’s an example of someone who wandered and turned back to the Lord and we see the same Greek word for turn back in this passage Luke twenty two beginning in verse thirty one and this is when Jesus told Peter that he would deny Christ. And Peter said of course not I never do that but here Luke twenty two beginning in verse thirty one it says.

Simon sign Jesus talking to Peter here behold Satan demanded to have you that he might sift you like wheat or cause you to wander but I have prayed for you that your face may not fail and when you have turned again when you have turned back when you have been converted so many translations might say that when you have turned again strengthen your brothers Peter said to him Lord I’m ready to go with you both to prison and to death Jesus said I tell you Peter the rooster will not crow this day until you have denied three times that you know me so Peter even think he can be led astray Peter thought I’m not going to wander and yet he did but in a moment he realized what he had done and he turned back to the truth and so that’s that’s an example of a momentary wandering Now how many of you can relate to this where you did something maybe it was a sinful activity you thought oh boy I’m not going down this path this is going to take me to a place I don’t want to go and you turn back that’s a great example of what that looks like another example of were already in Luke’s or go over to Luke Chapter fifteen. This is the story of the prodigal son.

And in this passage this is probably a wandering that went on for years and years and years.

Luke fifteen verse eleven.

Here we can see this process taking place Luke fifteen eleven says and he said there was a man. Two sons and the younger one of them said to his father Father give me my share of the property that is coming to me and invited his property between them now many days later the younger son gathered all he had chucked a journey into a far country in other words he wandered away he believed a lie that money and fast living was going to bring him happiness and says and there he squandered his property in a reckless living and when he had spent everything a severe famine arose in that country he began to be in need so he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country who sent him into the fields to feed pigs and he was longing to be fed with the pods of the pigs and no one gave him anything in verse seventeen I love this this verse the N.I.V. says when he came to his senses but the S.P. says but when he came to him self he said how many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread but I perish here with hunger I will arise and go to my father and I will say to him Father I have sinned against heaven and before you and so the prodigal son he wondered and then he turned back he wandered away because he believed a lie and that lie ultimately made him realize the truth and he was humble enough to. Turn back you know I wonder about the Prodigal Son it’s a parable so it’s not an actual event that took place and so it’s very vague in its details but I wonder if anyone from his family came and sought him out and said Why are you here. Why don’t you come back. Sometimes that’s what God is asking us to do to our brothers and sisters who have wandered away well what does it look like when a person turns back when we say that someone should turn back to the Lord what does it look like what I think it starts first and foremost with the truth for someone to come back or turn back to the Lord they recognize that they have been. It into some kind of a lie and they only look to the Bible as their source of truth they don’t look to a politician what they have to say or talk show host or or any author secular authors they look to the Word of God as their source of truth another thing the way it looks like is letting truth determine our actions to say this is what I believe is true and so my actions are going to be in alignment with my beliefs another thing and because we’re in church we’re going to talk about how church plays into this another way it looks when a person turns back is they might become an active part of a local body of believers church has been designed by God for many reasons but one of the reasons one of the benefits of a local congregation is this is a place where we are on the look out for each other when we see somebody wandering away that we might have the graciousness to go after them and say Where you going that’s a lie don’t do that and church is a place for those who are wandering that they can come back and they can be fed the truth you know the author of Hebrews talks about the importance of us coming together so that we can be a support system for each other the last passage I want you to look at today’s and humorous Chapter ten so turn there with me if you will Hebrews Chapter ten.

And as we read this last passage I want you to know how many notice how many plurals there are in this this portion of Scripture Heber’s Chapter ten beginning in verse twenty three. This talks about the importance of the family of God The family of believers.

He was ten verse twenty three it says Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised his face full. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. Not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near so God’s intention is for a body of believers to catch those who are starting to wander and also to be a place not the place but a place that we can bring Wanderers back to.

You know as we’ve been going through this and as we wrap up the book of James.

This is real this is hard to see in the life of another person as as we’re going to spend just a moment praying for ourselves and for other people I hope to God maybe has brought someone to mind as I was studying this there is someone that the God has brought to my mind and now I need to figure out a way to go to them and figure out what I’m going to say in the hope hopefully I can be an incursion into them to see them come back but what I want to do is give everyone opportunity to do to pray for for two things first for anyone that God has laid on your heart this morning that if there is someone in your life that you notice that they are wandering away that somehow they might come to their senses and turn back and the god will give you the wisdom and courage to reach out to them so let’s take just a moment let’s have you pray will pray for something else and just another minute but silence your words prepare your minds now your heads and spent just a moment praying for anyone in your life that you know has started to wander away pray for them were.





And as you continue to pray now pray for yourself. That if you are in a place right now where you know you’re starting to wander the god will help you fight off the enemy in the battle for your heart in your mind and that you might respond to anyone that God might send to you to help you turn around and if if you’re in a good place right now pray that God will continue to strengthen you so that you will not wonder.

Your father we thank you so much for this warning and for this encourage me here and in the book of James it’s such a blessing to know the truth that in this life you desire for us to put the truth into practice. And when we fail to pay attention to that sometimes we can wander and so help us Lord as as your children to go after those who are wandering let us be a tool in your hands to help bring them back and give us the right words to say and help us speak truth to them in love and also Lord help us to heed these warnings for ourselves that if we are not careful we might be deceived and wander off help us as a church to do our best to support each other and to stay focused on the truth. And Lord as we are including the Book of James or I thank you so much for inspiring James to write this Bible the Book of the Bible and Lord so it’s filled with such practical I’m commands that all of us should be putting into our life on a daily basis and so Lord thank you for giving us the freedom and the ability to study your Holy Word and Lord and I pray that as we put these things to practice that we don’t just study the Book of James it will. Well do what it says as James is encouraging us to do then we in turn will become mature as your desire for us is to be mature so Lord again thank you for this morning thank you there were able to be here and worship you and study you and I pray that you bring us back safely next week in Christ and we pray you men. And I mean the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all and that.

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