Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Faithful James

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

William Steuart McBirnie was the Chancellor of the Seminary I attended years ago. He was a bright man with several post-graduate degrees. One of the books he wrote was, “The Search for the Twelve Apostles.” In the book, he traced the lives and death of the apostles after the resurrection of Jesus. I have referred to that book many times for information and inspiration from their stories.

James is an inspiring one. He was one of the inner group within the Twelve. Together with his brother, John, and Peter, he enjoyed a special relationship with Jesus. Peter, James, and John were privileged to be with the Lord on several occasions when the others were not included.

He was in the death chamber of Jairus’ daughter. He saw the Lord take the lifeless hand of that young girl and command, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And she did! [Luke 8:40-56] He personally witnessed the One who had power over death. That would play an important role in his life just a short time from then.

After the Lord rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, James became one of the leaders of the church. His word and counsel were highly respected in the Christian and apostolic community. However, it wouldn’t be very long before this beloved apostle would taste the bitterness of the persecution of the early New Testament church. 

It was Herod Agrippa who wanted to suppress the growing Christian community. So he seized James and put him to death by the sword [Acts 12:1-2]. I think James' heart had been strengthened over the years by his close contact with Christ. That helped him to courageously face his execution. 

I want to be like James. I want a be close to Jesus like he was. I want a strong heart so that, in life, or death, I will please Him in every respect. I know you do too!

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these … James son of Zebedee … Matthew 10:2

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