James 51Rich people, listen to me! Cry loud and long because of the troubles you will have. 2Your things are spoiled. Bugs have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are all spoiled. The wrong in them will prove that you have done wrong. The wrong will burn you up like fire. You have kept all these things and now time is almost ended. 4Listen! Men worked in your fields to cut your grain and you did not pay them! That money shouts against you. The men who cut your harvest have called out to the Lord who has power and he has heard them. 5You have had a good time on earth. You have done anything you wanted to do. Your lives are full of everything. Like a fat animal, you will soon be killed. 6You have punished good people. You have killed them. And they do not stop you. 7So brothers, take your troubles quietly and wait until the Lord comes. A farmer waits until the harvest grows from the ground. He waits for it a long time until it has had the first and second rain. 8You must wait also. Keep your hearts strong, because the Lord will come soon. 9Brothers, do not say mean things to each other. If you do, you will be judged. Listen, the judge is standing at the door now. 10My brothers, look at the lives of the prophets of God who spoke in the name of the Lord. See the troubles they had. They took them and waited. Do as they did. 11God blesses those who take their troubles quietly and keep on believing. You have heard about Job’s troubles and how he took them. And you have seen what the Lord did for him at the end. The Lord is very kind and helps people. 12My brothers, here is something that matters very much. When you make a promise do not ask heaven to hear it, or the earth, or any other thing. When you mean ‘Yes,’ just say, ‘Yes.’ And when you mean ‘No,’ just say, ‘No.’ If you do that, you will not be judged. 13Is any one of you in trouble? He should talk to God about it. Is any one of you happy? He should sing songs of praise to God. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call for the leaders of the church people. They should talk to God about him and put oil on him in the name of the Lord. 15Because they talk to God, and believe, he will hear them. The sick man will be healed. The Lord will make him well again. If the sick man has done wrong things, the Lord will forgive him. 16So tell one another the wrong things you have done. And tell God about each other’s needs, so that you will be healed. When a good man talks to God, big things can be done. 17Elijah was a man like us. He asked God not to let it rain. And for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18Then he talked to God again. And it rained. Plants grew on the earth. 19My brothers, has one of you left the right way? Has another person brought him back again? 20Do not forget that the person who has brought a man back from his wrong ways will save that man from death. He will cover up many wrong things and be forgiven.
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