Marks of the Spiritual Life
The fruit of genuine discipleship is described in the book of James. Marks of the spiritual life are described in detail as James carries us through his conclusion of "faith without works is dead". We must show our works, but above all James encourages us to master five concepts that are married to our Christian faith. We are to encourage and to be patient with one another, until the coming of the Lord. Secondly, he tells us to endure, as this is an example of suffering and patience. We are to make confession unto one another that we might reveal our trespasses which brings healing to our souls. And finally, rescuing the wayward soul, turning back a sinner from the error of his way, saving a soul from death and covering a multitude of sins. These marks of the spiritual life demonstrate living by faith.
James concludes by encouraging us to pray fervently, like Elijah who was a man with a similar nature as ours. Elijah was passionate for God and prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for 3 years and 6 months. We're encouraged to master prayer, not just any kind of prayer, but a fervent prayer. "For the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
Do the marks of the spiritual life find comfort within your person, or do you struggle to find God much of your time? Mastering these principles are the marks of true spirituality and true discipleship. 0h, by the way, James says above all else, do not swear -- not the swearing of words, but the making and breaking of promises, as God is our witness when we make such oaths. James says, "Let your Yes be Yes, and your No be No!" We have a lot of work ahead of us. Stay the course, and let's continue on our journey in the spiritual life.