Title:  Cleaning Out the Garage
Purpose:  To move Christians to patience with God & One Another

1.  Sometimes we don't like to get rid of things, but there are times when we have too clean out the garage, the toolshed, and otherthings that become "catch-alls".   This mornings text deals with cleaning:
Text James 5:7-11 
     a.  They were suffering at the hands of the rich (James 2:7-8)
     b.  Context:  Previous passage shows why we shouldn't envy the rich
     c.  Word "brethren" - -  He is addressing Christians
     d.  Three realities come to light in this passage: 1)  The Lord is
       Coming   2)  The Lord will Judge   3)  The Lord will Bless Christians
3.  Because of these realities,
a Christian Must Be Patient in All Things:

I.  By Throwing Away Short-Sightedness (v. 7-8)
     A.  Many Early Christians expected the Lord to come in their life time
          1.  Some became tired and discouraged facing all that persecution
          2.  Resulted in the Biblical admonitions to endurance & patience
     B.  This passage tells us not to be short-sighted
          1.  "Be patient until the coming of the Lord"
          2.  Another admonition here is to "strengthen our hearts"
               a.  RSV:  "Establish" our hearts ;  NIV:  "Stand Firm"
               b.  Imagine after years, Jesus did not return, others would laugh
               c.  Establish & ground your faith in God's promises, not
                   feelings or doubts.  Be patiently ready at a moments notice.
     C.  Illustrations on being ready:
          1.  We were expecting a baby
               a.  Had to keep a bag for the hospital packed, grab it at a
                   moments notice
               b.  It had everything you would need for the stay
               c.  Didn't know
when it would come, but we knew it would
               d.  We didn't want to be guilty of short-sightedness and not
                    be ready

2.  James' Illustration of the Farmer
               a.  He plants his seed and knows he has to be patient
               b.  What if he said, "It's not going to happen any time soon",
                    and he fails to fertilize and weed the field?
     D.  God is faithful to his promises
          1.  He has promised that it's going to rain:  We used to sing a
               song that said It's gonna Rain...It won't be water, but fire
               next time"
          2.  He also promised that "whoever believes in him should not
               perish..."(Jn 3:16)
          3.  An elder once said:  "No matter how bad it seems, it will pass"
          4.  So throw away shortsighted-ness and look at the pig picture 
               BE PATIENT

II.  By Throwing Away Short-Tempers (V. 9)
     A.  Do not complain against one another - "Complain" could be
           translated "grumble"
     B.  The cause of Grumbling or
short tempers is short sightedness
          1.  Lose sight of the fact my brother is made in the image of God
          2.  Lose sight of the fact that my brother is redeemed by the
               same blood I am
          3.  Lose sight of the fact that we need to be lead by the Spirit
               a.  Fruit of the Spirit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness,   
                    Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control
                    (Gal. 5:22-23)
               b.  The Exodus:  Grumbling was a constant problem
                    -They were shortsighted
                     -Not only did they not focus on the land of milk and honey,
                      they forgot about the hardships of Egyptian Slavery
          4.  Lose sight of the fact that the judge is standing right at the door     C.   At work one day I remember a guy that did nothing but complain
          1.  There was one guy, Tom, that was good friends with the
          2.  They had a few choice terms for him.
          3.  Whenever the supervisor walked in, talking about this person
               always stopped
          4.  Why?  Because it could be bad, they were talking about
               someone the supervisor liked
          5.  What if they knew that the supervisor was right at the door,
               or around the corner?  They would not complain
     D.  Don't complain against your brother
          1.  Instead, you should be bearing with one another (Gal. 6:2)
               to fullfill the law
          2.  Instead, we should love in deed and in truth (I John 3:19)
          3.  So throw away those short-tempers caused by short-sightedness
          4.  Be long on love and patience

III.  By throwing away Short-Suffering (v. 10-11)
     A.  Instead, Christians have always been called to be Long-Suffering
     B.  Some become Christians & are along for the ride
          1.  Parable of the Sower (Matt 13)
              a.  Rocky Soil - Affliction or Persecution from the word
              b.  Among the thorns - Worry & Deceitfulness of riches
          2.  When things get uncomfortable
              a.  Some say "I have had enough" and leave
              b.  Some drop out mentally and become pew warmers
          3.  What if the Lord were to come next month (he could)
     C.  Illustrations of Suffering and Patience:
          1.  The Prophets, never gave up
                a.  Jeremiah, thrown in a well and left to die
                b.  Amos, ridiculed and threatedned by religious leaders
                c.  Elijah, on the run for three years from King Ahab
                    -Nearly gave up & Prayed for death (I Kings 19:4)
                    -He was renewed by private time with God
         2.  Job - The outcome of the Lord's dealings (Job 42:10-13)
         3.  James 5:11 - We count those blessed who have endured
     D.  Throw away short-suffering, endure till the end
         1.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy
               a.  He will give you what you need
               b.  Even if you feel you have lost patience, talk to God like
                    Elijah did
         2.  Be long on endurance

1.  In order to see Heaven, a Christian must be patient with God, and with the brethren
2.  How can I?  By:  Cleaning out the garage, the things that crowd God out of your life --
    1)  Throwing Away Short-Sightedness
    2)  Throwing Away Short-Tempers
    3)  Throwing Away Short-Suffering
3.  Knew a man named Fred several years ago
    a.  Had a problem with some of the brethren, especially the preacher
    b.  He quit God altogether
    c.  Life went downhill after that
4.  Not throwing out the garbage means garbage in your life
5.  Not throwing out the garbage means garbage for eternity
6.  God will give you the tools and the equipment to clean it up,
    a.  You can't do it yourself
    b.  Step one, pray to God
    c.  Step two, rely on the Holy Spirit
    d.  Step three CLEAN
8.  What do you need to clean out of your life?