(Click on the scripture reference for a link to the text!)
March 10, 2019
The epistle of James offers practical advice in guiding believers toward spiritual maturity. For example, James has warned us several times about wrong uses of our tongues. Now, at the close of his letter, he will encourage us toward a higher and nobler use--that of praying and praising God, which is a mark of our growth in Christ.
March 3, 2019
When you hear the word "integrity", what quality usually comes to mind? A recurring subject in James' letter involves the use our tongue, e.g., cursing vs. blessing (ch. 3) and otherwise speaking evil against others (ch. 4). In chapter 5 we see how he turns his attention to a more character-related exercise of our speech--the contrast between truthfulness vs. dishonesty.
February 24, 2019
Do you really believe that God is in control of your circumstances and/or the people around you? How do you respond to those unexpected hassles that we all encounter? Margaret Thatcher once said, "I am extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end." The Book of James informs us that there is a direct relationship between our level of patience and our trust in God.
February 17, 2019
No intelligent person would question the vital importance that faith and prayer are to a serious believer's life; certainly the bible places a high priority on these subjects. Yet, there is another subject in scripture that is dealt with more than these two things combined, and that is the issue of money and how it is handled! Do you have a biblical perspective on how the Lord wants you to handle your finances? The Book of James is not silent on this matter.
February 3, 2019
We've all heard that expression that "the only thing for certain are death and taxes." In our culture, most people avoid even thinking about the former and resent the latter. The book of James implies that, if we want to live life wisely and live life to the fullest, we should be mindful of other things just as certain and fashion our plans accordingly.
January 27, 2019
Conflicts with others are inevitable and can actually be occasions (albeit painful) for our growth as believers. How we deal with them is a measure of our spiritual maturity. So, how do we bring resolution to the (very natural) feelings of anger, hurt, and jealousy that sometimes flare up within us so that we can walk in peace with God and others? The Book of James offers some sound advice!
January 20, 2019
Do you consider yourself a wise person? God's Word declares that the individual who finds wisdom is blessed (Prov. 3:13). But there are two kinds of wisdom, one that is inspired by heaven and the other by hell. Can you discern the difference and, more importantly, are you drawing your inspiration from the "wisdom that is from above?”
November 4, 2018
James 2:14-26 | Faith that Saves, and Faith that Doesn’t
No serious church-goer would deny the importance of a personal faith, yet the apostle Paul–speaking to the Corinthian church–warned the believers to “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” This Sunday, in James 2:14-26, we’ll see that James reveals there is a false kind of faith, a deficient faith, and an authentic, saving faith. Which do you possess? How do you know? If we examine ourselves, what marks or evidences should we find that demonstrate authentic faith?
October 28, 2018
James 2:1-13 | Authentic Faith That Works: Be Obliged
How--and why--do we tend to show favoritism toward certain others? We all want to be able to choose our own friends and resent others telling us whom we should or shouldn't hang out with, but our methods and motives of favoring some over others can bring us into conflict with our Christian walk. What is the Scripture's prescription for treating others who don't fit into our own mold?
October 14, 2018
James 1:19-27 | Authentic Faith: How’s the Reception in Your Area?
Hopefully you are purposefully putting yourself in a place to hear God’s Word–a good thing! It is coming through? Are you receiving the message or are you experiencing some interference? We’ll be looking at James’ letter to a scattered group of believers where he encourages them to be more than mere listeners of the Word. If we follow his counsel it will change our lives and we will change the world around us!
October 7, 2018
James 1:13-18 | Authentic Faith: The War that All of Us Fight
What is the difference between trials, testing, and temptation–or are they the same, and what is God’s role with each of them? So far in the first chapter of James we’ve looked at trials as things that plague us from without – difficult situations, suffering and the like. But we all also struggle with those things that come from within, such as evil desires, and James addresses these as well.
September 30, 2018
James 1:5-12 | Authentic Faith that Works: A Word for the Wise
How does a wise Christian solve his or her problems? And, although it is generally misguided for a believer to ask God for personal wealth and other such riches, what is the one thing we can ask for with assurance that is worth far more?
September 23, 2018
James 1:2-4 | Authentic Faith that Works: Growing Pains
The scriptures tell us that we live in a cursed creation, and few (if any) of us will escape this world unscathed. Years ago the singer Tony Bennett offered a response to life’s hard challenges when he crooned, “Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face; Brush off the clouds and cheer up, put on a happy face.” Saint James seems to echo that notion when he instructs us to “Count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds.” Is that so? Should our first reaction to a trial be to just “slap on a happy grin” and move on as best we can? Or does the Bible give us other advice?
September 16, 2018
James 1:1 | Authentic Faith that Works
Warren Wiersbe said, "Not everybody who grows old grows up. There is a vast difference between age and maturity . . . If Christians would just grow up, they would become victors instead of victims." How does one measure spiritual growth unless it is seen in the outworking of one's life? This study is from the Book of James, which is an intensely practical letter. Whereas much of Paul's letters were concerned with explaining the gospel to those who didn't fully understand it, the writer of James apparently thought his readers basically knew and believed the gospel but didn't understand its implications for living. Do you?