The brother of Jesus named James writes a letter to help the Christians in Rome, Alexandria, Cyprus, and cities in Greece and Asia Minor who were going through much difficulty as they were being persecuted and even dying for their faith. One lesson I have learned from reading James 1-2 is that we all face trials but most important is not letting them get us down. Persistence like a stream of water eventually cuts into a rock and if we remain persistent at focusing on the possibilities God gives, we can cut into and go through obstacles in our way.
Pastor Steve at my church said once in a sermon that the book of James is God’s instruction manual on how to integrate our faith with our lifestyle. An idea I put into action several years ago is to attach certain Godly principles to the activities in my life and keep a record of these. For example: writing down notes when listening to sermons, doing Bible study, watching movies, reading books, and listening to music. This activity becomes spiritual exercises that build spiritual muscle.
James writes that it is wrong to be partial to certain groups. Today, we seem to have this same problem as there are barriers built up between the wealthy and those that do not have luxuries. James explains that the Gospel law of liberty gives freedom to everyone. It alleviates barriers or obstacles in the path by accepting, appreciating, and affirming everyone that lives by the “Golden Rule”.
James writes that our works are the fruit of our faith. In other words, faith was before works and because of faith the result is works. In fact, faith perfects works so the two work in tandem. Have faith in the principles found in the gospel. Work on these principles throughout life as God refines your character to be more like Christ. Try to improve by developing habits that help at applying the gospel principles to everything you do.
Over the next few weeks, I will finish the study of the book of James using the questions below to help focus on each passage. Feel free to respond with a short note or a comment about any of these questions. Also, I welcome any other thoughts or ideas, favorite inspirational videos, photos, or favorite Bible verses. Just add them to the comments or to a facebook page I’ve set up at this link: This Day With God.
Describe an untamed tongue. What are the effects of its pollution? How can you strive to be perfect in what you say?
List the characteristics of each type of wisdom. What are the results of each? Why is this passage especially applicable to teachers? How can you obtain wisdom from above (See verse 1:5-6)?
What is the basic cause of wars among Christians? Who is the only true judge? Why should we build up and compliment our neighbor instead of tearing them down?
James 4:13 – 5:6
What qualification should you attach to any plans you make? For what purposes are you using your treasures?
Why is patience called for in the circumstance of this passage? What will patience accomplish? What is the result of impatience?
What might prayer accomplish in each of these situations? What is the condition for an answer? Are there common task that might seem boring but you can approach with more enthusiasm because this time can be a time of praise or worship?
It’s important to have a plan. I’m thankful that Jesus is God’s plan for us and by accepting Him as Savior; we have taken the steps necessary to make this day with Him amazing! At this link: God’s Plan for Us, is a post about accepting God’s plan or reaffirming our “YES” for Christ.
- A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep: Be Who You Say You Are (dougmatlock.wordpress.com)
- Knowing His Principles to Help Apply Faith (thisdaywithgod.wordpress.com)