James Chapter 1
I have been wrestling a bit about where to begin our online Bible Study. I have looked at a few possible books to start with, but my heart keeps coming back to the book of James. So, for the next few weeks that is where we are going to go. I am not sure how this will work in an online setting, but sometimes you have to take a step to see the outcome. So, let’s start this journey together and trust that in this place our lives will become more connected to the heart of the Father & we will grow and mature in the Word of the Lord. Bless you as you join us in this new adventure.
James was among the group gathered at Pentecost in the book of Acts. He took over the leadership of the Jerusalem church when Peter left Palestine. He was living in a very exciting time, but also in a time of persecution and great pressure. He places a challenge to us to not overreact to our trials, to be genuine in our faith, and to live what we say we believe. I think his wisdom can certainly be applied where we live today.
How do we react to pressure? Faith will not quit when it is genuine, even when times are hard. We are stable because who of we are in Christ and our union with him, not because of our circumstances.
Trials are a part of life & develop maturity in us.
1:2-4 – We often seek Jesus to deal with our problems, but he tells us that we can declare them joy. (Matt. 5:11-12; Luke 6:22-23)
Temptations will come.
1: 9-11 – We need to be Humble, and seek the proper perspective on life. God’s perspective. (Matt. 13:6; 23:12; Mark 4:7; Luke 14:11; 18:14)
How do we handle our trials and guard our hearts against impurity?
A. We need to persevere and not give up. 1:12 (Matt. 5:11-12)
B. We need to hold on to God’s goodness. 1:13-18 (Matt. 7:12; 19:16; Luke 6:27, 35)
We need to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.
The value and importance of listening and doing. 1:19-20 (Matt. 7:11; Luke 6:46-49).
There is a lot in this one chapter alone and as I pondered over it in preparation for you, I have been personally challenged. How often do I try to avoid trials? Usually whenever I can, but according to James, I am to consider it joy. It is part of my spiritual development and growth. Then, there is perseverance which is uncommon in our culture in many settings, but in the kingdom it is an absolute necessity if I want to develop and be formed into his character. He reminds me that I need to be a doer of the Word. It is absolutely necessary to apply His Truth to my life and make my life line up. This is powerful and liberating if the heart of it is to know him. The journey of discovering him means I count it all joy because it leads me to knowing his heart. Incredible. Let’s do it together.
Please feel free to share your thoughts.