James 1

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.


  1. Reply
    Patricia De`Bell says:

    I have been wanting to do a study of James for years, without really knowing why. In early January this year I started to read James intensively but really only spent one day on it! So it`s really good to be doing this Bible study on James with other people!
    I have overreacted to most of my trials, panicking in sudden ones, carrying resentment for my very few long-term ones. The faith planted in me has not quit – even when I think it has and have started panicking about that too! But I have certainly not counted it all joy, usually the opposite. I have allowed my emotions to rule me.
    I`m going for now because it`s getting late and I need to go to bed. I intend looking at the rest of this tomorrow (Tues) after I get back from taking the car in for its annual inspection.
    Thank you again, Freda, this is a joy! Blessings! Patricia

    • Reply
      Jim says:

      Hi Patricia…thanks for sharing this. It simply tells me that you hunger after Jesus, who is the author and finisher of your faith…a faith that has not quit. I need stability too, and think that James is a great place to start…and as you know, Jesus is the Rock higher than I, on which you and Keith, and we all are to stand…

  2. Reply
    guy bertin says:

    Hi Freda,
    We have been studying through “40 days in the word” and one o the key verses is James 1:22.
    It has caused me to start every morning with The Word and prayer,and by doing this it enables me to have better perspectives on my day.

    Not just reading the Word, but to do it starting by simply getting our priorities strait. Start our day…every day with the bible and prayer, this for me is where I need most perseverance.

    Anyway that’s where I’m starting. God bless you. Guy

    Ps quote I read and really like: “The entire day receives order and discipline when it acquires
    unity. This unity must be sought and found in morning prayer. The morning prayer determines the day”


    • Reply
      bethelcommunitychurch says:

      Thanks so much Guy. I love that quote & it certainly is truth. The 40 days in the Word study you are doing. Who is it by or is it just something you are doing on your own?

  3. Reply
    Dennis Tate says:

    The website is beautiful!

    Yesterday I was reading part of The Vision by Rick Joyner again and I was struck by what he was shown about how the trials that we go through are often instrumental in giving us an anointing/mantle/aptitude to be able to deal with the type of situation that we have faced.

    I tried to find the exact quotation online but this is the closest one that I could find:

    “God has a different definition of peace and safety than we do. To be wounded in the fight is a great honor. That is why the apostle Paul boasted of his beatings and stonings. There is no courage unless there is real danger. The Lord said He would go with Joshua to fight for the Promised Land, but over and over exhorted him to be strong and courageous because he was going to have to fight, and there would be dangers. It is in this way the Lord proves those who are worthy of the Promises-they love God and His provision more than their own security. Courage is a demonstration of true faith. The Lord never promised that His way would be easy, but it would be worth it,” (Pastor Rick Joyner)

  4. Reply
    bethelcommunitychurch says:

    I was just going through the first chapter of James here in the Message translation and thought some of it was just too good not to share. So, I am going to post a few of the verses. They really are worth the read.

    Verse 1 – I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello! Faith Under Pressure

    Verses 2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

    Verse 12 Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

    Verses 19-21 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

    Verses 22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

    Verse 25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

    Thought it was just a really good presentation of the things presented in the study. Hope you are being blessed.

  5. Reply
    Patricia De'Bell says:

    “What I’m saying is, If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face. But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” Luke 14:11 The Message
    “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get. Matt 7:12 The Message
    “Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.” Luke 6:46-47 The Message
    These passages speak to me especially. I’ve had a hard time getting my nose out of the air all through my life – taken me a long time to discover that being myself, in Christ, is best – still working on it actually!
    I love the way the Message puts the Golden Rule!
    And I’m just so good at being polite and not doing what I’m told to do – I think it’s called rebellion, only I’m a rebel without a clue whenever it happens – I am purposeless as soon as I stray from the Way – or, re. your sermon, jump out of the boat – and without a lifebelt ! How pointless, how suicidal, is that?!
    I need to stay in the boat – and I pray to desire nothing other than to stay in the boat, on the Way, with Him (it’s a different thing when He is outside the boat calling me to come to Him).

  6. Reply
    Dennis Tate says:

    That Message translation sure is impressive!

  7. Reply
    bethelcommunitychurch says:

    Enjoying the responses. I thought I would put a couple of more thoughts out there for us to ponder on in this chapter.

    I looked up the word trials in the Greek for this passage of Scripture and here is what it says, “to try to learn the nature or character of someone or something by submitting such to thorough and extensive testing—‘to test, to examine, to put to the test, examination, testing.’”…I see that it implies that the trial or test is there to help me learn the nature or character of Christ, this happens by my submission to the thorough and extensive testing. This is not common teaching, but I do believe there is something here that must be received to bring transformation.

    The next one I looked up was what it means to be a doer of the Word. This is what I found. Doers of the Word – implies “be the content of what is preached about Christ”. Wow, this is good. I am called to be the content of what is preached about Christ. What a privilege yet, what a place to reach toward. We need his enabling Spirit breathed into us to live this out.

    Amazing journey we are on 🙂

  8. Reply
    suholmes03 says:

    There is so much in verse 19 (Message version).
    “Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.”
    We are instructed to listen first, talk second and let emotions (anger in this case) follow. So much of being a ‘doer’ involves listening. How do we hear the Father’s heart’ without ‘leading with our ears’? How do we know what He is speaking into our heart without being still and listening? How much frustration and lack of patience would disappear from our faith walk if we just learned to listen and get to know our Father by developing a relationship with Him.
    Have you ever tried to develop a relationship with someone who is forever talking about him/herself … their wants … their perceived needs, never taking the time to ‘stop to breathe’ and just listen? Not easy and not pleasant. It gives me a picture of how it is between God and I … far too often.
    Another thought on that verse is how many less trials we would have and how often tensions would ease between members of His body if we learned to ‘lead with our ears’ in our relationships with each other. If we just took the time to listen to each other instead of leading with our own ‘buckets of wisdom’ we might end up with a totally different picture of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We might even start seeing each other as Christ sees them.
    Personally, I’ve been guilty way too often of letting my own opinions, thoughts and words take priority over just listening. The result has been that I missed out on aspects of both our Father and members of His body because I couldn’t hear Him or them over the sound of my own words. So many trials arise when we give way to anger and allow that to be a priority over listening or ‘leading with our ears’.
    James, the author of this epistle, is believed to be the half brother of Christ. That being the case, he would know first hand the dangers of not listening to and getting to know Christ. James and his other brothers didn’t buy into the idea of Christ being ‘the Sent One’, the Redeemer sent to save mankind (John 7:5). I wonder if James was remembering the words of Christ in Luke 8:21 (But He answered them, My mother and My brothers are those who listen to the Word of God and do it!) when he wrote these words we see in James 1:19?
    “Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry” (James 1:19 Amplified)
    A reminder to self … always engage ears before mouth … lead with my ears, follow up with my tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear … He gave me TWO ears and ONE tongue for a reason. 🙂
    I find it so easy at times to react first and listen second. So many trials would be avoided by reversing that. So many times I would avoid swallowing satan’s bait by listening first to our Father and then to His body … our brothers & sisters in Christ.
    I think there are a lot of undiscovered treasures in James’ words. I’m looking forward to more of this.

  9. Reply
    Jim says:

    Hi…I thought I would take a look at James chapter 2 like this…
    I thought I would take a little look at James from the perspective of “spiritual pride” which God detests and “humility”. The man…wearing fine clothes” coming to the the meeting and the poor man coming clothed with humility willing to take the lower seat… God sees both men, eyeing their heart motive…one serving for gain, the other who just served with love…one under the law, the other loves fulfilling the law. Both came to the meeting…yet the showing of favoritism shows a servant judging another servant whose Master is God… Aligning oneself with the “accuser of the brethern” we have fallen from grace and place ourselves under the law. There is no freedom without the law and when we have broken the law ourselves…we are judged such and so have sinned and are convicted. Thank God, that He delights in mercy…that Jesus took our punishment, that through the obediance of the law through Christ, by God’s grace…we have been set free. So then, by faith in Jesus and His work on the cross, and that He rose again (I have been crucified with Him, and rose in Him)…the life I now live, I live by faith in Him…and I show this by becoming like Jesus, who is the author of my faith and the finisher of my faith…and my life ought to express who Jesus is by the deeds I do…for faith without works is dead.

  10. Reply
    Jim says:

    James chapter 1:

    James announces that he considers himself forever a slave to

    God and to Jesus.,,one who waits on Jesus. Jesus, the author

    of his faith and finisher…but faith without works is

    dead…and it will be tested when we step out in it so that we

    can develop patience and become perfect and complete in

    Christ, lacking nothing…for all that we have is in Him.

    Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father. The gift

    of His Son, Jesus is our wisdom. To know Him and to

    completely put our trust in Him is like standing on solid rock

    in the midst of a restless ocean. In Jesus we have assurance.

    We need to walk with the mind of Christ…who is the Prince

    of Peace…looking unto Jesus, we are stable…single


    Whether we are rich or poor, our life is short…we are but

    dust…but the poor are desperate and know they are poor and

    that they have none to depend on but God…and the rich

    because “his” pursuits, draw back from God and are for self

    and fade away…

    We must endure temptation…God has made a way for us…and we

    love Him Who first loved us, for while we were yet sinners,

    Jeus died for us. Should we not follow in His footsteps Who

    endured for us. We are weak in the flesh, let us walk in the

    Spirit even as Jesus was an example for us. Jesus is the

    Way, the Truth and the Life. Sin brings forth death.

  11. Reply
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