Thanks for coming out again last night. I am really enjoying our time together studying the Book of James. Chapter 2 is pretty heavy with so much to think about. Before jumping into studying it further, take a few moments to pray and ask God to clearly speak to your heart about what is written in this chapter. How is God calling YOU to respond to His Word?
Read through James 2:1-13 and spend some time thinking through the implications of what James says concerning the mistreatment of the poor for us today. Where do you see the poor being marginalized in our world? Who are considered outcasts in our world today (maybe even by the Church)? Take a look at these three portions of scripture: Luke 5:27-31; Luke 14:12-14; Luke 15:1-7. Who did Jesus seem to spend a lot of time with and how did he treat them?
What do you think James’ encouragement to the Church today would be on the subject of modern day slavery? Spend a few minutes learning more about what’s going on in our world and how we can become engaged in seeing dignity and hope brought to those who are exploited. Here are a few sites I would recommend checking out: International Justice Mission, Stop the Traffik, and Free the Slaves. If you would like to read more on the subject, I would encourage you to read: Disposable People by Kevin Bales, The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales & Ron Soodalter, and A Crime So Monstrous by E. Benjamin Skinner.
Read through James 2:14-26 a couple of times. Read Isaiah 58:5-8. Pray and ask God to show you where you land when it comes to your faith. Have you fully surrendered your life to God? Have you received Him as both your Lord and Savior? Is your faith simply an agreement with a theological proposition or is it a relationship with God? Where do you see the transformation God has made in your heart become manifest in your actions?
Because of how heavy this chapter is you might be struggling with feeling guilty or like you’re “failing” as a Christian, but please remember, James is writing this as a pastor who loves the people he’s writing to. This isn’t about condemnation, it’s about finding life to the fullest in Jesus. James wants his readers to experience the fullness of a relationship with God. Be encouraged! God has so much for you.
Have a great Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday Nov. 28 @ 7:00pm as we dig into James chapter 3.