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.

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6 thoughts on “WEEK #2 – The Book of James

  1. My favorite verse 23 “Friend of God” woot woot!!! the friend verse in John 15:13-15, It is unfortunate to think that we would intentionally shun someone here at Crosswinds Wesleyan, but we do when we alienate certain segments like the mentally ill, or handicapped, or pierced, tattooed, talk different than us, or handicapped. After coming back from Ecuador I have learned that there is one thing we have in common even in our Differences and never changes that is the Love of Jesus Christ out “propitiation”

  2. I know I would never leave someone out intentionally, but now I think I am being asked to look at how I may be doing so “unintentionally” or unconsciously. We all tend to go to our own level of comfort in social situations/church etc. and I am learning that by cruising along and not thinking about that, I may have missed out on some really terrific people that may have a lot to teach ME about my relationship with Christ. This study of James is urging me to rethink the concept of unconditional love as I have attempted to exhibit love and caring to others. I find that I am “noticing” teachers all around me lately; I pray that I am hearing with my heart, what it is that I am being taught. Thanks Jon for a wonderful thought provoking evening. (And thanks to Mary for the awesome cookies..!)

    1. Cindy,

      What a powerful question! Asking how we may be “unintentionally” missing people. I think you’re right, there is so much to be learned from the people around us. So many opportunities! Thanks for your input.

  3. How do you not feel guilty when you know there are so many people out their suffering, lonely and depressed. I ran across someone who sleeps in a tent. I brought him a loaf of pumpkin bread with a “Happy Thanksgiving” card, whoopee, Really!!! I feel like just a heel, I have food, clothing and a warm bed. Am i missing something? In James 2:15 he talks about feeding and clothing those in need . I feel like I have faith in the Lord but my actions fall short. James is definitely challenging me with his words.

    1. Hey Dawn,

      I know how you feel. When being involved in compassion ministry you always end up asking yourself: “what else should I be doing?” It’s uncomfortable, convicting,and painful, but what a great thing to be wrestling with. Listening for the Holy Spirit’s leading and trying to be obedient to His direction is the only way I can even begin to answer those kinds of questions.

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