We had a guest speaker, Jim Schuppe, do an excellent series on James. Here are my notes from the first three sessions - I found them rewarding and thought I'd share.
Friends We Deplore - Trials (James 1:1-12)
1. Count it all joy - make a choice to see it as good. Thank God for trials. Don't ask why it was taken away; ask why it was given.
2. Go through the trial fully (completely). It will produce patience/endurance/maturity.
3. Ask God for wisdom. He will give it.
4. Ask in faith (no doubts). Faith is not a feeling/emotion - it is an action.
5. Rejoice in your status change. "to those who love Him"
Terrorists We Adore - Temptations (James 1:13-20)
1. God made me this way and I can't help it (victim). See Adam & Eve - Genesis 3.
2. The Devil made me do it. Actually:
a. Drawn away by desires (normal, human, not necessarily bad).
b. Enticed (baited) - offer for wrong fulfillment.
c. Sin (action) - grabbing the bait.
3. It won't kill me / hurt me / I can do this and get away with it - FALSE. Many examples. God's way is best.
4. The Devil has better offers / more fun - Satan takes, doesn't give, and doesn't stick around.
5. I can do this myself - rather:
b. Speak truth to yourself and speak carefully.
c. Control your anger.
Elephant in the Room We Ignore - Word of God (James 1:21-25)
1. The Word of God helps those who need salvation.
2. The Word of God helps those getting out of / free from sin.
3. The Word of God helps those who capture its words. Hang on, internalize, grasp
4. The Word of God only blesses those who obey it. No other way. Be doers, not just hearers.
And here's a comic I drew a while ago that's related:
"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (ESV)
I found the header:
The tasks we minimize - Religion (James 1:26-27)
And a summary of chapter two and beyond:
The millionaires we insult - racism (James 2:1-13)
The response we overlook - faith (James 2:14-26)
The instrument so difficult to play - speech (James 3:1-18). I drew some comics on this one so check out my other blog for those - 1 2 3 4.