Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LESSON 10: Don't Leave God Out

Lesson 10- Don't Leave God Out!

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/30/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!

Review Lesson 9

Read James 5:7-20

7 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

We can’t make Christ return any sooner than planned, but we are not to just sit back and wait. A farmer doesn’t take the summer off after planting and before the harvest. There are many tasks/chores to be done while waiting. As Christians, we are to work faithfully to build His Kingdom until His return.

9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!

When things go wrong, we tend to grumble and blame others for our miseries. Blaming others is easier than owning up to our responsibility in the situation.

10 For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.

Many of the prophets were persecuted and suffered greatly, such as Moses, Elijah and Jeremiah. James is instructing us to look to them as examples.

12 But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.

“Take an oath”, as used here, means swearing. This was an attempt to involve the authority of God to support a claim or a promise. As often is the case, the Lord’s name was debased by overuse and using it to support trivial or even untrue statements.

13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.

The initiative for prayer lies with the sick person. In the Bible, oil is both a medicine and a symbol of the

Spirit of God. (Luke 10 and1 Samuel 16). Here it is used to bring healing in response to obedience and faith of the elders.

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

Jesus made it possible for us to go directly to God and confess, but confessing to each other still has importance. 1) If our sin is against an individual and we must ask forgiveness 2) If our sin has affected the church 3) If we need support or wise counsel 4) If we find ourselves doubting God’s forgiveness.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

James is talking about a believer who has fallen away and into sin. He is urging us to help those who have. God’s word isn’t just something we read or listen to but it must be something we do.


· What are some things we can accomplish for the Kingdom as we wait for Christ’s return?

· What are some practical ways we can avoid grumbling about others and shifting blame?

· Whose faith is James talking about in verse 15 when he says “a prayer offered in faith”?

· What has been/is your understanding of anointing with oil? What have you been taught?

· Why do some see prayer for healing as a last resort?

Further Study

Review the book of James

Meditate/Memorize James 5:14


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LESSON 9: Humble Or Prideful?


Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/16/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!

Review Lesson 8

Read James 4:1-10

1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

· Quarrels among believers are always harmful. They stem from evil desires to want more--more attention, more possessions, more position, etc. Often, when we don’t get what we want, we fight for it. Instead of fighting and quarreling, we should ask the Lord to help us get rid of our selfish desires. We must trust Him to give us what we need.

· Problems in prayer: not asking, asking for the wrong things, asking for the wrong reasons.

4 You adulterers![a] Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?[b] 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”[c]

· James quotes from Proverbs 3:34: “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” The humble know they need God, are dependent on Him for everything. God opposes the proud for just one reason: because they oppose Him.

· Are you proud or humble? This is an important question because it makes all the difference between living a life in opposition to God, and living a life basking in God’s grace. Humility’s one of those illusive traits where it’s hard to know if you have it or not.

· As soon as we think we’re humble, we get proud of how humble we are, which brings us right back to where we started, and we have to get humble again.

· Humbling ourselves is not a one-time thing. It’s a way of life. Every day we need to be on guard, watching for the warning signs that PRIDE is raising its haughty head in our lives.

· What are the signs of pride?

o Constant Conflict –How are your relationships going?(spouse, friends, church family)

o Unanswered Prayer—Is your pride in the way?

o Slandering Others—Are you constantly critiquing and judging others? Slander?

o Boasting—Bragging, assuming that our lives are under our control

o Deliberate Sin—Choosing our own course, assuming it will all work out, when we know what the Holy Spirit wants us do.

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

So if the root problem is pride-and the outcome is sin and humiliation- (the humbling process God puts us through when we refuse to humble ourselves) then the answer to the problem is willing submission. This will put us back in the place where God can work in our lives.


· If conflict in our world is a given, is there a way to “fight fairly” within a church body or other Christian relationships?

· How can we learn to fight fairly?

· How do we humble ourselves before God?

· What does James teach in these verses that would help us have a more effective prayer life?

· Why does James call his audience adulterers in verse 4? Are believers today still this way?

· How does humbling ourselves square with celebrating what Christ has done for us? What will happen if we do not humble ourselves?

Further Study

Is there a current situation in your life in which you need to humble yourself? Pray and ask the Lord to guide you in who, what, where, how and when!

Meditate/Memorize James 4:7


Wednesday, November 9, 2011



Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/09/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!

Review Lesson 7
Read James 3:13-18

James tells us that there are two different wisdoms trying to control our lives, one originates from Heaven above and the other is an earthly unspiritual wisdom.

13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.[d]

Most of us are in pursuit of wisdom for our lives—we want wisdom to make right decisions that will affect our lives in a positive manner. True wisdom can be measured by a person’s character!
Just like we can identify an apple tree because it produces apples, we can evaluate our wisdom by the way we act.
There is a choice as to which wisdom we listen to and follow. There is the wisdom from God, and there is the wisdom generated by this world and influenced by the forces of evil.
The wisdom of the world leads to chaos, disorder, and to the pit of Hell. God’s wisdom leads to peace and goodness.
Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are inspired by the devil. Seeking God’s wisdom delivers us from the need to compare ourselves to others and to want what they have.


1) Daily decisions we make have consequences 2) Wisdom is the ability to consistently make good choices 3) God is the source of all wisdom 4) We Must Seek God’s Wisdom. 5) The ultimate goal of wisdom is to know God better.


• What are some characteristics of earthly wisdom? (advice, instruction)What results come from following the world’s wisdom?
• What are some characteristics of God’s wisdom? What results come from following God’s wisdom?
• Name some practical ways we can be sure that we are seeking God’s wisdom.

Further Study

Read James Chapter 4
Meditate/Memorize James 3:13


Thursday, November 3, 2011

LESSON 7: Watch What You Say

Lesson 7

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 11/02/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!

Review Lesson 6

Read James 3:1-11

1 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Teaching was a highly valued and respected profession in the Jewish culture. Here James is warning us that the responsibility as teacher is great because they affect those they lead.

2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. What we say, and don’t say, are both important. Saying the right things at the right time is equally important to not saying things we shouldn’t. An uncontrolled tongue includes gossip, bragging, manipulating, tearing others down, lying, complaining, grumbling, etc. All of these are damaging

6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. James compares the damage from the tongue to a fire. Satan uses the tongue to divide people, destroy relationships, and spread destruction within a group. We cannot take back words spoken even with an apology. Before we speak we should remember that words are like fire—we can neither control them nor reverse the damage. Only God can heal the wounds from words spoken.

7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. As human beings we cannot control our tongue on our own. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.

9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. Our speech can either be right and pleasing to God, or destructive and bitter. We must make a choice to bless and not curse with our mouth. We always need the Holy Spirit’s help!


· What kind of damage can an uncontrolled tongue do to a marriage? Family? Children? Church?

· What kind of rationalization have you used for having said hurtful words?

· What are some specific problems that Christians can have with what they say? What is the most offensive?

· What would you say to someone who professed faith in Christ but can’t control their tongue?

· What are some practical ways that believers can bring their speech under God’s control?

· Read Does God Care if We Gossip?( attached)

Further Study

Read James 3

Meditate/Memorize James 3:10


Thursday, October 27, 2011

LESSON 6: Put Feet To Your Faith


Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 10/26/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show. Just click HERE to listen!

Put Your Feet To Your Faith

Review Lesson 5

Read James 2:8-26

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[a] 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

Royal law is the laws given to us by Jesus – “love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

Favoring the rich because of what they can do for us) and ignoring the poor is breaking that law.

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.”[b] So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

We cannot decide to keep part of God’s law and not the rest. You can’t break the law, or sin, a little bit.

12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

We are saved by Grace, through faith. But we are also required to obey Christ. God’s Grace does not cancel out our requirement to obey Him.

Only God in His mercy can forgive our sins. We cannot earn forgiveness by forgiving others. But if we withhold forgiveness from others, after being forgiven by God ourselves, we show that we don’t understand or even appreciate God’s mercy.

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts. We do not earn our salvation by obeying God BUT obeying shows our commitment to Him.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[c] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

True faith results in a changed life and involves a commitment of your whole self to God.

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[d] He was even called the friend of God.[e] 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

Abraham was shown to be right with God because of what he did because he believed.

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[f] so also faith is dead without good works.

Rahab demonstrated faith in God’s purpose/plan for Israel.


· What is the difference between having an intellectual agreement with scripture and true faith? Examples?

· Do these scriptures contradict one another? Romans 3:28 “So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.” James2: 24 “So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.”

· If you were on trial for being a Christian, what areas of your life would provide strong evidence of genuine faith?

· What might be a consequence for a believer who is not clear on the relationship between faith and works?

Further Study

Read James

Meditate on and memorize James 2:14


Thursday, October 13, 2011

LESSON 5: Do We Have Favorites?

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 10/12/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.

Just click HERE to listen!


Review Lesson 4
Read James 1:27, 2:1-7

1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

By caring for widows and orphans, we are putting God’s Word into action. When we commit ourselves to following Jesus’ ways, we protect ourselves from the world’s corruption. The world’s value system is based in money, power and pleasure.
• How does caring for the poor keep us from being corrupted by the world’s values?

Chapter 2

In Chapter 2, James talks about three principles of faith: 1) Commitment is an essential part of faith. 2) Right actions are a natural bi-product of true faith. 3) Faith without good deeds is worthless.

2:1 My dear brothers and sisters,[a] how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting[b] dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name[c] you bear?


• What does favoritism look like?
• What is the reason for favoritism?
• Do we favor the well dressed, prosperous looking person over someone who appears to be poor? Why?
• The appearance of wealth may indicate intelligence, wise decisions and hard work. What else could it indicate?
• Do you believe that riches are a sign of God’s blessing and approval? Does God promise us riches? Christ calls us to be ready to suffer for Him! Matthew 6:19-21, 19:28-30, Luke12:14-34.
• When James speaks of the poor in verse 5, who is he talking about? Does he mean that the poor will automatically go to heaven and the rich to hell?
• What is one of the greatest barriers to salvation for the rich? For the poor?

Further Study

Read James, chapter 2 and look for themes.
Meditate on and memorize 2:1.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

LESSON 4: Don't Just Listen, Do Something!

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 10/5/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.

Just click HERE to listen!

LESSON4: Don't Just Listen, Do Something!

Read James Chapter 1:16-26

16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.[a] He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.[b] 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.[c]

Every good and perfect gift is from God and He is unchangeable. He always keeps His promises. Good gifts are from Him and Him alone.

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20Human anger[d] does not produce the righteousness[e] God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

We are to listen first, then speak and be slow to anger! You’ve probably heard the saying that we have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. When we talk more than we listen, we communicate to others that our ideas are more important than theirs. James tells us to reverse the process.
A flare of “ego” anger is always destructive…there are no exceptions.

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

We must act on the message, not just hear it. We have a responsibility once we know the word of God. We must live out the Word in our lives, not just know it in our head. It is not about attending “Camp Feel Good” by listening to a sermon for the “feel good” benefit. Yes, God’s Word does encourage us, but it is not about our comfort level. It is about acting on it! Serving, loving others, being slow to anger, showing kindness and extending grace are just a few of the ways we can be doers of the word.

26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

James is referring to a person who says (and even thinks) they are a Christian, but their actions do not reflect that. For example, a person who says they are a Christian but doesn’t control their language is deceived in their heart. We all slip up occasionally, and allow our mouth to open and speak words we regret.


• What did James mean when he said we are God’s “prized possession” (vs.18) Why is it important that we know this?
• What does being “quick to listen” and “slow to speak” accomplish? What gets in the way of being quick to listen? Slow to speak? (vs. 19)How can being “slow to anger” help us in our walk with Jesus and our personal relationships?
• What effect should our Bible study time have on our behavior?(vs.22)
• Why do we need a mirror? (vs.23-24) What is an example of a mirror in this instance?
• What are some ways we can remember what we have learned? (vs.25)
• When is our religion worthless? (vs.26)

Further Study

Can you remember a time that you have been in a conversation but not really listening? What was the reason you didn’t hear the other person?
Are there times that you speak too quickly? Can you think of a specific situation? What was the outcome?

Continue to read James Chapter 1 looking for themes.
Meditate on and commit to memory verse 19.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LESSON 3: More Wisdom From James 1 Continued

Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 9/28/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.

Just click HERE to listen!

LESSON 3: More Wisdom From James 1 Continued

Review Lesson 2: Read James Chapter 1:9-15

9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. 11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

Both being poor and being rich are concrete examples of trials that test our faith-either may result in spiritual disaster. The poor should be glad for their elevated position because material riches mean nothing to God. If they did, then these people would be deemed unworthy. The rich should be glad that money means nothing to God because money is easily lost.

12God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Picture the victory wreath given to athletes that win a big event-that is the “crown of life” mentioned in verse 12. Staying faithful to God, even under pressure of testing or temptation, is how we receive that crown.

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong and he never tempts anyone else.

Christians often wonder why they still have temptations. God does not tempt us. He may test us, or allow us to walk through a trial. But He doesn’t tempt us by seducing us to sin.

14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

It is easy to blame others and make excuses for evil thoughts and wrong actions. Temptation is stems from our own desires, our “sin nature”. When sin is allowed to remain, it can only result in death.


· What do verses 9-11 have to do with the theme of enduring through trials and counting it all joy? What is James telling us about how rich and poor should be viewed within the church? Is it happening?

· Verse 12 tells us that a positive approach to a trial is met with a reward. Does this promise of future Blessing really make any difference to us? How?

· What is the ultimate source of temptation? Why is temptation so dangerous?

· Other than blaming God when we are tempted, what are some other ways we avoid taking responsibility for our actions?

· How can we avoid falling into temptation leading to sin?

Further Study

What are some temptations in your life? How can you avoid falling into sin? Is there someone who can pray with you about this situation? If not, ask God to bring that person into your life.

Continue to read James Chapter 1 looking for themes.

Meditate on and commit to memory verses 12 and 13.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LESSON 2: If You Need Wisdom, Ask God!


Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 9/21/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.
Just click HERE to listen!

If You Need Wisdom-Ask God! James 1 Continued

Read James chapter 1:5-8 (scriptures from NLT)

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Wisdom-(dictionary) Knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.
The wisdom we get from God is not intellectual or philosophical, but spiritual understanding of the purpose of trials. This wisdom has 3 characteristics:
• It is practical-relates to life, not a product of the trial but a tool to overcome the trial.
• It is divine-goes beyond common sense.
• It is Christlike-asking for wisdom is asking to become like Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24, 2:1-7)
When God gives us something, he does it liberally and without reproach (rebuking). In other words, He gives generously. He is not stingy and He doesn’t give it grudgingly. We ask-He gives!
Ask God for wisdom, He will give it to you. He gives it freely because He wants to.

6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
We must not only believe in God, we must believe Him.
Ask in faith-know that if you ask, He will answer. Ask and He will give it in abundance! (Matthew 21:22)

7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
A “double minded” (divided loyalties) person is drawn in opposite directions—back and forth between belief and disbelief, sometimes believing that God will help, other times just throwing up their hands and giving up. We must have faith and not waver, stand strong!


What kind of help will God provide us during a trial? (1:5) Example:
What is the difference between a trial and a temptation?
What are some typical trials in the life of a Christian? (distinguish between a temptation & trial)
What does it mean to ask without doubting? (1:6 “do not waver”)

Further Study

What of trials are you currently facing? What would help you respond to trials with real joy?
Write down some ways God may be using this trial in your life. Pray and ask Him for the ability to respond to this trial with trust in Him and His plan for you.
Read Chapter 1 several times, looking for the themes.
Meditate on and memorize James 1:5-6


Thursday, September 15, 2011

LESSON 1: Count It All Joy?


Welcome! The following notes coordinate with the 9/14/11 teaching on my Coffee and the Word radio show.

Just click HERE to listen!

Count It All Joy? James, Chapter 1
• The writer of this letter identifies himself as James. There are at least five men named James listed in the New Testament. Two were Jesus’ disciples and one was His brother. The book of James is thought to be written by Jesus’ brother.
• The letter was written prior to A.D. 62.
• The letter was addressed "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”. He is talking to the Jews scattered throughout Gentile lands, or “Jewish Christians.”
Faith That Works.
The book of James is practical and ethical and places an emphasis on duty rather than doctrine. His main concern is that believers demonstrate their experience with Christ, rather than just act “religious”. In other words, this is a “walk the talk” book.
James is directing us toward godly living. There are 108 verses and out of those, 54 clear commands are given. The mood of this letter is often described as “imperative” which means absolutely necessary or required. It’s a statement of Christian ethics.
Practical Application
This book is relevant to us because it is describes ethical living based on the gospel. James emphasizes personal growth in the spiritual life and sensitivity in social relationships.
“The message of James speaks especially to those who are inclined to talk their way to heaven instead of walk there.” (New Spirit Filled Life Bible)
Christ is Revealed
James recognizes the Lordship of Jesus from the beginning of the letter where he calls himself a “bondservant” (NKJV) or “slave” (NLT) of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a close parallel between the content of the letter and the specific teachings of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. James doesn’t quote Jesus directly, but the instruction is reminiscent of Jesus’ teachings. This indicates a close relationship between James and Jesus and shows the strong influence of Jesus on James’ life.

Read James 1:1-3
Who is this letter written to?
How does James identify himself?
What are some examples of trials as mentioned in verse 2?
What does James mean when he says “count it all joy” (NKJV) or “consider it an opportunity for great joy” (NLT)?
Think about a time of trial, or testing, you recently experienced. Were you able to be joyful?
How does “testing of your faith” produce patience?

Further Study
Read Chapter 1 several times, looking for the themes.
Meditate on and memorize James 1:2-3