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