Faith In Motion

The Prayer of Faith

It’s interesting that the book of James starts with the author, James, calling Christians to pray! In the fifth chapter, he says to pray in times of struggle and in times of joy. Prayer is needed in all circumstances on life and God’s Word is a constant reminder of that. No matter the season or why you find yourself in prayer, gratefulness is the key to healing and living a life in the way God would want us to live. The opposite of gratefulness is grumbling – and that’s a sin – and that leads us far from God’s best for us.

Scripture: James 5:13-20; Roman’s 8:26; Numbers 11:14, I Thes 5:15-17; Psalms 106:1

Patience in Suffering

James reminds us of God’s faithfulness despite our circumstances. In fact, James is reminding us that God is in the situation with us. James tells the church to be patient – not just the easy level of patience, but the patience that goes to our core and causes us to endure. James again reminds the church to stop grumbling to and about one another. That is easier said than done, nonetheless necessary for us as a body of believers.

Scripture: James 5:7-11

Warning to Rich Oppressors

What’s all the talk about money for in the book of James? Did he have an issue with money? Did he have an issue with people who had ‘more things in life’? Was he promoting poverty as a better choice? In fact who was he even taking to in this passage and since he was talking a long time ago, what is the point for today? Great questions that we all ask at one time or another. James continues the on going discussion about money and maybe, just maybe, we may be able to learn from it.

Scripture: James 5:1-6

Control Freaks

Humans naturally find themselves planning. We’re constantly thinking ahead, strategizing, arranging all the details and envisioning each and every step of our future. In other words, our culture values control and independence.

Planning is certainly good, but it’s not God. This passage is not telling us to not plan. What James is getting at is not allowing your plans to take the place of God. And that’s actually a really good reminder because if you do that, you’re forgetting one pretty fundamental fact – we are all finite, dependent creatures. We don’t know the future.
The good news is that there is freedom when we’re dependent on God for our plans. If you want true freedom, you need to give up your control. We don’t have to have all of the answers for our future because our human limitations make for a divine invitation.

Scripture: James 4:13-17

God’s “no” is His “YES”

There is a reason for quarrels and conflicts. It is our pride and envy from within US. We get jealous and judge and we separate ourselves from God who is the judge. We need to let God be God. WE need to submit, resist, humble, etc. We are NOT to do something so we can experience God’s YES for us.

Scripture: James 4.1-12

Two Kinds of Wisdom

Wisdom – we would be wise to seek it, in fact James tells us we will find life with it. Without it, the forces of satan are in control and we will most likely experience all hell breaking loose – literally! We are reminded of the importance of wisdom and how envy and egos can destroy the social circle, especially the church. We are also reminded that the Bible talks about two types of wisdom and that God will be generous with us for heavenly wisdom if we ask for it.

Scripture: James 3:13-18

 

Taming the Tongue

Most of us would agree that every positive relationship reflects healthy communication, a growing intimate marriage, a harmonious productive workplace and loving transparent life giving relationships. The girlfriend you shop with or the buddy you go grab a drink with all are a reflection of healthy communication styles. Yet the damage that can come from our mouth is often opposite to what we want to see happen in relationships. This message reminds us of the power of our words…may we use them as a blessing.

Scripture: James 3:1-12

What is Success

So what’s the big deal of showing a little love? Does it really make a difference? In the New Testament, James gives the church then, and ours today some key reminders about ‘being the church’. Being in three bible studies is not the answer. Loving others is, and he tells us how. It’s time to stop ‘proclaiming’ and start living how Jesus tells us.

Scripture: James 2:14-26

 

Playing Favorites

Most of us know we shouldn’t discriminate, show favoritism, or partiality based on someone’s outward appearance – their race, nationality, gender, economic status, realm of influence or physical attractiveness. Our current culture is rising up to fight discrimination – which is to be celebrated! But, though the secular world tells us to not be prejudiced, we aren’t told how. Do you want the right solution to fight discrimination? How do we do this?
James shows that how we act flows from who we are. Once you understand that you’re spiritually just as much an outcast as the social outcast, when you realize that you’re just as spiritually bankrupt as the physically bankrupt, you’ll see everything in a different light. You’ll actually then begin to play favorites – favoring those who know they’re sick and in need of grace.

Scripture: James 2:1-13

Hearing and Doing the Word

Throughout history, the church has talked about and struggled with the idea of both hearing and doing the word. James begins his book with that struggle, in fact some would say this theme of hearing and doing is the key of the entire book. From the perspective of James you can not separate the two concepts, We need to ‘hear’ to the point that our lives are changed and the ‘faith’ we are learning about moves into action. Without the action, is it real faith at all?

Scripture: James 1:22-27