February 17, 2013 // James 1:1-4, 12 // Dave Cover
- We ask God to take trials away, when instead He's sent the trial as a blessing to help us grow spiritually.
- God wants growth; we want comfort.
- Trials release us from the bondage of self-reliance.
- Trials don't bring about Christian maturity automatically. We must seek wisdom for how to grow through it.
- What exposes my need for wisdom? (Parenthood, family, marriage?) Where is my foolishness evident?
- Wisdom requires discernment...seeing the world from God's perspective.
- Wisdom is a person. His name is Jesus.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
February 24, 2013 // James 1:5-8 // Keith Simon
- Both poverty and riches offer challenges to our faith. Each is a test of our faith.
- Riches test us because we get distracted by protecting what we have, and we risk self-reliance.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.9
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
March 3, 2013 // James 1:1 // Charles Anderson
- Don't measure your reality by anything other than knowing Christ.
- How do we view our riches as a test of how we relate to Him?
- Reverse the way we consider our wealth by considering it as God does.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
1 Tim 6:18-19
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life