Before we get into the second chapter of James I want to talk about the importance of studying the bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” As believers we are not perfect and we should always be growing and challenging ourselves to increase our faith. The word of God gives us instructions for how to handle situations, tells us who we are and whose we are, and explains God’s promises to us. How will know any of these things if we do not study the bible? Joshua 1:8 tells us that our way will be prosperous and we will have good success if we meditate on the word day and night and do what it tells us to do. John 15:7-8 says that if God’s word abides in us and we abide in Him, we will receive the desires of our hearts and bear much fruit.
Bible study is essential to spiritual maturity. If you just read one chapter a day and really apply the word in your life you will start to see amazing results! Now on to today’s lesson.
- Favoritism (vs. 1-9)
- In this chapter, James is telling us that as believers we can not show favoritism. We should not discriminate against anyone based on economic status, race, gender, disability, etc. James tells us in verse 5 that God chose those who we see as poor, or less than, in our eyes, to be “rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised”. We see statements like this all over the bible in places like Matthew 5 and Luke 6.
- We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s the golden rule! We teach it to kindergartners. It’s taken many variations but I think the most popular one is, “Treat others how you want to be treated.”
- Takeaway: Do not discriminate or show favoritism for any reason. Treat others how you would want to be treated.
- Guilty (vs. 10-11)
- James tells us in verse 9 that if we show favoritism, we are sinning and breaking the law. He then goes on to say that whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it. Have you ever found yourself trying to compare your sins to other people? I know I have. It’s like well, I know I shouldn’t covet and be jealous of people but it’s not as bad as that person murdering someone. Sin is sin, and there is no way around it. If we sin, we are guilty.
- Takeaway: Do not let your flesh convince you that your sin is okay because it’s not “as bad” as other peoples. The wages of all sin is death, and death is not taking the time to figure out whose sins are worse!
- Faith Without Works (vs. 14-26)
- Having faith and just believing in God is not going to carry you and it will not open doors for you. Don’t get me wrong – having faith is extremely important. I mean, Jesus said all we need is some mustard seed faith and we can move mountains, but notice that you still have to DO something in order to get that mountain to move. Matthew 17:20 says, “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” The mountain isn’t going to move just because of your faith, but it is faith combined with action (commanding it to move) that yields results.
- Takeaway: There might be some doors in your life that you should’ve walked through a long time ago but you’re relying on your faith to get you through. We have to start putting some action behind our faith! If God reveals to you that he’s called you to be an author, you can’t wish your way onto the bestsellers list without a book. So get to writing, get to moving, and put your money where your mouth is!
- PS: Sometimes your faith will unlock those doors, but you still have to turn the knob!
- Prayer: God soften our hearts today so that we can begin to love all of your people no matter what race, ethnicity, or class they are, no matter where they grew up, and no matter what our differences are. Help us to strengthen our minds so that we can fight back against our flesh when it tries to convince us to keep sinning because it’s not “that bad”. I’m thanking you today for the doors that will be open and for the cups that will overflow once we start putting some action behind our faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
- Discussion (leave a comment below answering these questions):
- Can you find any area of lack in your life where you have faith but no action? What can you do to change that?
I’m so glad that you decided to join me in studying the book of James. My prayer is that you have taken something from this, and I hope that you come back to study chapter three with me tomorrow!
Are you looking to do some bible study on your own but you don’t know where to start? Grab my Bible Study Worksheet. It will help you break down any chapter of the bible and help you understand key concepts and how you can apply what you’ve studied to your life. You can check out this post to see how you can get it for FREE!
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