Hey guys. Sorry that this post is going up a little late. Better late than never right? Let’s jump right in!
- Selfishness (vs. 1-6)
- James starts this chapter by calling out those who have been blessed and are “rich” but are also selfish and self indulgent. He says that there is misery coming on those who have hoarded wealth and lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence while also failing to pay workers and condemning and murdering the innocent.
- When God blesses us it is not so that we can be greedy and selfish. He blesses us so that we can give to others. Deuteronomy 16:17 says we should give according to the blessings that God has given us. Proverbs 21:26 says the righteous gives and doesn’t hold back.
- Discussion (answer in comments): Have you ever found yourself being selfish with things that God has blessed you with? What can you give this holiday season?
- Patience (v. 7-11)
- James then turns that attention to us believers. He tells us to be patient like a farmer waiting for his land to yield his crops, until the Lord’s coming. Just like in chapter one when he talks about having joy in trials, James tells us that we will be blessed if we preservere.
- James tells us two things that we should not do or we will be judged. We should not grumble against one another or swear. James tells us that we will be condemned if we swear and a “yes” or “no” should be good enough.
- Power of Prayer (vs. 13-20)
- I think this section is my favorite section of James. It talks about the power of prayer. James tells us to pray no matter the situation. He gives examples of someone being in trouble, someone being happy, and someone being sick. In every example he tells us to pray. As Christians, we should never stop praying. We should pray when things are going good and when things are going bad. A lot of times it’s so easy to go to God in prayer when things are tough and you feel like all you have is him, but when things start to go good we tend to not pray as much. We can always say a prayer of thanks and acknowledge that it is because of God that things are going good in our lives. Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
- In this last section James also talks about the responsibility that we as believers have to each other. He tells us to confess our sins to each other and pray for one another so that we can be healed. He also says that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. I think it is important that we watch who we ask to pray for us. I know “pray for me” has become such a loose statement but James tells us that we actually should be praying for one another, but only the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. When other people ask me to pray for them and I know that I am not personally right with God, I tell them that I am not comfortable praying for them right at this moment. Another thing to consider is that you don’t know what a person’s faith is or what their intentions are when they are praying for you.
- Discussion (answer in comments): Are you a person that people can trust to pray for them? Do you have a person that you can trust to pray for you?
- Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive us for being selfish and greedy with the blessings that you have given us. We are making the decision to be a blessing to others this holiday season and for seasons to come. Lord we now know how important prayer is and we know that we can come to you and talk about any and everything. We know that we are to hold each other accountable and our healing comes from praying for one another. I ask that you give us the power of discernment so that we know who we should allow to pray for us. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!
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 it has made a difference in your life. Our next bible study will take place in January and we will be studying the book of Ruth! Until then, it is Blogmas so I will be have a new blog posted everyday this month!
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