Friday, February 08, 2013

Bible Study: NT Proverbs - James - Chapter 1

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of James, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 1 of the book of James. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

Pray for wisdom and discernment. That we will read His Word and be open to His instruction on how to obey it. That He will strengthen us to do what He says.

Do you put into action what you study?

What lessons do you take from James chapter 1?

Author: James, the brother of Jesus

This book is commonly known as the Proverbs of the New Testament.

My life application Bible says that the book is written in excellent Greek. Does this mean that James was well-educated? To be what? Was he not going into the family business?

1:1 – Letters at this time were signed at the beginning. This is from James to the Jews.

1:2 – The Word says “…when you fall into various trials…” It doesn’t say “if.” Trials WILL come.

“Trials” can also mean temptations of evil.

1:3 – perseverance – hupomone – hope.

Perseverance is endurance (“withstand in spite of suffering”) and steadfastness.

1:5 – If he lacks wisdom, ask… Do you ask God for what you’re lacking?

1:6 – You must believe and not doubt. Doubt is a sign of double-mindedness.

1:7 – Double-minded people waffle between trusting God and relying on themselves.

1:9 – lowly brother gets exaltation? How? Because he has fewer stumbling blocks?

1:10 – the rich get humiliation?

God doesn’t care about earthly wealth.

Earthy wealth is temporary.

1:11 – A summary of putting wealth into perspective.

Money can’t buy everything.

Do you see what you have as a gift from God? Do you seek to honor Him with it? Do you pray for His wisdom in managing your money regardless of how much you have? How do you share your wealth?

1:12 – crown of life – see Revelation 2:10. This crown is awarded for withstanding trials.

1:13 – God doesn’t tempt us!

1:14 – my NIV study Bible says that dragged away and enticed are common hunting terms. THE ENEMY ACTIVELY HUNTS US!!!!!

Don’t give the enemy too much credit. We do this to ourselves.

Before we’re enticed, we’re dragged away – from what? – from God. If we remain in His presence, we will not be enticed.

1:16-18 – God loves to give us gifts.

1:16 – Deceptions will come – don’t believe them.

1:17 – Praise God for His gifts. Gratitude changes our focus to draw us back to God. Pray Psalm 103.

1:19-20 – The angry Christian cannot accomplish God’s will – seething with wrath – WOW! That is a vivid description. God cannot teach us or mature us if we have such an attitude.

Sometimes, trials make us angry. Many of us adopt the attitude, “Why is God doing this to me?” Rather, we should ask, “What is God trying to teach me through this?”

1:21 – moral filth and prevalent evil – what ideals contrary to God’s Word do you need to get rid of? Reflect, obey and pray.

Meekness = humility = teachability

1:22 – Don’t just read or listen to the Word. DO WHAT IT SAYS!

Are you obeying God’s Word?

1:23-24 – To forget what you look like when you walk away from the mirror seems ludicrous! Disobeying God’s Word is precisely that foolish!

1:25 – We are given a promise of blessing for obedience. Do you need more incentive than that?

1:26 – see 3:1-12. It is impossible to tame the tongue. Pray continually that God will anoint your tongue for His glory.

1:27 – How do you keep yourself from being polluted by the world? May I suggest wholesome forms of entertainment, fellowship with believers, and spending more time with God than you think you can spare?

Widows and orphans are highly distressed people. Why would the Lord command us to visit such people? To offer His peace to them, perhaps? Do you do this as a regular practice?

• The book of James is called the “Proverbs of the New Testament”. What pearl of wisdom have you harvested from today’s reading, and how will you apply it to your life?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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