Faith in Action

Actions speak louder than words. This is the mantra of the letter of James, a letter of faith, patience, and wisdom. James was the half-brother of Jesus. He was the leader of the mother church of Jerusalem, out of which the worldwide church was born. The Bible Project says that James was a peacemaker who led with wisdom and courage.

James wrote this short but powerful letter to Christians scattered throughout the world. It echoes the Sermon on The Mount and the Book of Proverbs, drenched in wise words, words to live by. A follower of Jesus walks with joy and patience (James 1:2-4), wisdom (James 1:5-8), perspective (James 1:9-11), perseverance (James 1:12-15) and an awareness of God's goodness (James 1:16-18). Ultimately, James is a book about integrity, a call to live a life of wholeness, where our words match our actions as an expression of true wisdom.

Faith Under Pressure — Luc Sadler
James 1:1-18
Do you crack under pressure? What prayers do you pray in hard times? 'Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy'. So starts the letter of James, a leader in the early church. There's nothing easy about being a follower of Jesus. But through trials and tests, prayer can transform our surroundings and mature our faith. 

Listen Up, Listen In (Pt.1) — Anita Williams
James 1:19-27

Are you a good listener? Do you act on the instruction of others? In this passage, James urges us to listen humbly. He compels us not to act out of anger but to rid ourselves of evil.

Listen Up, Listen In (Pt. 2) — Rebecca Tyers
James 1: 19-27
When we read God's Word, we need to do something about it, allowing it to shape and form our actions and decisions. Isaiah 55:11 says, 'So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'

Mercy Over Judgement — Rich Cave
James 2:1-13
Do you favour some more than others? How do we welcome those different from us? James states things plainly; don't have favourites, and don't judge those who do. Treat everyone with love. James challenges us in how we discriminate against those that are rich or poor.

Faith In Action — Renae Huggan-Broughton
James 2: 14-26
How do you outwork your faith? 'Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything?' James is clear; we must practically outwork our faith through good works. But we cannot separate the two; faith and works are intricately linked. The challenge is to make sure our faith is the real thing. How often do we talk about things and never move into action?

Taming The Tongue — Sarah Ford
James 3: 1-12
Do you say what you mean? The tongue is a mercurial muscle. It blesses and curses. It can create harmony or chaos, make or break reputations, heal the world or send it up in flames. James calls for consistency in how we use our words. Psalm 141:3 says, 'Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.'

Two Kinds of Wisdom (Pt.1) — John Houghton
James 3:13-18
"This may well be a word for our day, when so many people across the world are fed up with the way their country is run, with the way their police force behaves, with the way the global economy functions... There is still, after all, a vast amount of beauty, love, generosity, and sheer goodness in the world. Those who follow Jesus ought not only to be celebrating it but contributing to it." N.T. Wright

Two Kinds of Wisdom (Pt. 2) — Tilly Robinson
James 3:13-18
How would you define wisdom? Do you want to be counted wise? “The challenge then for God's people is to be able to tell the truth about the way the world is, and about the way wicked people are behaving, without turning into a perpetual grumble...” N.T. Wright

Cheating On God — Nathan Bright
James 4:1-12
The apostle Paul famously wrote in Romans 7:15, 'I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.' Do we understand our wants? Are our desires misaligned? Instead of flirting with the world, James gives us two instructions. 'Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God, and he'll be there in no time.'

Treasures In Heaven — Rich Wilson
James 4:13-5:6
How do you use your power? How do you measure success? 'You don't know the first thing about tomorrow.' Today, perhaps more than at any other time in our lives, we know this to be true. Instead of chasing the changing winds of success or progress, we work to live by the will of the Lord. James warns the arrogant and well-off. The accumulation of wealth, luxury indulgences, unfair wages, and the oppression of the powerless; will lead to terrible times.

Never Quit — Ness Wilson
James 5:7-12
We live in the now and not yet. A time when we must patiently wait for Jesus to return to make all things new. During this time, James invites us to 'stay steady and strong'. In the Book of Revelation, John of Patmos, a first-century pastor, has a vision. 'And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. 'He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,' and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4.

Human Prayers — Jess Reed
James 5: 13-20
What impact has prayer had on your life? What do you pray for? 'Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you've sinned, you'll be forgiven—healed inside and out.' James 5:13-15

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