James (W9D2) What Is Your Life?

Week 9. Tuesday: What Is Your Life? PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:14 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Begin by underlining nouns with a single line, double underline verbs, and circle descriptive words. Make a list of the keys words/phrases and think about what they mean. SNAPSHOT: In this verse, James is making the point that our lives are much shorter than we’d like to admit. We often make our plans based on short-term circumstances. We forget that before we know it our time will be up. We have no

James (W9D1) Making Plans

Week 9. Monday: Making Plans PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:13 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Begin by underlining nouns with a single line, double underline verbs, and circle descriptive words. Make a list of the keys words/phrases and think about what they mean. Snapshot: In this passage James is presenting the problem of planning our lives without giving thought to what God’s wants. If we are not careful we will make our plans based on our own desires which are most often sinful. Because of our sin na

James (W8D6) Prepare for Sunday

Week 8. Saturday: Prepare for Sunday REVIEW: Take a few minutes to make a list of what you’ve learned this week. PRAY: Ask God to use this time to help you get familiar with Sunday’s scripture passage. READ: James 4:13-17 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the goo

James (W8D5) Who Are You To Judge

Week 8. Friday: Who Are You to Judge? PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:11-12 11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Do not slander one another: To slander someone is to speak evil about them. Speaks against: This is related to slander but also includes speaking evil about someone and toward someo

James (W8D4) Submit & Resist

Week 8. Thursday: Submit and Resist PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:7-10 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Submit yourselves to God: The Greek word for submit here is hypotassō meaning to obey, to arrange yourself under another, to give up control. Resist the devil (Greek: anthistēmi diabolos): to se

James (W8D3) Friends & Enemies

Week 8. Wednesday: Friends and Enemies PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:4-6 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Adulterous people: Since our faith is about having a relationship with God, He expects us to be faithful to Him. When we turn awa

James (W8D2) Ask God

Week 8. Tuesday: Ask God PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:2-3 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Do not have, so you kill: This is violent language for division between believers. However, it should not be taken literally. James is making the point that when we are envious we become bitter and evil. You covet...so you quarrel and fight: Covet is not a word we use ofte

James (W8D1) The Cause of Conflict

Week 8. Monday: The Cause of Conflict PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Fights and quarrels: At the end of chapter three, James teaches us to be peacemakers. Then he begins chapter four with an explanation of why we have conflict. Too often we deal with conflict at the surface level. It’s easy to be deceived and distracted by the symptoms of a problem. James goes right to the source of all conflict which he says is a personal, internal battle. Desires that battle within you: When conflict arises the blame ga

James (W7D6) Prepare for Sunday

Week 7. Saturday: Prepare for Sunday REVIEW: Take a few minutes to make a list of what you’ve learned this week. PRAY: Ask God to use this time to help you get familiar with Sunday’s scripture passage. READ: James 4:1-3 1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. THINK: Go ahead and underline key words and phrases. Start thinking about what this passage is

James (W7D5) Peacemakers

Week 7. Friday: Peacemakers PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:18 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Peacemakers: Being a peacemaker is active and not passive. We seek to make peace where there is conflict. As followers of Christ we are called to peace (Colossians 3:15). Jesus taught in Matthew 5:9 that peacemakers will be blessed and called children of God. When we live and act in peace it shows the unbelieving world that there is something different about us. Sow in peace (Greek: speirō en eirēnē): Jesus taught in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) that the word of

James (W7D4) Wisdom Defined

Week 7. Thursday: Wisdom Defined PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:17 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Pure (Greek: hagnos): reverent, clean from every fault, modest, immaculate Peace-loving (Greek: eirēnikos): a sincere desire to create and maintain peace Considerate (Greek: epieikēs): gentle, mild, kind, fair (Philippians 4:5; Titus 3:1-2) Submissive (Greek: eupeithēs): Submissive is not a very good translation here. A better translation would be reasonable or open to reason. Follow

James (W7D3) The Consequences of Selfish Envy

Week 7. Wednesday: The Consequences of Selfish Envy PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:16 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Envy and selfish ambition: The root cause of envy and selfish ambition is discontent and a desire to have more. Our culture fuels discontentment by constantly reminding us of what we don’t have. As a result, we spend the majority of our lives working to get things we don’t need to impress people we don’t really know. Jesus taught us not to focus on earthly treasures or worry about what the world runs after (Matthew 6:19-34).

James (W7D2) Envy & Selfishness

Week 7. Tuesday: Envy and Selfishness PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:14-15 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Bitter envy: In the Greek pikros zēlos refers to harsh jealousy. This is a result of harboring envy for a period time. Envy builds up and eventually leads to being bitter and harsh. Envy is a worldly mindset (see 1 Corinthians 3:3). Selfish ambition: In the Greek eritheia is often used to describe political partisanship and division. James

James (W7D1) Wise & Understanding

Week 7. Monday: Wise and Understanding PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:13 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Wise and understanding: In the first twelve verses of chapter three James deals with the problem of taming the tongue. Verse thirteen begins with the solution to that problem which is wisdom and humility. Show it by their good life: Wisdom is shown by the kind of life we live. Our wisdom will be visible by the decisions we make and the things we do. Deeds done in the humility: Anything we do for Christ

James (W6D6) Prepare for Sunday

Week 6. Saturday: Prepare for Sunday REVIEW: Take a few minutes to make a list of what you’ve learned this week. PRAY: Ask God to use this time to help you get familiar with Sunday’s scripture passage. READ: James 3:13-18 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is fir

James (W6D5) This Should Not Be

Week 6. Friday: This Should Not Be PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:9-12 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Praise our Lord...curse human beings: The word for “praise” here is eulogeō meaning to bless or celebrate with praises. The Greek

James (W6D4) Deadly Poison

Week 6. Thursday: Deadly Poison PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:7-8 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words All kinds of animals...have been tamed by mankind: It is ironic that we have the ability and control to tame all kinds of animals. We are even willing to put forth much effort to train an animal. But we struggle to practice self-control. No human being can tame the tongue: James is pointing out that no one can perfectly tame the tongue. But that does

James (W6D3) Small Spark, Big Fire

Week 6. Wednesday: Small Spark, Big Fire PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:5-6 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words A small part of the body, but it makes great boasts: Pride is the major cause of misusing our words. We we blame our personality or say, “that’s just the way I am” we are being prideful about our sinfulness. A grea

James (W6D2) Under Control

Week 6. Tuesday: Under Control PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:3-4 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Bits into the mouths of horses: Although a horse is a large animal that can overpower any human, it can be controlled with a small bit. Whichever way we turn the horse’s mouth and head is the way to turn the whole animal. James is using this to illustrate how the tongue can turn our enti

James (W6D1) We All Stumble

Week 6. Monday: We All Stumble PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word. READ: James 3:1-2 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words Not many of you should become teachers: Teachers were very important in the early church. The early Christians were devoted to learning God’s word on a daily basis (Acts 2:42). Therefore, teaching God’s word is a high calling with much responsibility. Apparently James knew that there were

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