I am once again striving to get back to consistent bible study....there is no need to work on just the physical, but rather to work on the well-being of the whole person: body, soul, and spirit.
I have been interested in reading the bible in chronological order. I am going to attempt that now and I am starting with the book of James.
I don't plan to rush myself and I may not get to post on this blog everyday but I want to share with those of you who are interested, what the Holy Spirit impresses on me.
I hope as I go through this study it will not only help me but others as well.
Hopefully, later today I will have the beginnings of my study posted. I desire your prayers and look forward to your input/response.
My studies will be mostly from KJV, LIFE in the SPIRIT Study Bible.
Your sister in Christ,
Kathy aka LouisianaGal
PREFACE: My Thoughts
First I want to interject that no one should expect my grammar or wording to be correct. I will try to make this easily readable but mostly it will just come from my heart to the printed word.
James was probably the book that was actually written first although there are events in other books in the New Testament that happened before James was written. Those events were not actually written down until after James was written.
For example, the events in the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which tell of Jesus’ life and His reason for coming. Of course the book of James would have no meaning if Christ had not died for our sins and rose again, so it is important, especially for a new Christian to learn about their savior, Jesus, first. Luke is a good start because it written to Gentile Christians by Luke, a Gentile.
The book of Acts was also written by Luke which recounts to us the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and of the Apostles (one sent forth as a messenger) including not only the “Twelve Apostles” but also other Christians.
It is basically a historical book of the early Church and early Christians. I believe it is meant to remind us of the beginnings and foundation of Christianity and the way things should be in a Christian's life today. Therefore, I believe that reading the Gospels and Acts before reading James is a good thing, especially for new Christians.
The book of James is, in a nutshell, the essence of how a Christian should live his/her life Although it was written to Christian Jews, it is intended for all born again Christians because of the following:
1. Therefore we are no longer Jew or Greek (Gentile), slave or free, male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28, Rom. 10:12
2. We are instructed to move on from the basic principles of Christ and press on unto perfection (full growth). In other words: Our Salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ is the most important decision we will ever make but we are instructed to move on and mature in our daily lives and daily walk with Christ so that we will not be stuck in spiritual childhood but grow into spiritual adults. Heb 6:1 As we grow we should move from the milk of the word as babes in Christ to the meat (solid food) of the word as we mature Spiritually. 1 Cor. 3, Heb. 5:12-14
James, in my humble opinion, is instructing us in moving from the milk to the meat of the Word in our daily Christian walk. If we were never able to read another book of the Bible this short book of James gives us enough information and instruction for a lifetime.
My next Book of James Blog post will begin the actual study.
The Half-brother of Jesus
Leader of the Jerusalem Church
Martyred at Jerusalem in A.D. 62
Theme: Faith That Works
Date of Writing: A.D. 45-49
Written to: Christian Jews living outside the Holy Land
Purpose: To encourage the Jewish believers who were suffering various tirals that
were testing their faith
To correct erroneous ideas about the nature of saving faith
To exhort and instruct the readers about the practical out-workings of
fheir faith in righteous living and good deeds
James is considered a General Epistle because it was addressed to a larger audience than a local chruch.
I. Christian Greetings (1:1)
II. Facing Trials and Benefitting From Them (1:2-18)
A. Accept Trials as a Means of Growth (1:2-4)
B. Pray for Wisdom in Coping with Trials (1:5-8)
C. Rejoice in The Leveling Action of Trials (1:9-12)
D. Recognize the Difference Between Trials and Temptations (1:13-18)
III. Hearing The Word and Doing It (1:19-27)
IV. Being Impartial and Showing It (2:1-13)
V. Professing Faith and Proving It (2:14-26)
VI. Recognizing Pitfalls and Avoiding Them (3:1-5:6)
A. The Unruly Tongue (3:1-12)
B. Unspiritual Wisdom (3:13-18)
C. Sinful Behavior (4:1-10)
D. Speaking Against a Brother (4:11-12)
E. Presumptuous Living (4:13-17)
F. Selfish Wealth (5:1-6)
VII. Christian Virtues and Living by Them (5:7-20)
A. Patience (5:7-11)
B. Simple Honesty (5:12)
C. Prevailing Prayers for the Sick (5:13-18)
D. Reclaiming the Wandering (5:19-20)
James 1:1 Greetings from James
"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, Greeting."
James gives a quick greeting after telling those who read his letter who he was: a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not brag that he was the half-brother of Jesus or that he was the leader of the church at Jerusalem. He simply stated what was in his heart and what was most important for him to share. James was a leader but more importantly, he considered himself a servant.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers (various) temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work and entire, wanting nothing.
Temptation here refers to some form of difficulty or pressure in our lives that God uses to try and prove out faith and to develop in us perseverance and Godly character so that we may be perfect (mature) and entire wanting nothing.
Perfect here reflects the Biblical idea of maturity, defined as a right relationship with God that bears fruit in a sincere endeavor to love Him with all one’s heart in undivided devotion, obedience, and blamelessness.
We are to face our trials with joy, because these trials can produce righteous fruit in us as we persevere in faith and hope.
Something that is very important to realize is this: Trials are sometimes brought in to our lives so that God can test the sincerity of our faith, but nowhere does scripture teach that trials are an indication that God is displeased with us. Instead, trials indicate that God recognizes our faith and has confidence in our commitment to him.
Be sure to remember that “trials” and “temptation” are not the same. We are taught that God cannot be tempted of evil neither can the tempt men. (James !:13)
And just a quick side journey–ponder upon these two things:
1) God approached Satan when he saw Satan trying to find someone to torment and asked Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job”? (Job 1:8)
2) Job’s fortune was returned back to good when he prayed for his (unkind) friends. (Job 42: 10)
To summarize what this says to me in James 1:2-4 (and Job):
We will have trials and in those trials we will experience emotional and/or physical pain, but if we persevere in our faith through the trials God will carry us through the trials and on the other side of them we will be rewarded for our faithfulness. At the same time we will be a witness by our actions to others and can use our experiences to draw from to help someone else who goes through similar circumstances.
MY QUESTIONS TO YOU:
1) Are you going through a trial right now that you need others to pray for and with you about?
2) Have you gone through a trial and come out on the other side and seen God reward your diligent faith?
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Father, in the name of Jesus, I bring my Christian brothers and sisters who are facing trials to you. I ask that your mercy abound in their lives and that they find your grace is sufficient for any trial they are facing. Give them strength to endure. Shorten the time of their suffering for your name’s sake. Let them sense your presence and feel your spiritual arms around them. Send them someone in the flesh, Father, to pray with them and to hold them up in prayer and to help them out in any way needed. Help them to remember to pray for others even while they are in their own trials. And, Father, for those of my brothers and sisters who have come out the other side of a trial and become a better person for it, let them use their experiences to help others, not in a boastful or judgmental way, but with love and kindness and gentleness. Let them remember where they once were and let them realize that sometimes when a person is down and out that just giving them a simple hug and telling them, “God loves you and I love you too,” can be the one act that can help bring them through. Father, I ask these things in the name of Jesus and I give you thanks for hearing and answering my prayers. Amen and Amen.
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