June 2 - 24
It is not uncommon for us to wrestle with how our personal relationship with God impacts our everyday lives. What an important question to ask! And the Book of James has answers because it is so incredibly practical. It is also hard-hitting. James will have no trouble stepping on our toes! We won’t hit every passage, but we will look at several of the main themes including: Trials, temptations, anger, our tongues, wisdom and more. These are real life issues we need to be ready to engage in as faithful followers of Jesus.
1. How many of you have read or studied the Book of James before? Was any of the information Pastor Gary shared about James new to you?
2. How does hearing from a man who grew up in the same home as Jesus change the way you might interact with this book?
3. Talk about a time in your own life or the life of someone you know when good eventually came from trials or adversity. How did that event influence your faith?
4. Read James 1:1–8. Do you think it’s realistic to be able to consider your trials “pure joy”? Why or why not? How would a perspective like that change your relationship with God? How might it change the way you deal with your circumstances?
5. Last weekend, Pastor Gary’s Main Thought was: God wants to grow me up. And he shared 4 answers for how we might navigate trials for growth:
· Recognize what’s going on
· Cooperate with the growth process
· Ask God for help
· Keep a faith-filled attitude
Share your thoughts and feelings about these answers.
6. Do you agree with the idea that spiritual maturity has less to do with what you know and more with how you trust God and persevere in the face of trials? Why or why not?
7. As you think about trials you face right now (big or small) what is one thing you can do to “let perseverance finish its work”? How might God be using this trial to “grow you up”?
8. Read James 1:5, where do you need wisdom right now? Are you willing to faithfully ask God to give it to you?
9. Read James 1:12. How does the hope of receiving the crown of eternal life impact your desire to persevere in your faith?
10. What can this group do to support you?
11. Close in prayer for one another.
1. We’ve all heard it said, “Never talk about politics, sex, money, and religion at the dinner table.” What area do you think brings up the most conflict in your family or with your friends?
2. In the middle of conflict, we all have a natural response. Circle the phrases below that best describe what you’re quick to do, why do you respond this way, and explain whether or not you think this helps your relationships be honoring.
When someone accuses me, I’m quick to:
-Review the facts and prepare my retort.
-Write the person off and ignore their claims.
-Ask clarifying questions.
When someone tells me how I’ve hurt them, I’m quick to: -Claim my own hurt.
-Defend my actions.
-Listen with my heart affirming their feelings and apologize.
When I know I’m right, I’m quick to:
-State my case with evidence.
-Shut down and withdraw emotionally.
-Be curious and patient while they explain their point of view.
3. Read James 1:19–21. Imagine you were trying to summarize these verses for a friend. What would you say in one or two sentences to explain what James was communicating?
4. God doesn’t want us to be right at one another, but right with one another. Who do you need to be right with currently? Describe the tensions in that relationship.
5. Which of these strategies might help you best in the relationship in which you’re currently experiencing the most conflict? Why?
-Ask three questions before responding with your side.
-Listen to understand rather than reply.
-Remind yourself that everything this person does, says, and believes makes sense to them.
6. Jesus didn’t come to be right. He had every right answer, but he came to reconcile men and women to God and to reconcile us to one another. Think of a few words that describe Jesus’ approach and discuss how these characteristics can help guide your most difficult conversations.
7. Handwrite James 1:19-20 and place it somewhere you’ll see it this week. Try your bathroom mirror or your desk or the dashboard of your car.
8. Pray for God to give you the discipline to slow down and listen first when you face conflict.
1. Have you ever been on the wrong side of someone showing favoritism? If so what happened and how did you feel?
2. Why do you think we are prone to not wanting others to show favoritism towards us, yet easily show favorites with others?
3. How is racism the same sin as showing favoritism? Where do you see yourself doing this as well?
4. Our study of James has hit us pretty hard with the challenge to not just be a hearer of the word, but a doer of the word. How does this challenge you personally? Where are you most prone to know you need to make some changes and applications, but not be proactive in doing so?
5. Why is it that we typically get frustrated with others when they do this, only to also do it ourselves?
6. Read James 1:22-25 and 2:14-26. What are the main points of these two passages? What implications do these verses have for your life personally?
7. Pray for each other that we won’t just be hearers of the word, but that we would be known as doers of the word!
Group Questions are not yet available.