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James Chapter 1

10/11/2010

Welcome to James Chapter 1 Notes and Challenge #1

Can I lay it all out there for a minute??  Can I be genuine??  I’ve been met with nagging doubts and thoughts of “who do you think you are?” this week.  To answer those thoughts in case you are thinking them too, let me first answer them by saying who I am NOT.
I am NOT a Bible scholar.
I’m under no delusion of thinking I am perfect by any means nor do I have my own interpretation of the Bible called NJV (New Jennifer Version :).
I don’t make all the right decisions or say all the right words.
I can hear God screaming one day and doubt if it was really Him talking the next.

I am a Christ follower seeking Him more and more each day and longing to fall in love with Him more by the minute.
I am one who has been forgiven a debt bigger than I would ever be able to repay, so I am very grateful and happy to accept grace and mercy from the One who is offering it.
I am a person who greatly overuses exclamation points! ;)
I am also one who doesn’t take this journey lightly.  Please know that I am spending a lot of time in God’s Word and in prayer during this trip through James (and some time with some commentaries). I wouldn’t put my thoughts out there if I didn’t.

So, if you will, take it with me…read the notes if you want, knowing they are my interpretation of what the Holy Spirit is telling me as I read through this book.  But please do the challenge, and if you are willing, share what you are doing with others to encourage them to do it as well!

Challenge for this week: To keep ourselves from being polluted by the world (v.27)…pray about something you can cut out that isn’t honoring to God.  Is it useful? righteous?  Would you do it/ watch it/read it if Jesus were sitting next to you??? Share with your accountability partner what you gave up or share it with us here!!  Everyone can think of something…if not, you are perfect!

SNAP SHOT OF JAMES CHAPTER 1 (to be read after you’ve read it in your Bible :)

I know I said it earlier, but remember, that the things James tells us we should do…they are not required for our salvation….but they should be in response to our salvation, because we are grateful!

  • Suffer Well (as Mark Driscoll would say)!  Have joy in our trials (v.2)  (whether they be daily struggles or trials because of our faith) bc they lead to perseverance which leads to MATURITY (v.4)!!  so important!!  We need to fight complacency and being comfortable!  We need to constantly strive to grow more in Him!  We need to never cease letting God refine us!

Our trials are an opportunity for growth!

*We can have joy in our trials not because of our circumstance but because God is who He is in our circumstance and because He is with us and because He can use it for good!  Therefore, we shouldn’t try to escape trials at any cost, but give in to the maturing process.

***I believe this is one of our biggest witnessing tools..the way we handle trials.  We can handle them differently than the world does because we depend on God…we have hope!

*Don’t be double-minded (v.8)-when you ask God for something (that is in alignment with His will for your life), believe He is powerful enough to do it!  (this isn’t the power of positive thinking, but of believing in a powerful God).  In the context of James, it is asking God for wisdom, especially in our trials…He will give it to us!  So ask for His perspective and for His will!

*If you persevere under trials and love God, you will receive the crown of life-you will receive life to its fullest potential in the present and in eternity (v.12).

  • Temptation is not from God!  (v.13) He can help us stay away from it!

*Sin starts with a desire-this is a GREAT place to crush it.  Take the thought captive to Christ, remove yourself from a situation, etc.

*Sin is a slippery slope!  Sometimes it happens so slowly that we don’t even realize it.  We just take a little step, then another, and we become desensitized.

*Pray frequently for God to search your heart and reveal sin that you may not recognize.

  • In trials, remember all God has done for you in the past (even if you can’t feel it now).  He is faithful!  He has given us new life in Christ! (v.18)
  • Be quick to listen and slow to speak!  (v.19)  (I need extra portions of grace on this one!  It is something I am working on!!)

*(v 21) “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
great quote on this “get rid of evil habits, accept submissively what God has revealed and cooperate with His commands.  Then the Word will have good soil in which to grow and it will yield an abundant harvest of righteous conduct and behavior.”

  • REFLECT GOD and let His Word be a mirror to show us what needs to be changed!

*Don’t be a “Sunday Christian” forgetting what you learned first thing Monday morning (or Friday morning ;)

***PUT GOD’S WORD INTO ACTION (v. 22)!!

Don’t forget the challenge!

Small Group…we’ll have the same accountability partners as we did last week.  We can all put verse 27 into action “keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Good memory verse:  Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Gennie permalink
    10/11/2010 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the great reflection. Helped me to think on the things that I read in James last week. I deleted many shows from my DVR that were too provocative. Because I felt that I should dwell on God and my husband and not those worldly things.

    • Jennifer permalink*
      10/11/2010 7:49 pm

      I am so proud of you girl! You are so awesome! Way to be a light to your family and to others. Please know what an encouragement you are to me! Love you bunches!

  2. JPierucci permalink
    10/11/2010 9:18 pm

    Wow!! Way to listen to God! I am going to pray about the challange question. I think I have a issue with holding my tongue. Slow to speak and quick to listen. Let’s not take this bible study lightly let’s put this as a priority in are lives to read his word EVERY day. It will change your LIFE! It will renew your mind. My brother said there is a scripture in the bible that says ” Don’t grow weary in well doing”! Let’s keep each thought captive! I love you J Unnasch thats a good example on being quick to listen to God!
    Always remember we are God’s children and
    Sisters In Christ
    JPierucci

    Smile God Loves you and so do I :)

  3. Caroline Hunt permalink
    10/12/2010 10:18 am

    Thanks Jennifer, please continue to include me in this study. I need this.

  4. Meredith permalink
    10/12/2010 8:01 pm

    I can say for a fact that God knows how much my heart and actions have changed over the last 2 years! I am a much better person for my family, friends and people that I don’t know!

    I am easily persuaded by worldly “things”. I love “things”! I always want, want, want and if I get it I am not any happier. “Things” like clothes, shoes, activities for my kids, etc…. I am really trying to not be blinded by these things to what is really important in my life!

    I plan on spending more time with God and setting a good example in my every day actions for others to see.

    I loved the verse “show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith BY MY WORKS.” v. 2:18

  5. Debbie permalink
    10/12/2010 8:38 pm

    I just got back from my eldest nephew’s football game. His team won… Yea!!! Thursday night my other nephew plays… I won’t be making it to small group.

    I’ve been reading James 2 over and over, and doing the Love at Last Sight Challenge. God has been speaking to me and telling me I need to be more involved with my sister’s boys. I need to put my faith into action, and I need to take the awkward steps to get over the hurt that was blocking my relationship with them. They are such amazing boys!

    Since my sis passed away, it’s been so hard for me to be around them. I would get so sad. The heaviness of it was really hard to work through, so I stopped staying in touch. I practiced some good ol’ avoidance techniques. I was being so foolish!!

    Anyway, it feels good to be around them again! It feels good to let go of all that! I love you guys… have an awesome study Thursday!

    (hey Jen, I like exclamation marks too!!!!!)

  6. Tori permalink
    10/15/2010 5:51 pm

    We had some good discussion about giving up tv shows as apart of Challenge 1. So often we realize that tv shows are impacting our daily thoughts, whether it is about physical intimacy, drama, or violence. We also know that the tv we watch effects our children and spouses. Watching less tv has so many benefits that can bring us closer to God – more time to spend with him, more time to serve others. Watching more family-friendly shows can lead to quality time together.

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