Contributed on Sep 9, 2005
This is an introduction to a study of the Book of James. In this sermon we look at the different stages in the life of the author as he transforms from doubting skeptic to humble believer and righteous leader.
Scripture For most of this past year we have studied Paul’s letter to the Galatians on Sunday mornings. Galatians is a book that emphasizes Christian doctrine. As we studied Galatians we learned what we are to believe about the gospel. Hopefully, we grew in our understanding of the ...read more
Contributed on Sep 16, 2005
Trials are common to all people! What is not common, however, is your response to trials. In today’s sermon, James teaches you how to respond to your trials.
Scripture Someone once posted a sheet of paper on a bulletin board with the following heading: “You know it’s going to be a bad day when. . . .” Allow me to share a few of the “whens” with you. You know it’s going to be a bad day when. . . • You wake up to the soothing sound of running ...read more
Contributed on Sep 23, 2005
In James 1:13-18 James gives you four facts about temptation that you must understand if you are going to overcome temptation.
Scripture The death of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal this week has reminded us of the heroes of the Holocaust. Therefore, I was disappointed to read a postwar account of Oskar Schindler, whose exploits during World War II were made famous in the movie titled Schindler’s List. Oskar Schindler was ...read more
Contributed on Sep 30, 2005
In James 1:19-20 James shows us three characteristics of growing in spiritual maturity.
Scripture The story is told of two men who were traveling along in a hot-air balloon when they began to realize that they had no idea where they were. To make matters worse, as they looked at the sky, a storm began brewing overhead and heavy clouds started rolling in. For a brief minute they ...read more
Contributed on Oct 7, 2005
In James 1:21-27, James shows you three steps in building a faith that really works.
Scripture Andras Tamas is the name officials gave a certain man decades ago in a Russian psychiatric hospital. He’d been drafted into the Army, but the authorities had mistaken his native Hungarian language for the gibberish of a lunatic and had him committed. Then they forgot about him—for ...read more
Contributed on Oct 17, 2005
We struggle with the problem of prejudice to one degree or another by an improper focus on the externals. James addresses this problem head-on in James 2:1-13.
Scripture The animated movie Shrek celebrates the worth of society’s undervalued people. It revolves around a boorish ogre named Shrek who finds a friend in a talking donkey—creatively named “Donkey”! Shrek unexpectedly falls in love with a princess, whom he and Donkey rescue from a distant ...read more
Contributed on Oct 19, 2005
In James 2:14-26 we find two great truths about genuine saving faith that are meant to give you a solid foundation upon which to build your life and ministry.
Scripture A Chicago-based newspaper, StreetWise, is sold by homeless people, who collect a portion of the proceeds. One day as Dr. Joseph Stowell, then serving as President of the Moody Bible Institute, walked to work, he passed a StreetWise vendor. It was a bitterly cold January morning, and he ...read more
Contributed on Oct 26, 2005
To help you determine the authenticity of your faith, James gives two spiritual litmus tests in James 2:14-26. James gives two very practical and challenging marks of genuine faith.
Scripture In research done by Darley and Batson at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973, a group of theology students was told that they were to go across campus to deliver a sermon on the topic of the Good Samaritan. As part of the research, some of these students were told that they were ...read more
Contributed on Nov 4, 2005
Sometimes we say things that we really don’t mean to say. Sometimes we are downright mean in our speech. James outlines four critical truths about taming your tongue in James 3:1-12.
Scripture An elderly man had serious hearing problems for a number of years. His family tried again and again to convince him to get a hearing aid. Finally he relented. He went to the doctor and was fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear 100 percent. A month later he went ...read more
Contributed on Nov 21, 2005
In order to know if you are truly wise or otherwise, you must first know what true wisdom is. In today’s lesson, James teaches two important truths about the nature of true wisdom.
Scripture Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors in our day. He is also the second richest man in the world, with an estimated worth of $44 billion. Buffett is so famous that a special edition of the Monopoly board game features him and his companies. A couple of months ago, in June ...read more
Contributed on Nov 23, 2005
In today’s text we have what some have called "God’s Wisdom Test." This is a kind of personal exam by which you can see how wise or otherwise you really are in all your relationships. James lists 6 distinguishing marks of wise person.
Scripture Robert Fulghum wrote a book titled "All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Listen to what he wrote: Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school ...read more
Contributed on Dec 2, 2005
Conflict is something that we all encounter. It is found in every relationship. In James 4:1-6, James shows us how to resolve our conflicts God’s way.
Scripture A couple had been fighting over the purchase of a new car for weeks. He wanted a new truck. She wanted a fast sports car so that she could zip through traffic around town. The discussion was getting very heated when finally the wife shouted, “Look, I want something that goes from 0 ...read more
Contributed on Dec 8, 2005
Many people want to see changes taking place in their lives. The usual prescription given today is, "Just try harder!" But that doesn’t produce true, genuine, lasting life-transformation. In James 4:6-10 James teaches how God changes a person.
Scripture I once read a Peanuts comic strip where Lucy told Charlie Brown that she would hold the football for him to kick. But when he ran up to kick the ball, she pulled it away. Charlie Brown went flying through the air and fell flat on his back. Well, one day Lucy went up to Charlie Brown ...read more
Contributed on Dec 16, 2005
The wrong use of words is not a problem limited to unbelievers. The hard truth is that slander can also be a very serious problem among Christians. James addresses the issue of slander in today’s text.
Scripture Kathy Plate of Orlando, FL tells the story of the time she visited her neighbor. While there, five-year-old Andrew pulled out his kindergarten class picture and began describing each classmate: “This is Robert; he hits everyone. This is Stephen; he never listens to the teacher. This is ...read more
Contributed on Jan 4, 2006
James helps us not to fall prey to the peril of presumption in today’s text. He does so by first looking at the problem of presumption. Then he helps us understand the perspective of providence.
Scripture Jim Elliot was martyred fifty years ago today on January 8, 1956. The life and death of Jim Elliot is the testimony of a man committed to the will of God. He sought God’s will, pleaded for it, waited for it, and—most importantly—obeyed it. Jim Elliot’s martyrdom at the tender age of ...read more
Contributed on Jan 13, 2006
In this passage James addresses us about the use of our finances. James warns people against using their finances as if there is no God.
Scripture William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), the gifted orator and three-time United States Democratic nominee for President, is reported to have said, “No one can earn a million dollars honestly.” Tertullian (ca. 155–230), was a church leader and prolific author during the early years of ...read more
Contributed on Jan 26, 2006
James is very concerned about how you react to the pain and suffering that comes into your life. This sermon teaches you how to respond to injustice, pain, suffering, delay and difficulty in a godly way.
Scripture Stanislaw J. Lec once said, “You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience.” I wonder how many would agree with that statement. It does seem that those who are patient have large doses of it to begin with, doesn’t it? In our text for today, James gives us God’s ...read more
Contributed on Feb 8, 2006
In James’ day, as in ours, people revered the idea of truth in principle but in practice it was blatantly disregarded. In James 5:12 he makes a special point to address this issue of being truthful.
Scripture In a Reader’s Digest survey of 2,624 readers in January 2004 we read about the percentage of those who said they had: 1. Switched price tags to get a lower price: 12% 2. Cheated on their tax return: 17% 3. Misstated facts on a resume/job application: 18% 4. Lied to their spouse ...read more
Contributed on Feb 17, 2006
In James 5:13-16a, the brother of our Lord teaches us how the Christian ought to respond in times of trouble, happiness, sickness, and sin.
Scripture James is the brother of our Lord Jesus. Since Jesus was Mary’s firstborn child (Luke 2:7), James was obviously a younger brother. In fact, it is likely that James was the second-oldest of the five sons that Mary had (cf. Mark 6:3). James eventually came to believe that Jesus was in ...read more
Contributed on Feb 27, 2006
Prayer is the measure of a person. It is one of our greatest needs individually and corporately. In James 5:16b-18, James sets before us a description of powerful and effective prayer.
Scripture Elmer Towns is the Dean of the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia, which he co-founded with Jerry Falwell in 1971. The author of over fifty books, Towns also leads a Sunday school class with two thousand attendees at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, where Jerry Falwell ...read more
Contributed on Mar 2, 2006
On this journey through 5 chapters, James has pin-pointed one practical truth after another. And so, as we come to our last study in this letter, we should not be surprised to find one more important message; this one dealing with restoring love.
Scripture Contemporary Christian musician Kathy Troccoli was a rebellious teenager who drank, partied, and was caught in a vicious cycle of bulimia. But at a summer job, she couldn’t escape the Christian witness of a co-worker named Cindy. “She was the epitome of a girl I could not hang out ...read more