Summary: Tonight we are going to look at the first 18 verses of James chapter 1. We’ve called it, “Quick, go get the umbrella” because James is trying to get them prepared for the storm.

The Perfect Storm:

Quick, get the Umbrella

Opening Illustration:

In October of 1991, the "Andrea Gail" left Gloucester, Mass. and headed for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic. Two weeks later, an event took place that had never occurred in recorded history. A storm stronger than any in recorded history hit the coast off of Gloucester, Massachusetts. This "Perfect Storm" — so called because it was three storms combined into one — created an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic Ocean, where boats encountered waves of 100 feet (30 meters) — the equivalent of a ten-story building. These storms are some of the strongest and most terrifying manifestations of nature’s strength.

We hear about hurricanes a lot this time of year because hurricane season starts June 1st – Today – and runs through the end of November.

A hurricane is defined as a violent warm core tropical storm and has a minimum wind speed of 74mph. It rotates in a counter-clockwise spiraling position around a region of low pressure which is called the eye or center.

Usually only 3-5 hurricanes hit land in the US every three years. Unfortunately in 2004, 5 hurricanes hit the United States killing 36 people and causing over 42 billion dollars worth of damage.

Hurricane Alex hit South Carolina in early August. Charley ripped through western Florida just a few days later. On August 28th, (TS) Gaston rumbled through Charleston, S. Carolina. On September 5th the east coast of Florida got hit by hurricane Frances. Not even two weeks later, a fifth hurricane, Ivan, hit the Gulf cost of Alabama. The sixth and final hurricane of that season was the biggest and baddest of them all – hurricane Jeanne. Jeanne hit on September 26th at the same spot Francis hit just 3 weeks prior.

2005 was even worse! Look at the records that were set (refer to slide).

-Dennis: July 10, Florida, cat3, 42 dead, $4b in damages

- Katrina: August 28-29, cat3, Louisiana & Mississippi, 1,836 dead, $84b in damages

- Rita: September 24, Louisiana/Texas border, cat3, 7 dead, $11.3 in damages

- Wilma: Oct. 24, Florida, cat3, 23 dead, $30b in damages

2006 was a below normal year. Not a single hurricane touched land in the US. Only two tropical storms bugged us all season.

- TS Alberto: June 16, Florida, no deaths, $420K

- Hurricane Ernesto: Aug 30 (FL) & Sept. 1 (NC), was a hurricane briefly but at landfall on Florida & North Carolina it was a TS.

So what’s the big deal with hurricanes? What’s your point? How does this effect me here in New Castle, PA?

The point is, storms come and go. Whether it’s the perfect storm of 1991 off the coast of Massachusetts, or the storm of your parents going through a divorce, or failing 9th grade, or the storm of being tempted to have sex before marriage – we all go through storms.

Storms are a part of life, just like hurricanes are a part of nature. Some years we may not have any that hit our shores – like last year. Other years may be record breaking – like in 2005!

The fact of the matter is – you and I will both go through storms. Not only will they differ in longevity and location, but they will vary in intensity. Ernesto only hit us as a TS, but Katrina made it to a 5 before devastating Louisiana.

So if we all are going to have storms in life, shouldn’t we do something about it? Can we prevent them? Can we survive through them? How much damage will they cause? Will there be any loss of life?

These are the questions that the book of James answers for us. The book of James was written to the Christian Jews that were scattered all over the Greek Roman Empire. As I’m sure you are already aware, the church has problems just like any other organization. The church had some storms of it’s own that needed to be dealt with, and James was the man of the hour.

The Jewish Christians were facing temptation to sin, catering to the rich, being robbed by the rich, competing for offices, struggling with Worldliness, and straying away from the Lord, as well as failing to live by what they professed to believe.

Who was James – The half-brother of Jesus.

What would it be like to be the brother of Christ?

Illustration: I have a lot of brothers…

John 7:5 says that Jesus’ brothers did not believe at first.

Acts 1:14, however states that James was praying in the upper room with the other disciples awaiting the outpouring of the Spirit.

So what happened? 1 Corinthians 15:7 indicates that Jesus appeared to James after his resurrection.

Acts 15 shows us that he became the leader of the Christian Church of his day.

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