Summary: In this concluding sermon from the series on James, we summarize the main lessons from James that we want to be sure to remember and to put into practice.
A. Today as we conclude our sermon series on the letter of James, I want us to do a unique review of the book.
1. First, we will look at an 8 minute video summary created by a nonprofit called BibleProject, and then I will share a list of the lessons from James that I hope we will remember.
B. BibleProject is a truly wonderful resource.
1. BibleProject is a nonprofit ed-tech organization and animation studio that produces 100% free Bible videos and podcasts, blogs and classes, and other educational Bible resources to help make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.
2. Timothy Mackie and Jonathan Collins (long-time friends and one-time roommates at Multnomah University) were tossing around ideas on how to help people read through Scripture while avoiding the common pitfalls and misunderstandings.
3. They wondered how complex themes of the Bible could be presented in a way that was real and unapologetic but approachable.
4. So they combined Tim’s deep biblical understanding and Jon’s passion for visual storytelling, and they created their first two videos in 2014 and put them online for free.
5. Now they have over 150 videos and 200 podcasts, which can all be viewed on their website, The Bible App, YouTube, Vimeo, and more.
6. They have over 100 million views across all of their media channels in over 200 countries, and we have over two million subscribers worldwide.
7. Viewership is evenly distributed between ages 18 to 45, so they are inspiring the next generation to explore the Bible through the mediums in which they have been raised, visual storytelling and technology.
C. So, without further ado, here is the BibleProject’s summary of the letter of James.
D. I hope you found the video helpful.
1. They do an amazing job both visually and practically to summarize the books of the Bible.
2. I would encourage you to look at some of their other book summaries.
E. Now let’s talk about some of the lessons from James that we want to remember.
1. How good is your memory? Mine is often not so good.
2. Which reminds me of the story of the preacher who really wanted to spice up his sermons with humor and surprise introductions.
a. While attending a conference he heard a dynamic speaker who effectively opened up his presentation with statement: “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn’t my wife!”
1. The crowd was shocked, but the speaker followed up by saying, “And that woman was my mother!”
2. The crowd burst into laughter and he delivered the rest of his talk, which went over quite well.
3. So when the preacher returned to his congregation, he opened his first sermon with the same statement: “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman who was not my wife!”
a. The congregation inhaled half the air in the room.
b. Then preacher stood in the stunned silence because he couldn’t recall the punch line and finally blurted out: “...and for the life of me, I can’t remember who she was!”
F. Let’s spend a few minutes this morning trying to burn into our memory some important lessons from James.
I. Important Lessons from James
A. First of all, Let’s Remember that Trials can Lead to Blessings.
1. There’s a old saying that says, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
2. I think that’s what James had in mind when he wrote: Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)
3. Then James concluded the section, saying: Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
4. As hard and painful as our trials may be, if we will stay close to the Lord and depend on Him, our trials can lead to blessings as we are matured and completed through them, and then can use them to serve others, and then eventually receive our reward in heaven some day.
B. Second, Let’s Remember to be Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak, and Slow to Anger.
1. We often do the opposite: we are quick to anger, quick to speak, and slow to listen.
2. Getting that backwards leads to lots of trouble and conflict in our lives.
3. James reminds us that human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness, and that’s why our human anger must be restrained as we listen carefully and then speak appropriately.