Living Faith: Compassionate Endurance

MONDAY:  Read James chapter 5

  • The book of James seeks to show us various actions that demonstrate a living faith.
  • We can learn a lot about the condition of our faith when we examine our relationship with wealth.
  • A strong commitment to both personal and corporate prayer is necessary for a living faith.   

Prayer: Patient and loving God, we praise you for your gift of scripture.  We confess that the letter of James continues to challenge us and that we struggle to engage in a living faith.  We glorify your name that you sent your son, Jesus Christ to redeem us to you.  We glorify your name that you continue to grant us mercy, peace, and grace to live as your children despite our frailties.  We glorify your name that you lovingly walk this path with us.  We glorify your name O God, Amen.  

 

TUESDAY:  Read James 5:1-6, Luke 12: 13-21

  • Throughout scriptures, the authors speak frequently against using wealth to satisfy our own desires instead of using our wealth to help others. 
  • We are encouraged to place our hope, desire, and sense of value into expressing a living faith in God.  We are reminded of the fleeting existence of material things. 

Reflect: The comic book character Spider Man’s Uncle Ben voiced a major theme that runs throughout the super hero’s life.  He said “With great power comes great responsibility.”   The citizens of the United States have greater power and wealth than many citizens living in the rest of the world.  How do you take responsibility for the wealth and power you have been given?  How do you use your wealth and power to care for others around you?  

 

WEDNESDAY:  James 5: 7-11, Revelation 21: 1-4

  • A living faith allows us to be patient with injustice and endure oppression.
  • We have the hope and assurance that the Day of the Lord is coming near.  Jesus will return to make all things right.   

Act: Write down one thing in your life that needs to change in order for you to grow in living your faith.  How will you allow God to help you make this change?

 

THURSDAY:  Read James 5:12, Matthew 5: 33-37

  • When our actions are consistent with our words, there is no need to take an oath to bind us to our commitments.
  • A life lived with integrity demonstrates a living faith. 

Prayer:  Hello Lord.  In Proverbs chapter 10 verse 9 it says “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely; but whoever follows perverse ways will be found out.”  Please help me to live a life of integrity.  Let my “yes” mean “yes” and my “no” mean “no”.  Help me to honor all of my commitments.  In your holy name I pray, Amen. 

 

FRIDAY:  Read James 5: 13-15, Philippians 4: 4-9

  • A living faith is rooted in a life of prayer.
  • We cannot pray for each other if we are unwilling to fellowship with and humble ourselves before each other.   A living faith will ultimately drive us to live in community with other people and not in private isolation.
  • The story of Elijah, the drought, and its fall out can be found in 1 Kings chapters 17, 18, and 19. 

Reflect: How can prayer make a difference in the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ?  How has prayer made a specific difference in your life?

 

SATURDAY:  Read James 5: 19-20, Matthew 18: 15-20

  • James wrote his letter to teach and remind us what a living faith looks like.  To close his letter, he encourages us to continue to share this knowledge with one another in mercy and love.

Act: We have come to the end of the book of James.  What insights have you discovered during this sermon series?  What questions do you continue to have?  Discuss them with a family member, a friend, or another member of New Hope. 

 

Want to learn more about the topics covered in the Letter of James?

Dailyaudiobible.com This is a daily podcast delivered by Brian Hardin.  Brian reads the scriptures out loud to his listeners. The goal is to read the entire bible in one year. Each podcast lasts about 30 minutes followed by additional reflection by Brian and prayer requests recorded by listeners. The podcast can be found both at the above website as well as for free on i-tunes. 

In one of his books, Brian writes "The Bible is about becoming more like Christ. It constantly invites us to submit ourselves in obedience not to make us miserable but to change us from the inside out...May you find life in God's Word, my friend, and may true life find you…Amen."