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We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Week 1 - Day 2

Today we begin looking in more detail at this book. Some questions will require you to observe simply what the verses say. These help you read the text more carefully, to be sure you are noting what it really says and grasping the main points. Other questions will ask you to think more deeply or to share. Before you begin today—and every day—ask God for insight into His word.

Read James 1:1.

1. Who wrote this book and how does he describe himself? How does he describe the people to whom he is writing?

The NET Bible (http://net.bible.org/bible.php) gives us insight into the Greek term used to describe the author: “Traditionally, ‘servant’ or ‘bondservant.’ Though doulos is normally translated ‘servant,’ the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. . . . The most accurate translation is ‘bondservant’ . . . in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its meaning.”

2. Sharing Question: What would it mean for you to be a slave, servant, or bondservant of Jesus Christ? Write down one thing that you would have to do differently today if you were to live that idea out.

Read James 1:2-4.

Douglas Moo with The NET Bible (http://net.bible.org/bible.php) comments: “’Pure joy’ is a good rendering of the Greek phrase pasan charan (lit., ‘all joy’) since the word pas here probably suggests intensity (complete and unalloyed joy) rather than exclusivity (nothing but joy).”

3. Consider this attitude that James tells you to adopt. Explain your understanding of it in light of Dr. Moo’s explanation. Does his explanation help you see how you could do this when all around is crashing?

4. James 1:3-4 tells us why we should adopt that kind of attitude. What is a purpose of various trials in your life according to these verses?

We will look more closely at the intended results of trials tomorrow.

5. Responding to God: Consider a trial with which you are currently dealing. It could be a health issue, a loss, grief over your circumstances, loneliness, financial need, or any other situation that has come into your life through no cause of your own. Talk to God about it. Write down a prayer asking Him to give you the grace to look at it from His perspective (vv. 3-4) with the right attitude (v. 2).

6. Stronger Jeans (optional): The book of James seems to involve many loosely related topics. As best you can, choose themes for each chapter and an overall theme of the book. If you know how to put it in a book chart, you may want to do that. This will be your optional assignment for the entire week.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

My current trial is understanding God's will and how he speaks to me. I thought I had it down, and knew exactly what He was trying to teach me and then...nothing. I feel like God is teaching me to wait it through. And He's growing me into the mature and complete woman He wants me to be.
Elisa

Anonymous said...

Maintaining joy not only during large trials but also in daily living is something I have yet to master.

Keeping joy while dealing with the little irritations during the day whether it's whining kids, clothes on the floor, rude drivers or long lines is what God is showing me.

I find that my morning devotion and really repeating His Word in my head throughout the day it so vital.
Jenelle

Twisting His Arm said...

One struggle that I finally think I am making progress on is the fact that I HATE being alone. Before my son was born there were many months I would wake up alone (my hubby was out of town for training) and I would be miserable. When I was alone I would be bombarded with negative thoughts and emotions for no apparent reason. But as soon as I walked through the doors at work (amazingly enough) or talked to someone on the phone, I would be my normal happy-go-lucky person again. To try and battle the problem I started to pray and listen to Christian music in the mornings (I should have also read the bible but I never woke up early enough). Thinking back I can't figure out WHY it was such a struggle to be alone but it WAS! I think God really wanted me to overcome that struggle before I had my son because HE knew I would be a stay-at-home mom. God is just totally COOL!!!

:-) Christina

DA Wagners said...

To be a slave to Christ would mean to me that I would be obedient to everything and anything He asks of me. This is something I'm dealing with now. I want to be so obedient that I don't even question Him; I just do it. This is so hard because it forces me to go outside of my comfort zone and to go out on a limb. It also usually deals with constantly humbling myself to Him in front of others. But, I am praying that I will be cheerfully obedient: "Sure, God, that's sound kinda crazy and a little scary, but I'll do it because I know that Your will is perfect and it's an honor to be asked to do anything for such an awesome King, the Creator of everything!" How I wish I could say that all the time!

Canadian Bird said...

Ooh, the "old guy" (as my Dad calls Satan) was at work today, trying to keep me from this study! Interruptions kept coming (& continue to), but I am determined! As we speak, I stay late at work to read this study, b/c I know when I get home my usual distractions will creep in...
As a slave to Christ, his bondservant, I would be completely surrendered to His will. This means living IN the Word & hearing His Will for me (I still work at knowing when I hear Him). I agree with Alisa...what an awesome, freeing thing it would be to be able to just "let go & let God!" Scary...but freeing. I'm working on it...

Latoya said...

To be a slave to Jesus Christ would mean that my life would work around Him and whatever He tells me to do. It would mean that I would always obey what He says without questioning it or wavering. I am not acting like a servant of Christ in my daily life. I have to change the way I interact with people at work and also how I organize my day.

Latoya said...

Well as you see, I am working to keep up with this study. The disorganization in my life is playing a great role in making me feel overwhelmed. But I thank God that I know what has to be done.
Another thing I wanted to ad to being a slave of Christ is understanding that I don't belong to myself and niether does my life belong to me. When I was writing my prayer, I caught myself saying "my car." When I was going car shopping (I was 18 or 19 at the time), I knew I wanted the Black Honda Accord I saw. The only thing was I didn't have a big enough loan. In fact, being that it was my first car, I was not aware of how taxes and other charges factored in when the car was purchased. After getting it, I told God that I thanked Him for it and that I would use if for His glory. My current trial is trying to get the tune-up I need within reasonable costs. As a slave to Christ, possesions are never mine. For God will take care of what is His.

Carol M said...

My problem is keeping my joy when the problems begin. I hear that small voice (not the Holy Spirit) telling me lies that bring me down and just rob me of my joy. How do you ignore those voices.

jsc07 said...

One suggestion I have read and this has worked for me to get rid of those voices is to say out loud my scriptures verses.

If that voice tries to get me worried by saying "you won't have enough to pay all your loans," I would say "bring all the tithes to the storehouse that there may be food in God's house, the Lord of hosts will open the windows of heaven for for me and pour out such a blessing that there won't be room enough to receive it Mal 3:10"

I have a list of verses that I confess out loud over my life and situation.

I realized that I would rather listen to God's promises than what I hear from other things or what I see.

Carol M said...

Thank you jsc07. I will do that.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the negative voices that creep in jsc07 is correct. I find that when I get bombarded with the negative voices over something current. I go to my closet and I look up verses and write them down on 3x5 cards and carry them in my purse, truck, wherever. I am "armed" and ready with the sword of the Spirt.