Tonight for my Bible study I read through the book of James. With only 5 chapters, James is easy to read in one go. But it’s packed with message. I should spend longer than one night on it. Each chapter offers plenty of conviction, encouragement, and instruction. Here’s a quick overview:
Chapter 1: We should receive trials with joy, because our faith becomes steadfast if it lasts through tests. If we pray for wisdom in faith, God will guide us. God doesn’t tempt us – we’re tempted by our own desires. Giving in leads to sin and sin causes death (spiritual and physical). Everything good is from God. We haven’t earned it; we should be humble. We should be quick to listen, slow to talk, and slow to get angry. Our religion is worthless if we don’t act on what the Bible says. Pure religion is service to others.
Chapter 2: We’re all sinful; no one on earth is better than anyone else. We should never show favoritism or honor people because of their status. Faith without works is useless. True Christians are obviously living according to their faith, not just preaching it.
Chapter 3: We should be incredibly careful what we say. It’s easy to sin by judging others, bragging, cursing, etc. We cannot be righteous when we don’t control our tongues. We shouldn’t be jealous or selfish, for we will be humbled. Wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good results, impartial and sincere. Righteousness and peace go hand in hand.
Chapter 4: Our worldly passions and desires make us fight. God is jealous for us – if we give our hearts to the world, we’re cheating on God and denying him the love he deserves from us. God gives us each day we have. Only God knows the future. We shouldn’t boast about tomorrow because we don’t know if tomorrow will ever come.
Chapter 5: If we’re materialistic, we lose sight of heaven. Riches on earth will not be worth the misery we’ll suffer if we abandon God. We should be patient through suffering because God is coming soon. Pray about everything. Especially pray for forgiveness. Prayer is pointless if we don’t have faith. The prayer of a righteous person has great power.
And that, friends, is the Book of James, Nikki Notes version. A very powerful, practical book. Now, only by God’s grace, may I put it to action.