Steadfast - Pt 1: Introduction to James
Growing in faith and maturity is crucial to our walk as Christians, but the steps to get us there can be painful and scary sometimes. In the first week of our discussion of James, we discuss the need for struggles and trials in our lives to help foster and grow our faith. We also learned that there are sometimes obstacles that hinder growth if we divert our gaze and belief from the one true source of stability in Christ. Most importantly, we are reminded of the hope that we always have in Christ Jesus, and that throughout any hardships that come in life, we can always look to our firm foundation in Him.
Steadfast - Pt 2: Undefiled
James instructs believers to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. However, that is the opposite of how the Church looks in America today. We are quick to identify when we are wronged or believe that someone should be doing something differently, and we are slow to realize how we should be modifying our own behavior to look more like Jesus. This week we discussed the value of slowing down, looking into ourselves, and allowing Jesus to be in control of how we react to those around us.
Steadfast - Pt 3: The Law of Love
As Christians, we are supposed to be welcoming and loving towards everyone we encounter, but it is in our human nature to show partiality or favoritism towards certain people. We make snap judgments based on appearance, but Jesus calls us to love everyone the way he loves them. How do we let go of the skewed lens through which we perceive strangers and gain his perspective on our fellow humans? This week, we discussed James 2 and how the law of love instead of the prison of partiality allows us to look like Jesus in our relationships as individuals as a church body.
Steadfast - Pt 4: A Living Faith
In this week’s study of James we discuss the central role that faith and works play as we grow in maturity. The scripture makes it clear that we do not work for our salvation, it is a precious gift from God. However, we are called to an active faith that co-operates with the work Jesus is doing in our lives and the lives of those around us. May we never settle for mere belief in God, instead let’s embrace an active faith that says yes to the work He wants to do in and through us.
Steadfast - Pt 5: The power of our words
This week, Krystal brought us a message from James chapter 3 about the importance of our tongues. The tongue holds great power in our lives, but it is something that we often forget to control. Our tongues have the ability to keep our lives on course, steer us into the rocks, lift up our brothers and sister, or destroy someone’s self-esteem. The tongue is small but holds great influence, so let us seek to use our tongues to glorify God and lift up one another.
Steadfast - Pt 7: Peacemakers
In our study of the book of James, we have heard over and over ways that we should be relating to one another. This week we discussed the importance of being peacemakers. Our society is full of people judging one another and the American church is not exempt. We put ourselves in the place of God and think that we know what is right and wrong, but James tells us that when we do this, we are opposing the law of God, which is the law of love. As Christians, we should be stepping down from the role of judge and instead work to love people where they are.
Steadfast - Pt 8: Time well Spent
In Part 8 this week, we pause to consider James’ challenge to us regarding how we manage our time. In light of how uncertain, fragile, and short life is, we can often struggle to trust the Lord. Instead, we settle for taking the reins of life ourselves or getting overwhelmed with anxiety and fear as we try to manage it all. In this passage, James reminds us of the beautiful invitation to walk in freedom from our pride and our fear, by walking daily in the fear of the Lord.
Steadfast - Pt 9: Money well Spent
In this week’s sermon, we tackle the all-important topic of our finances. James shares some strong words on this subject that are meant to challenge us to pause & consider who is really in charge of our money. We are called to have a Kingdom perspective in how we prioritize, earn, and spend our money. Ultimately all that we have belongs to the Lord, and He wants us to learn to be faithful stewards of what He gives us. While this may seem very difficult and restrictive at first glance, the reality is that God is inviting us into a deeper walk with Him. Jesus longs to provide us with real security and satisfaction that earthly wealth can never fully give.
Steadfast - Pt 10: Establish your heart
Patient endurance is a difficult topic. It is easy to want it to end when we are enduring difficulty. James challenges us though to establish hearts that are steadfastly focused on the Lord and waiting on him instead of seeking control or turning to idols. How do we do that though? Deuteronomy 11 gives us detailed instructions that include actively seeking the Lord and studying his words. Being in a season of waiting isn’t easy, but as believers, we have a hope that our struggles and waiting have a purpose, and a God who wants to walk closely with us as he invites us into his plans for our times of waiting; we need not worry, He is coming.
Steadfast - Pt 11: A Powerful Community
In Sunday’s message, we explored some key verses in James 5 on the role of prayer and faith to bring healing and wholeness to those who are suffering. One of the biggest issues in our culture is how individualistic it is, and therefore in our reading of scripture, we often apply them as individuals instead of in the context of community. James writes to a community of believers on how they can pray and care for the suffering among them. May we all come to understand and operate in the great power that is available in a prayerful, caring community of faith & righteousness.
Steadfast - Pt 12: The Power of a confessing Community
There is great power in confession, but what is true confession? What does it sound like to truly confess and why is it important? This week we discussed the importance of being a confessing community, the great value of pursuing righteousness, and how we can facilitate confession in others by pursuing them in love. In order for us to encourage confession, we must be willing to confess ourselves, but also be a safe place that creates an environment free from gossip or judgment.