NT Fire Starters – Day 320: James 1:1-27
READ: James 1:1-27
THINK: Do you ever forget a face? Probably so–but not your own! It’s an absurd notion that you would forget what you look like after walking away from a mirror. Yet, that’s what it’s like to read or hear God’s Word but then fail to take action. Looking into the Word provides a reflection that reveals the way you really are and helps you see what needs to change. But if you go your own way without responding to what the Word reveals about your life, then you’ll never truly retain the Word. In order for God’s Word to become part of your life you must live what you learn.
RESPOND: What are “trials of many kinds” (v. 2), and why can you face them with joy? (See 1:2 note.) In what way do trials help you grow and mature? (See 1:4 note.) How would you define wisdom, and where can you get it? (See 1:5 note.) What does it mean to be “double-minded” (v. 8), and why does that keep people from receiving from God? What does it mean, “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position.”? (See 1:9-10 note.) What are the differences between trials and temptations? (See 1:13 note.) How should your approach and response to “trials” differ from your response to temptations? What or who is the source of temptations? (See 1:13 note, sub point 3, and 1:14 note.) Left to ourselves, without relying on the Holy Spirit, where will our own desires eventually lead us? (See 1:15 note.) What are the implications of the fact that God “does not change” (v. 17)? In what way do we deceive ourselves by merely listening to God’s Word but not doing what it says? (See 1:22 note.) How is looking into God’s Word like looking into a mirror? (See 1:23 note.) How is failing to put the Word into practice like walking away from a mirror and forgetting what you look like? (See 1:24 note.) What is “the perfect law that gives freedom”? (See 1:25 note.) What kind of “religion” does God accept as “pure and faultless”? (See 1:27 note.) How should this “religion” relate to others and how should it affect your own life?
PRAY: Ask God to help you face difficulties with joy and faith, so they become opportunities for growth. Ask Him to help you avoid, resist and overcome temptation. Pray that you will be a doer of God’s Word, not just a hearer.
ACT: Think of something specific God has shown you from His Word regarding what He wants you to do, to develop or to change. Don’t walk away and forget what He’s shown you. Take immediate action and put His Word into practice.