Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
The entire month of September we have been going back to school with James. This Sunday we conclude the series with James Chapter 5.
Last week we heard James lament about people being double-minded and how to overcome that sin. Submitting to God, resisting the devil, coming near to God and confessing your sins were the lessons he taught us. This week James brings his letter to conclusion by calling for us to be people of faith through patience in suffering and the need to stay connected to God through prayer.
I hope you can come join us this Sunday as we learn the keys to having strong faith.
See you Sunday!
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
James 5 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. 7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm because the Lord’s coming is near. 9Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 12Above all, my brothers, do not swear– not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (NIV 1984)
Small Group Questions
v1-6. What are the different sins being committed by the rich in these verses? Do you see any of these sins being committed today? How does God want you to deal with money?
1 Timothy 6:9-119 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
v7-11What are some of the things that cause you to lose patience? What has really tested your patience to the breaking point?
What can you do to make sure your circumstances (whether they include toxic family members, disgruntled work situations, spiritual warfare, or a debilitating illness) do not derail your faith or take you off God’s path?
How would your life improve with more development in showing patience?
V9- what is the difference between grumbling (complaining) and seeking wise counsel?
Proverbs 12:15 15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
V13-18 James’ instructions about prayer come right after a passage about how we must be patient in times of suffering. Do you see any connection between the two? Why discuss prayer and patience at the same time?
How can God use our suffering to point others to him?
v15 says, ” prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well”. Do people who don’t get well not have enough faith?
James 4: 13,14 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
What do you need to do to cultivate greater depth in Christ? How can spending more time in the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, learning, sharing, devotions, fasting, and fellowship help you? When and how will you do this? Who can help you?