Walk This Way “Submit Yourself to God” (James 4:1-10) Billy Russell, November 11, 2018

November 14, 2018

Walk This Way

“Submit Yourself to God”

(James 4:1-10)

 “Submit yourselves, then, to God... Come near to God and he will come near to you... Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:7, 8, 10)

 James teaches that faith is belief in action. Living by faith, following Jesus’ Way, impacts our words, attitudes, wisdom, and actions. This lifestyle transformation comes from a yielded surrender to God. He empowers our faith to live for Him. Are you willing to wisely submit yourself to God?

  •  Wisdom to understand the nature of our problem (vv.1-4)-

    • Vivid depiction: we want our way, and do whatever we can to get it!
    • Friendship with the world breaks relationship with God.
    • Declarative choice: one way or the other: your way or God’s Way?!
  • Wisdom to see God’s approach (vv.5-6; Prov. 3:34)-
    • God opposes the proud-
    • God gives grace to the humble-
  • Wisdom to submit to God for help (vv.7-10)- accept the invitation! A series of command/promises to embrace...:
    • “Submit yourselves, then, to God...”
    • “Come near to God and He will come near to you...”
    • “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

    

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Walk This Way: Live Humbly and Wise (James 3:13-18) Billy Russell 11/4/18

November 7, 2018

Walk This Way

“Live Humbly and Wise”

(James 3:13-18)

 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13, NIV)

 

James teaches us faith is belief in action. Living by faith is seen when we apply wisdom to daily life situations. What is wisdom? How can we live humbly and wise in the face of trials and temptations?

  •  Wisdom is... Applying spiritual truth to everyday life (practical).

    • Applying what we know and have learned from living by faith to everyday life situations. It begins with a deep respect (awe, fear) of God and our relationship with Him (Prov.1:7).
  • Wisdom is also: observable, beneficial, and available (v.13; 1:5).
    • Wisdom is both attitude (humility) and action.
  • Wisdom in action does not look like... “bitter envy and selfish ambition”
    • Resentful jealousy (comparisons); promoting selfish desires.
    • There is an “earthly” wisdom that is “unspiritual, demonic” (vv.14-15).
    • Jesus calls this “the broad way” (Mt.7:13-14)- crowded path, looks right, but leads to destruction.
    • Refuse to boast or follow this path- leads to “disorder and every evil practice.” Don’t be deceived!
  • Wisdom in action looks like... a mosaic of 8 godly characteristics:
    • pure- undefiled, untainted by selfishness; first = priority of the list
    • then peace-loving, considerate, submissive: peaceable, gentle (kind) motivation- right way to do right (4:17); willing to yield (reasonable)
    • full of mercy and good fruit: compassion; reap right living before God
    • impartial and sincere: not playing favorites (2:1-13); genuine
    • Jesus is the wisdom of God (1 Cor.1:24); He is these traits in action
    • Jesus calls this “the narrow way”- the road less-traveled, leads to life
    • Jesus and James call this the peacemakers life (v.18; Mt.5:9)-
  • How will you live humbly and show wisdom in action this week?
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Walk This Way: Use Your Words Well (James 3:1-12) Billy Russell 10/28/18

November 7, 2018

Walk This Way

“Use Your Words Well”

(James 3:1-12)

 James teaches us faith is belief in action. No where is that truth more urgently necessary than in our speech. How well we use our words will greatly impact our relationships with one another. We can learn to guard our hearts with godly wisdom from James, so we can grow healthy relationships by using our words well.

 Help for Using Words Well

 

  • Heed a needed warning (3:1)- Teachers beware!
  • Acknowledge a universal problem (3:2)-“We all stumble in many ways...”
  • Count the Cost (3:3-6)- of word damage: “Consider what a great forest is     set on fire by a small spark.” (v.5)
  • Guard your heart (3:7-13)- it’s the source of the problem. The condition of your heart impacts managing strong emotions and use of words.
    • Be real: Own it- take responsibility (vv. 8, 10): “I did it. I said that. My words caused this problem, this upset, this broken relationship”
    • Be wise: Seek forgiveness, make amends, show you get it, get help...
    • Be alert: Vow: Do no harm: “keep a tight rein on your tongue” (1:26)
      • Do good: say “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph.4:29)
    • Be preventative: Read Proverbs daily (Peterson’s, The Message)
      • Start by listening: early, often, and better (1:19)
      • Say it to the Father first. Get his permission.
      • See it in a BHFP Headline/ESPN banner for all to see!
      • Share it with a fellow struggler along The Way.
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Walk This Way: Live By Faith (James 2:14-26) Billy Russell 10/21/18

November 7, 2018

Walk This Way

“Live by Faith”

(James 2:14-26)

“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds” (James 2:18).

 

James challenges us to live by faith. He teaches us that faith is active. Faith looks for ways to express we trust God with our lives. Is what you believe about Jesus visible in how you live?

  •  Faith is...

    • ... the only way to please God (Heb.12:6)!

      • Faith is living like God can be trusted.”
    • ... our confidence in and allegiance to Jesus (expressed in how we live).
    • ... belief in action! (James 2:14)
  • Faith Illustrated... How is your faith in Jesus being made visible?
    • A brief vignette- someone needs food/clothes (2:15)...
    • Choice: does faith act or not (2:16)?
    • Truth: Faith without action is useless (2:17).
  • Faith Works... Evidence that faith works- three case studies (2:18-25):
    • Truth: Faith works- it is seen in action, not inaction (2:18).
    • Case Study #1: demons believe in God & shudder! (2:19)!
      • Belief response: faith acts in obedient trust to God.
    •      Case Studies #2 & #3 (2:20-25)
      • Abraham (Gen.15:6; 22:15-18): by faith he obeyed and trusted the LORD to provide.
      • Rahab (Joshua 2): she trusted the LORD & was spared.
  • Faith Lives... faith shows itself by how it lives.
    • “Faith without deeds is dead” (2:26).
    • Will you live by faith? How will your faith be visibly expressed?
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Walk This Way: How You Treat People Matters (James 2:1-13) Billy Russell 10/14/18

November 7, 2018

Walk This Way

“How You Treat People Matters”

(James 2:1-13)

         “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism” (James 2:1).

 

In a world full of trials and temptations, James teaches believers that how we treat each other matters. Our faith in Jesus leads us to treat others like He treated us: with great love and mercy! How well are you treating other people? Is what you believe about Jesus visible in how you serve others?

 

  • Get the point up front: how you treat people matters (2:1-4)!

    • Notice, James frames the issue of favoritism in relationship to who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
    • James commands believers to cross social/cultural lines.
    • James offers a vivid illustration and explanation of his point.
  • Be rich in faith, not favoritism (2:5-7)...
    • Check how you treat poor people. Refuse to dishonor/exploit the poor.
    • Rich people may trust their resources (wealth, power, access).
    • Does God play favorites between the poor and rich?
    • “Chosen...poor in world’s eyes...to be rich in faith...inherit the kingdom”
    • Which way is it better to be rich: in faith or otherwise?
  • Learn to love well (2:8-11; Lev.19:18/Mt.22:39)...
    • Do right! Love your neighbor as yourself (echos Jesus & Moses).
    • We are all rebellious lawbreakers changed by God’s love and grace.
    • Learning to love people beyond your group is spiritual growth- it is
    • God’s work in our lives! Learning to love well is gospel work.
  • Mercy triumphs (2:12-13)!
    • Believers answer for how we treat people.
    • Show no mercy, get no mercy.
    • Remember what Jesus taught: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Mt.5:7).
    • Critical decision: Ask God for mercy and He gives it. So, give people the mercy you received freely & undeservedly!
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Walk This Way: Desire a Life of Integrity (James 1:19-26) Billy Russell 10/7/18

November 7, 2018

Walk This Way

“Desire a Life of Integrity”

(James 1:19-26)

 James teaches us how to live by faith in Jesus through the trials and temptations of life. He challenges us to desire a life of integrity. Our new life in Christ is best seen when we: listen well, manage strong emotions, obey the Word, and serve others in need.

  •  Respectful listening (1:19a)-

    • Builds relationships.
    • Seeks to understand.
    • Creates space and pace.
  •   Dealing well with strong emotions (1:19b-21a)-
    • Choosing to have a sloooow fuse...
    • Choosing to discard (“rid”) unhelpful behaviors/attitudes.
  • Putting the Word into practice (1:21b-25)-
    • Humbly accept the Word (listen w/ a bias to obey)...
    • The Word rescues/saves us.
    • The Word frees us.
    • The Word guides us.
  • Serving others in need (1:26-27)-
    • Closely guard your words (they reflect your heart).
    • Changed lives help others.
    • We serve the most vulnerable.
    • This way of life best reflects Jesus’ Way.
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