For those who have had to listen to my preaching, they can tell you that I tend to preach survey messages of a book of the Bible within 30 minutes and also cover two main points within the same amount of time. Over 10 years ago, I was asked to teach the Pastor’s Sunday School Class. As I prayed in preparation, God gave me this material to cover the book of James within the allotted amount of time. So, here are the lessons from the book of James:
- Persevere through trials (ch. 1). In order to do this we must understand the purpose of our trials (Vv. 2-4) – maturity, the prayer during trials (vv. 5-8) – asking God for wisdom rather than a way out, the blessing of perseverance (v. 12), the origin of trials (vv. 13-18) – God allows trials while the devil brings temptation, and additional suggestions for behavior (vv. 19ff.).
- Prefer others above self (ch. 2). This one seems to be a lost art. Verses 1-13 teach us to give others the place of honor while verses 14-26 teach us to demonstrate our faith by our works.
- Prevent tongue damage (ch. 3). Verses 1-12 teach the pros and cons of the tongue while verses 13-18 teach the two types of wisdom. It takes godly wisdom to prevent damage that can be caused by your words.
- Purpose for peace (ch. 4). Peace does not come without purity of thoughts and actions (vv. 1-10), therefore there is no need for procrastination (vv. 11-18).
- Pray patiently (ch. 5). We must be patient until Christ’s Return (vv. 1-12) and pray until Christ’s Return (vv. 13-20).
If you are a preacher or teacher, go ahead and borrow any of this that may be helpful. It’s God’s Word not mine. This is just one way of presenting the timeless truth found within the book of James. As I wrap this up, I encourage you to be doers of the Word and not hearers only as it says in chapter 1. The only way to know how to obey it is to study it. If you resolve to do anything in 2018, resolve to devour the Bible. You have nothing to lose.