Real faith is more than words and, according to this epistle, is really measured in how we respond to various trials of life. In James chapter 5, James guides us with practical steps for our faith when we encounter severe mistreatment. James addresses how the rich were abusing the poor, but there are valuable lessons for all Christians to learn when our faith is tested.
One thing all of us have in common is we don't know what the future holds. James says, "You do not know what tomorrow will bring." In James 4:13-17, people of faith are reminded our plans must include God. Anything short of life without God's will is arrogance.
The third chapter of James is one of the most challenging passages in the Bible. Controlling the tongue is so difficult James declares, "No human being can tame the tongue." But at the end of the chapter, James gives us the tools that are from above to help with our struggle. With the help of God, a person of faith can control their tongue.
In James 1, we considered how faith responds to personal trials. James 2 teaches us how faith responds to the trials of others. In this test of faith, James forces us to come face to face with how we deal with partiality and poverty.
The book of James is a vivid expression of how real faith looks when practiced as a true servant of Jesus. In the first chapter, the common theme is how Christians should think when they are tested. Since our actions are preceded by thoughts, James tells us how to think about common trials so we can live out our faith as God would have us
Psalm 19 contains two distinct sermons; the sermon of the world and the sermon of the Word. Just as the world displays God's law and order his Word has very similar concepts. In this lesson, we highlight some of the great characteristics of God's Word. In these concepts, we are led to a relationship with God.
Psalm 19 is often divided into two parts. Verses 1-6 are often called "natural revelation" as they describe how the world teaches us about God. Verses 7-14 are called "special revelation" as they teach how the Word teaches us about God. It's common to just briefly consider the first part of the Psalm to quickly move to the second, but in this lesson, we want to hear "The Sermon of the World."
Psalm 51 is David's written confession after his sin with Bathsheba. More importantly, it also lays out a course for personal change. What if everything happening in our world today has called you to think about how the most important change needs to start with you? If so, Psalm 51 has some words of instruction and inspiration for you.
If anybody could write a psalm about the reality of death it was Moses. For 40 years he watched the nation of Israel die in the wilderness. Psalm 90 is believed to be written by Moses during the latter part of the 40 years of wilderness wandering. This psalm contains the stark reminder that most people will live no more than 70-80 years. Yet, the Bible always has an answer to bad news and this psalm does as well. This psalm is all about learning to live in the face of death.
One of the most frustrating parts of life for believers is seeing unbelievers prosper and win. If you've ever struggled with this, you're in good company with King David. Psalm 37 is thought to be the wisdom of David, who had learned from experience how to handle life when it seems like the world is winning. As an older man at the writing of this psalm (Ps. 37:25), David is well positioned through experience and the Holy Spirit to guide us in how to handle this experience.