Overview - James 1
After Jesus was born, His mother, Mary, had other children with her husband Joseph. These children were Jesus’ half brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3). Before the resurrection, none of Jesus’ siblings believed that He was the Messiah (John 7:5). After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His brother, James (1 Corinthians 15:7), who then
believed that Jesus was who He claimed to be - the Son of God, the Messiah. James eventually became a prominent leader in the newly formed Jerusalem Church (Acts 15). It is widely accepted that this James, Jesus’ brother, is the author of the book of James. In verse one of chapter one, James calls Jesus his Lord, thereby affirming Jesus as God.
The book of James is challenging, to say the least. It presents 60 imperatives in just 108 verses - more than any other book in the New Testament! The goal of this epistle is to see our salvation not as a finish line, but as the starting pistol of the race of faith we each must run. James will show us how our deeds are a result of a life of
wholehearted obedience to Christ precisely because we have faith in Him.
Read James 1
OBSERVE: Make an outline of the major points from the text. What stood out to you? Did you see any repetition? Lists? Commands? Promises? Are there questions that you have trouble answering?
SUMMARIZE: In a sentence or two summarize the main idea of the passage.
APPLY: Where are you in the story? How do these words challenge you? What is God asking you to do in obedience to His Word?
Read James 1:9-12
There are at least five crowns mentioned in Scripture specifically for the believer. Do a search in your Bible app or a Bible concordance for the word “crown” in the New Testament. To whom are these crowns promised and why?
The crown of life is mentioned in James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10. Read both verses and think about that particular crown. Don’t confuse this crown with eternal life itself. Eternal life is a free gift from God. It can’t be forfeited, or it isn’t eternal (see John 10:25-29).
Read Revelation 3:11. Can we lose our crowns? How does that affect how you will live out your faith today?
READ James 1:13-18
What if we realized that the most serious danger in our life is not the wrong things being done to us, but the wrong things that are being done by us? What if God allows trials in our lives to show us what is really in our heart? Ask the Lord to show you where you have fallen short this week. Confess your sins to Him, and then to anyone else you may have wronged.
Read James 1:19-21
Do you find yourself praying often for safety? When is the last time you prayed for purity? Do you see impurity as dangerous? True Biblical repentance is to cry out to the Lord, “I don’t want to be this way anymore!” Are there things in your life that you need to stop doing? Ask the Lord to help you overcome those things.
READ James 1:22-26
How do you become a “doer of the Word”? Look intently in the Word; dig in, beyond simple devotional reading. Do it continually, regularly, and habitually - not just occasionally. Memorize scripture, and apply it to your life.