REAL Faith Series
You go to church, you say some prayers, you generally believe in God, but is it real? Do you take it with you from Sunday at church to Monday in the boardroom? Real faith is not just about believing something; it’s about doing something with what you believe. We need that type of faith. We need a faith that actually makes a difference. We need REAL faith. Join us as we take a deep dive into the book of James and discover a REAL faith.
4/15 “Real Perseverance”
Passage: James 1:1-12
Description: How do we keep pressing on when we are up against a huge test? Why is it that God even allows tough stuff to come into our lives? James gives us an answer. It’s to grow our faith, to make us stronger, and to receive true life.
4/22 “Real Control” (or “Real Restraint”)
Passage: James 1:13-18 (or 21)
Description: Why is it that we always seem to give into temptation? Why is it that when we want to have control and restraint, we never seem able to? James shows us the road we go down when we give into temptation and, thankfully, gives us a way out.
4/29 “Real Religion”
Passage: James 1:18 (or 22)-27
Description: Are you religious? We often think of the marks of a religious person as somebody who attends church or says spiritual things. In James 1, James radically redefines what it means to be religious: it’s about doing more than saying, it’s about caring for the forgotten, it’s about putting your faith in action.
5/6 “Real Acceptance”
Passage: James 2:1-13
Description: We all have some sort of prejudice. We may not admit it, but it’s there in each of us. It could be against a certain person, a certain class of people, a certain race of people…In some way or another we feel like we are better than certain people. James completely reverses that notion, and shows us how to be accepting of everyone.
5/13 “Real Action”
Passage: James 2:14-26
Description: What is faith all about? Is it just about believing in Jesus or is it more than that? James makes it very clear that “faith without deeds is dead”. We must take this advice and spring into actin.
5/20 “Real Words”
Passage: James 3:1-12
Description: Words matter. They can build up or destroy. They can offer life or cause death. They are the one of the most powerful things we have as humans. The problem is that we can spend much of time saying the right things to God and about God but then turn around and blast people with our words. James says this shouldn’t be the case! We must allow God control of our words.
5/27 “Real Wisdom”
Passage: James 3:13-18
Description: We all want wisdom. We want to be wise in our actions. We want to be wise in how we handle our time. We want to be wise in the choices we make. But what does real, Godly wisdom look like? One of the problems that many of us have in seeking out wisdom is that we assume it is this strange concept out there that is hard to put our hands around. James changes that notion for us though. He says it’s about how we live and how we relate with people. That’s real wisdom.
6/3 “Real Humility”
Passage: James 4:1-10
Description: James says clearly, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” We nod our heads to this, but it is so hard to live out. James says that we always fall into the wrong motives where it becomes all about us and it destroys our relationships and our lives. We have to give God his rightful place to turn it around.
6/10 “Real Perspective”
Passage: James 4:11-5:6
Description: James loves to mess with our worldview. In this section he says that one of the main reasons we are so frustrated in life is because we are looking at things in all the wrong way. So he lays out a new way of thinking and living: “What we think we should say…Don’t”. “What we think we don’t need to do…DO”. “What we think will bring us happiness…Won’t.”
6/17 “Real Patience”
Passage: James 5:7-12
Description: Not many of us would describe ourselves as patient people. We live in an instant society after all. We always need the answers to our questions yesterday! Yet the way of faith calls us to be patient-to wait for God. We must live with an eternal perspective.
6/24 “Real Prayer”
Passage: James 5:13-18
Description: Does prayer actually work or is it something that religious people do to make themselves feel good? James says it works, it REALLY works. It’s not something just for the super spiritual, it is for ordinary people trying to make it in life. James shows us how much of our lives depend on prayer: When we are happy, when life stinks, when we are sick, when we have gone off track and sinned. Prayer changes everything.
7/1 “Real Responsibility”
Passage: James 5:19-20
Description: James ends his letter in a very fascinating way. He doesn’t say something sweet or “spiritual” or close in prayer. Instead he gives us a charge to go after people in our lives who are making poor decisions and help them come back to God. That is our responsibility. We cannot give up on them because God has not given up on them. In so doing, James says we will “save them from death.” That is a huge responsibility.