James: Faith Works
James, the half brother of Christ, speaking to the Christians who had been dispersed because of persecution, offers hope in the form of the theme; Faith Works.  Our faith must work.  A faith that simply says it believes in something but doesn’t act upon such belief practically is a false faith.  The only faith that saves is a faith that works.  In this series we explore 15 different ways that faith works in the lives of believers.  

Jul 4, 2021
James Part 15: Prayer / Power
Series: James
We will never have more power than when we pray!  
  • Jul 4, 2021James Part 15: Prayer / Power
    Jul 4, 2021
    James Part 15: Prayer / Power
    Series: James
    We will never have more power than when we pray!  
  • Jun 27, 2021James Part 14: Yes / No
    Jun 27, 2021
    James Part 14: Yes / No
    Series: James
    As Christians, we should be the most honest people in the world.  As people of faith in the one true God, we should never rely on oaths and striking bargains... his will is enough.  Don't destroy your testimony or relationship with God by refusing to simply let your yes be yes and your no be no. 
  • Jun 20, 2021James Part 13: Patience / Complaining
    Jun 20, 2021
    James Part 13: Patience / Complaining
    Series: James
    Patience is hard for each of us.  It's the one thing none of us wants to pray for more of, yet we need it more than we can ever imagine.  The days are hard and long and as we wait we need to learn how to wait.  The thing that gives us the most strength in patience is knowing that Christ is returning soon.  
  • Jun 13, 2021James Part 12: Greed / Indulgence
    Jun 13, 2021
    James Part 12: Greed / Indulgence
    Series: James
    It is not a sin to have wealth, it is a sin to love wealth.  As a believer we cannot serve both money and God, we can't love the world and Christ.  Therefore we need to know how to combat greed and indulgence in order to put our faith into action.  Like a calf fattened for slaughter, when we indulge in our riches we butcher our soul. 
  • Jun 6, 2021James Part 11: Concede / Control
    Jun 6, 2021
    James Part 11: Concede / Control
    Series: James
    You life will never be what it was meant to be... what it could be... until you concede control of your life over to the one who is actually in control.  Until you concede your life over to God in Christ Jesus, life will consistently disappoint you and will be a waste.   Stop ignoring God's will for your life.  Stop boasting as if what you have and what you've done is your doing.  Instead, recognize that God is in control and that you don't need to be.  Life is so much more worth living when we let go and let God. 
  • May 30, 2021James Part 10: Condemn / Restore
    May 30, 2021
    James Part 10: Condemn / Restore
    Series: James
    In a few places in the Bible we are called to refrain from judging our brothers and sisters in Christ.  In others we are called to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ.   Is this a paradox?  Is this a contradiction in the Word of God?  It depends on the definition of judge.  In some cases it means to condemn; in others it means to discern one's sin as to restore them in Christ.  The former is a sin, the later is kingdom building and God glorifying!  We must restore our brothers and sisters in Christ and we must never make a final ruling over one's character.  That is God's responsibility.. not ours.  Our's is to restore. 
  • May 23, 2021James Part 9: War / Peace
    May 23, 2021
    James Part 9: War / Peace
    Series: James

    How long do you want to go on losing at life? How long do you want to war with God? How much do you desire peace in your soul? Today you can find peace in your soul. Today you can stop fighting every single day to find satisfaction and contentment. You can stop looking in the bars, the parties, the sinful relationships, money, popularity, prestige, or power. And you can find just what you are looking for in Christ. When we make war upon our flesh and our sinful passions by submitting to God in repentance and humility the Spirit within us will be victorious. And we will be fully satisfied in God... we will find peace with God.

  • May 16, 2021James Part 8: Arrogance / Meekness
    May 16, 2021
    James Part 8: Arrogance / Meekness
    Series: James
    How freeing would it be to escape the rat race of self-promotion?  
    According to scripture there are two dominant attitudes within culture; arrogance or meekness.  Which one you adopt is determined by which stream of wisdom you drink from.  Once again, there are two streams from which to drink.  Worldly wisdom which is man-centric, or Godly wisdom which is God-centric.  Shaping a worldview around yourself can only produce an arrogant attitude.  It seeks to promote one person above all else... you.  It seeks to benefit one person above all else... you.   In the end, all that's left... is you.  But, shaping a worldview around God will inevitably lead to an attitude of meekness.  One which does not seek to promote one's self, rather it seeks the wellbeing of others and the glory of God.  When you stop drinking from the world's wisdom, stop seeing yourself and your happiness as the chief goal of life you will be free from a constant toiling for your own glorification, knowing that if God wants you promoted, he will see to it in his way and in his timing.  In the meantime, place your focus on Him.  Stop listening to the world, adopt a God-centric worldview, and live in meekness before God and man.  
  • May 9, 2021James Part 7: Bless / Curse
    May 9, 2021
    James Part 7: Bless / Curse
    Series: James

    Shouldn't we know how to use our words in ways that bless people, encourage people, and show people the love of Christ, rather than tearing people down, and discouraging them.  James is being very clear here this morning... if we can't talk in a way that encourages others and blesses our God... then we don't necessarily have a talking issue... we have a faith issue.  

    Mother Teresa says this, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”  Nathaniel Hawthorne said this, “Words, so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”  Today our main point is this... the things you say tell us who you really are.  The tongue will let us now if you are a person who blesses others... or a person who curses others.  Let's look at the passage today and see six different illustrations and three different ways we can see how the tongue tells us who you really are. 

  • May 2, 2021James Part 6: Faith / Works
    May 2, 2021
    James Part 6: Faith / Works
    Series: James
    If i were to ask a first responder, how do you determine if someone is alive if they are unresponsive, I'm sure they would tell me to check their pulse, their breathing, or perhaps to shine a light in their eyes.  If this is how we determine whether a body is alive... if the heart, lungs, eyes are working... why then is it not okay to determine whether a faith is alive by whether their trust, obedience, and love are working?  James tells us in chapter 2 verse 26: "for as the body apart from the spirit is dead... so faith apart from works is dead.  
  • Apr 25, 2021James Part 5: Judgment / Mercy
    Apr 25, 2021
    James Part 5: Judgment / Mercy
    Series: James

    James wants to help us practice God's Word, so he gives us a simple test.  He sent two visitors to a church service, one who is obviously doing well for himself, and one who is not doing so well, and he watched to see how they were treated.  If we don't get anything else this morning we must get this... The way we treat people is a reflection of what we really believe about God.  We mustn't separate human relationship and divine fellowship.  1 John 4:20 makes it clear... if we say we love God but hate our brother we are liars.  If we truly believe that Jesus is God, that God's Grace is good, that the Word of God is true, and that the judgement of God is coming then that will be made clear through the way we accept, care for, and love people of all walks of life.  James makes it clear we cannot claim to be Christians and play favorites, show partiality, or discriminate.

  • Apr 18, 2021James Part 4: Hearers / Doers
    Apr 18, 2021
    James Part 4: Hearers / Doers
    Series: James
    If we refuse to hear we can't be changed, if we refuse to do we aren't changed, if we refuse to go they won't be changed.   We must hear the Word of God and allow it to change us to the point where we intuitvely do what it tells us to do.  In this way we recognize that our faith is real.  Are you a hearer and not a doer?  Are you a doer and not a hearer?  Are you a hearer and a doer, but not a goer?    
  • Mar 28, 2021James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
    Mar 28, 2021
    James Part 3: Temptation / Truth
    Series: James

    For those of you who have struggled with sin only to shrug it off as someone else's fault... sin just got a lot more serious didn't it. If you can't pin it on someone else, if you can't blame it on God or Satan... well now you have to deal with it... and dealing with sin is not easy. Sin is deception... so how exactly do we move from temptation into truth? How do we overcome the temptation to sin in our lives? Well, it's hard to bait a full fish. In other words... When we feast on the blessings of God we lose our appetite for the base temptations of the flesh. Feast on the goodness of God and you will no longer be attracted to sinful things. No matter what... you can't escape temptations... but you can beat them. How? By knowing the true nature of sin. Deception leads to desire which leads to disobedience... which culminates in DEATH. The better you know what sin is and how it manifests itself in our lives, the easier it is to defeat. And by knowing the truth of God's goodness... which is ultimately salvation in Christ. If we trust in Christ to take away our sin and the lure of sin forever... if we feast on his goodness... we won't have any room for sinfulness. 

  • Mar 21, 2021James Part 2: Trials / Triumph
    Mar 21, 2021
    James Part 2: Trials / Triumph
    Series: James

    Faith is messy. It's not a “if we go through trials.” It's a “when we go through trials.” Like, if you aren't in one right now... you will be in one soon. We will all experience trials and storms and suffering. It's not a maybe... its a guarantee. But in the midst of our trials we have a promise that they aren't all bad... in fact they are good. I don't know about you... but thats messy.

     What about divorce? Well, I love that James just lumps every trial into the word “various.” Divorce would fit in various. What about a kid who is just off the rails? Various. What about loosing a loved one? Yep. What about financial trouble? Various. All of them. If you fear it and if it tries your faith... its a trial.

    And so every trial that we fear to go through is a test of our faith meant to lead us to a triumphant finish. Our trials have a purpose and a plan... and so we don't need to be afraid of them. In fact we are called to embrace them. We are called to consider them all Joy!

  • Mar 14, 2021James Part 1: Big / Small
    Mar 14, 2021
    James Part 1: Big / Small
    Series: James

    James a servant of God has been impressed upon by the Holy Spirit to share with the church a letter which really speaks to a myriad of issues and themes but at the center of it is this... God is big and we are small and yet God cares about the big and the small. I want you to think about this... the God of the universe who governs all there is; how hot the stars burn, how far the planets travel in orbit, the speed of light, the depth of the oceans, the amount of food needed to feed China today, and the amount of rain needed to grow that food, the same God that governs all of that Big stuff... is the same God who cares about you. To quote Bill Paxton's character in one of my favorite movies, Tombstone; he says, “look at all the stars. You look up and you think, God made all of this and He remembered to make a little speck like me. It's kind of flattering, really.” It's more than a little flattering... it's downright scandalous. The Big God of Big things... who runs all that Big stuff... so Big we can't even comprehend... cares for us specks. It doesn't make a lick of sense. For example Luke 12:7 tells us that even the hairs of our heads are numbered.  Psalm 139:16 tells us that God knew us before we were formed and wrote down every one of our days. He put together your personality, your humor, your IQ, EQ, ADHD, and IBS. He knit you together and made you alive, a unique, a specific awesome individual! He cares about the Big stuff and the Small stuff! The universe and your hair!

    But why? Why does God care about your hair? Why does he care about you intimately and specifically? So he can lead you to walk in the fullness of Joy while at the same time bringing him the most glory possible.  He wants to see your faith work.  This is the story of James.