Steadfast Study - Week 1 (Audio Only)
Steadfast – Week 1
Steadfast Foundation (pages 7-33)
Lauren: There is so much good stuff in this. I am excited to dive into this first chapter of James. One of the reasons we chose James is because it is a practical book that calls us to Arise. Walk in obedience and steadfastness. This book almost didn’t make it into the canon because it doesn’t mention the cross and only speaks Jesus’ name 2 times. I think you will hear the gospel described in what he says despite this.
Expect to be challenged because James wants to challenge your thinking. He has been influenced by two things – the book of Proverbs and the teaching of Jesus Christ. There are 15 allusions to the sermon on the mount. The bible project summed it by saying he is calling us to be truly wise – Love God and Love your neighbor.
James introduces himself but he was often called camel- knees because he was known for prayer. He called himself a bond-servant – no longer a slave but someone who chooses to serve his master. Lord Jesus Christ – it matters what Jesus is called. Lord – deity of God. Jesus – his human name. Christ – he is the Messiah. His message on the cross.
The 12 tribes dispersed. James was half brother of Jesus. He came humbly. He could have boasted but He didn’t. James becomes a pastor in Jerusalem. This book was written in 40 – 50 AD. Jesus died only a few short years before. All the christians he is writing are “new” christians. What do you think the people he was writing needed to hear for encouragement? These people were being persecuted. Various trials – they already had trials but more would be coming.
We can’t use joy and happiness interchangeably. They have such different meanings. Happiness is a feeling but joy is rooted in Christ. This joy comes from the cornerstone of Christ. Have this foundation in Jesus so that you can see it as joy so that you can become steadfast. This is a commitment of standing firm in the Lord. Perfect is a forward thinking word – we will become perfect.
But if you lack wisdom – ask God. When we can’t walk through trials well – we need to ask for wisdom. Ask in faith. Who are we asking? What do we know about God?
Different trials – have God’s perspective and His wisdom as He walks us through these things. You will be blessed if you remain steadfast. You will receive the crown of life for his approval for continuing on and being steadfast. It is worth being steadfast in a trial to have the approval and crown for eternity.
It is not God tempting – we are tempted because of our own hearts. Like the ten commandment sermons. We need to know right and wrong for our own heart.
The God you serve is the giver of good gifts. THese good things are ultimately so I look more like Jesus.
This is where we see the gospel;. Our hearts are evil. We can be approved by him and get the crown of life . Jesus is the only one that can do redeeming work.
SG: How did James think about his relationship with his brother?
1. Be prepared to be challenged.
Lisa: At the beginning of the chapter – Have the right perspective but leave it there. What God wants to work through me isn’t joy but rather he wants me to encounter the trial with joy. His bigger goal is sanctification and looking like Christ.
Lauren: Having the right perspective – In the midst of trial I vary between “i am okay” and “why are you doing this to me?” My perspective needs to be that this trial isn’t bad but it’s being used.
2. Continue your list of what you know about God – Faithful, unchanging – these Truths give us the faith to remain steadfast in trusting Him in the good and the bad. Consider now, what are the promises you are seeing in this book?
Lisa: A promise I am seeing is that He gives generously when I ask for wisdom. I don’t need to go find it but ask the Lord for it.
Lauren: He is being active in what you need. He is offering a solution for our wrong thinking. Coming to him for wisdom in a trial reminds us that He is with us.
3. God is the giver of good gifts.
Praise God for the good gifts He’s given you!
Ask for wisdom on this so your perspective is right on this.
What does “steadfast foundation” mean?…..
Having joy in trials, our foundation has to be Jesus Christ. In order to grow in steadfastness we first have to be founded in Christ and have Him as our cornerstone.