Monday, December 26, 2011

Studying the Book of James

by Annmarie Worthington

Currently in my scripture time I am studying the books of James and Numbers. I’m further along in my study of James. I thought I’d pass along some ideas I’ve had in my study. I’ve read through the book a few times now and it has a pattern to it.  First, James will introduce a topic by giving a command or instruction of sorts. Then he’ll give more information on the topic by either further explanation or an illustration. I think this is a good way to approach the book of James, looking at it as great information on certain topics.

Here is the first one to give you an idea of what I mean. Then you can do the others on your own, whenever you are studying this great book.

Trials*: James 1:1-12

* I say trials instead of temptations in this section because the actual translation is various afflictions. Later on in the chapter he is talking about actual temptations. I ‘ll use that word there.

  • Count it all joy (vs. 2)

-the trying of our faith produces patience (literally: endurance/ steadfastness)

  • Let patience have her perfect work (vs. 4)

-that we may be perfect, lacking nothing.

  • Ask God for wisdom (vs. 5)

-because He gives to all men liberally and upbraideth not.

  • Ask in faith, nothing waivering (vs. 6)

-doubters are live waves tossed by the wind.

-doubters don’t receive anything from the Lord.

-doubters are doubleminded and unstable.

  • Let the brother of low degree rejoice (vs. 9)

-because he is exalted (see Matthew 23:12)

-the rich is made low because as the flower and grass wither, so shall their ways.

Some of my thoughts on trials:

*It appears that when we know that God is allowing the trial in order to perfect us, getting us to where we lack nothing, then the trial is a blessing and really is a cause for rejoicing.  I think I will list out some recent trials and how I was able to grow and learn as a result.

*I like the fact that God gives wisdom liberally and does not get on to His children for asking for it.  It gives me confidence in prayer.

*The picture of doubters is one that troubles me. I think it will give me more confidence in faith. I can see how it can be tempting to be driven by the waves of current circumstances to allow us to doubt. But, I would rather be more stable, riding above the waves like a world class surfer, who never wipes out.

Well, this gives you a glimpse of my scripture journal. I’m sure your thoughts on each topic will be different from mine, because everyone’s circumstances are so different.

Whenever your scripture study brings you to the book of James, you can list out the rest of the topics and share with me what you’ve learned.


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