Grace Community Church
A Straight Talker: James (James 1:21-25)
Big Idea: Greatness comes not only from being focused on the big stuff, but being faithful in the small stuff.
Locations & Times
Expand
  • Grace Community Church
    9755 N La Cholla Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85742, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:45 AM

Article - The Jewish Diaspora

Take a look at this article from PBS: Frontline to learn more about how the Jewish communities, spread thoughout the Empire, became vehicles to spread the 'good news' of Jesus Christ.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/portrait/diaspora.html
James 1:21-25 (NIV)

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
James 2:14-19 (NIV)

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
Luke 6:46, 49 (NIV)

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
How to be faithful in the small stuff:

1. Watching Our Words

James 1:19-26 (NIV)

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

James 3:3-12 (NIV)

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 4:11-17 (NIV)

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

James 5:12 (NIV)

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
How to be faithful in the small stuff:

1. Watching Our Words
2. Subduing Selfish Ambition

James 3:13-4:10 (NIV)

Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Submit Yourselves to God
4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Article - Billy Graham's Grandson

This article from Jonathan Merritt, at the Religious News Service, gives insight into Billy Graham’s grandson on his near suicide and whether he’s planning a comeback.

http://religionnews.com/2016/09/29/billy-grahams-grandson-talks-about-near-suicide-and-whether-hes-planning-a-comeback/
Luke 16:10 (NLT)

10 "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities."

My Next Step

Is there an area of my life where I have minimized the impact of my words or selfish ambition? What is God asking of me, to help ensure that I don't go there again so easily? Click here to take one step closer to Christ today.

https://form.jotform.com/61595517299167
For My Personal Time With God This Week:

[#1] Review some of the practical advice in the book of James, looking at it as if he had written it with you in mind. Which of his words are most convicting? Why?
[#2] Mother Teresa once said, “Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.” What do you think she meant by that? How might you see that in the life of Samson (Judges 13-16)? How could it become a source of strength in your life?
[#3] Read your sixth week’s readings as part of the Community Bible Experience. As you read, find yourself in the story — how your life and experiences match what you are reading.
[#4] As you do your readings, consider these 5 questions (which will be the 5 questions everyone shares in their book clubs next week):
1. What’s something you noticed for the first time?
2. What questions did you have?
3. Was there anything that bothered you?
4. What did you learn about loving God?
5. What did you learn about loving others?

How can we pray for you?

Our Grace prayer team is ready to join with you in prayer for whatever concerns you have. We take your requests seriously and would be honored to stand with you as you bring your concerns before our heavenly Father. Click here to submit a prayer request. All submissions are kept confidential unless you request otherwise.

http://www.gracetucson.org/needprayer

Online Giving

Help us make a kingdom difference by giving through our secure, online giving portal.  IF YOU HAVE a login in Realm already, please use your login email address so that your gift will be attached to your other giving records.

https://onrealm.org/gracetucson/Give/MZGXNRCFCP

How was your experience today?

What helped you connect to God, and what could our teams have done even better? If you have any questions, please leave them here along with a way to contact you. We will be glad to do so this week .

https://form.jotform.com/60788528795173