What most resonated with you from James 1:16-25 or this message, and why?
What’s most challenging about listening more than speaking?
What does it mean to be a “doer” of God’s word rather than merely a “hearer”?
What’s one next step you will take this week to put into practice something you learned?
SCRIPTURE IN FOCUS
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
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 mirror24 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.27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.
3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do.4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
1 Corinthians 15:7-8
7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9 James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.
13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
1 John 5
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.7 For there are three that testify:8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony,19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
15 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”