Teaching » James: Faith in Action

Actions speak louder than words. This is the mantra of the letter of James, a letter of faith, patience, and wisdom. James was the half-brother of Jesus. He was the leader of the mother church of Jerusalem, out of which the worldwide church was born. The Bible Project says that James was a peacemaker who led with wisdom and courage. James wrote this short but powerful letter to Christians scattered throughout the world. It echoes the Sermon on The Mount and the Book of Proverbs, drenched in wise words, words to live by. A follower of Jesus walks with joy and patience (James 1:2-4), wisdom (James 1:5-8), perspective (James 1:9-11), perseverance (James 1:12-15) and an awareness of God's goodness (James 1:16-18). Ultimately, James is a book about integrity, a call to live a life of wholeness, where our words match our actions as an expression of true wisdom.


Faith Under Pressure

James 1:1-18

Luc Sadler

Do you crack under pressure? What prayers do you pray in hard times? 'Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy'. So starts the letter of James, a leader in the early church. There's nothing easy about being a follower of Jesus. But through trials and tests, prayer can transform our surroundings and mature our faith. "The question is, what is going to last?" says N.T. Wright "One day, God's Word will transform the whole creation, filling heaven and earth with His rich, wonderful light and life. Our lives, transformed by the gospel, learning to look at the world differently, standing firm against temptation, are just the start of that larger project."

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Listen Up, Listen In Pt.1

James 1:19-27

Anita Williams

Are you a good listener? Do you act on the instruction of others? In this passage, James urges us to listen humbly. He compels us not to act out of anger but to rid ourselves of evil. When we read God's Word, we need to do something about it, allowing it to shape and form our actions and decisions. Isaiah 55:11 says, 'So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'

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Listen Up, LIsten In Pt. 2

James 1: 19-27

Rebecca Tyers

Are you a good listener? Do you act on the instruction of others? In this passage, James urges us to listen humbly. He compels us not to act out of anger but to rid ourselves of evil. When we read God's Word, we need to do something about it, allowing it to shape and form our actions and decisions. Isaiah 55:11 says, 'So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'

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Mercy Over Judgement

James 2:1-13

Rich Cave

Do you favour some more than others? How do we welcome those different from us? James states things plainly; don't have favourites, and don't judge those who do. Treat everyone with love. James challenges us in how we discriminate against those that are rich or poor. N.T. Wright says, "Mercy isn't the same as… an 'anything goes' attitude to life… 'Anything' includes arrogance, corruption, blasphemy, favouritism, and lawbreaking of all kinds. If God were 'merciful' to that lot, he would be deeply unmerciful to the poor, the helpless, the innocent and the victims. And the whole gospel insists that in precisely those cases His mercy shines out most particularly."

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Faith In Action

James 2: 14-26

Renae Huggan-Broughton

How do you outwork your faith? 'Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything?' James is clear; we must practically outwork our faith through good works. But we cannot separate the two; faith and works are intricately linked. The challenge is to make sure our faith is the real thing. How often do we talk about things and never move into action?

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Taming The Tongue

James 3: 1-12

Sarah Ford

Do you say what you mean? 'You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue – it's never been done. The tongue runs wild.' The tongue is a mercurial muscle. It blesses and curses. It can create harmony or chaos, make or break reputations, heal the world or send it up in flames. James calls for consistency in how we use our words. Psalm 141:3 says, 'Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.'
 

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Two Kinds of Wisdom Pt.1

James 3:13-18

John Houghton

"This may well be a word for our day, when so many people across the world are fed up with the way their country is run, with the way their police force behaves, with the way the global economy functions... But the challenge then for God's people is to be able to tell the truth about the way the world is, and about the way wicked people are behaving, without turning into a perpetual grumble... There is still, after all, a vast amount of beauty, love, generosity, and sheer goodness in the world. Those who follow Jesus ought not only to be celebrating it but contributing to it." N.T. Wright

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Two Kinds of Wisdom Pt. 2

James 3:13-18

Tilly Robinson

How would you define wisdom? Do you want to be counted wise? "This may well be a word for our day, when so many people across the world are fed up with the way their country is run, with the way their police force behaves, with the way the global economy functions... But the challenge then for God's people is to be able to tell the truth about the way the world is, and about the way wicked people are behaving, without turning into a perpetual grumble... There is still, after all, a vast amount of beauty, love, generosity, and sheer goodness in the world. Those who follow Jesus ought not only to be celebrating it but contributing to it." N.T. Wright
 

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Cheating On God

James 4:1-12

Nathan Bright

The apostle Paul famously wrote in Romans 7:15, 'I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.' Do we understand our wants? Are our desires misaligned? Instead of flirting with the world, James gives us two instructions. 'Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God, and he'll be there in no time.'

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Treasures In Heaven

James 4:13-5:6

Rich Wilson

How do you use your power? How do you measure success? 'You don't know the first thing about tomorrow.' Today, perhaps more than at any other time in our lives, we know this to be true. Instead of chasing the changing winds of success or progress, we work to live by the will of the Lord. James warns the arrogant and well-off. The accumulation of wealth, luxury indulgences, unfair wages, and the oppression of the powerless; will lead to terrible times.
 

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Never Quit Pt1

James 5:7-12

Ness Wilson

We live in the now and not yet. A time when we must patiently wait for Jesus to return to make all things new. During this time, James invites us to 'stay steady and strong'. In the Book of Revelation, John of Patmos, a first-century pastor, has a vision. 'And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. 'He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,' and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4. 

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Never Quit Pt.2

James 5: 7-12

Ness Wilson

What are you hopeful for? How do you stay patient? We live in the now and not yet. A time when we must patiently wait for Jesus to return to make all things new. During this time, James invites us to 'stay steady and strong.' In the Book of Revelation, John of Patmos, a first-century pastor, has a vision. 'And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. 'He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,' and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4. 
 

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