Overview of James
It’s hard to be an adult. There are some days where we just say, “I’m not adulting today.” Most of the world’s problems are caused by people deciding they are not going to act like adults. So we say childish things, and we do childish things. It’s time to grow up!
At the Connection Church, one of our goals is to be the most spiritual mature church in the state of Texas.
WHAT SPIRITUAL MATURITY ISN’T:
AGE: Maturity isn’t how old you are.
APPEARANCE: Maturity isn’t what you look like.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Maturity isn’t what you have accomplished.
ACADEMICS: Maturity isn’t how much you know.
Spiritual Maturity IS measured by your ACTIONS and your ATTITUDES.
The book of James is all about what it means to live a spiritually mature life. There are 5 marks of maturity, one for each chapter in the book of James.
AN ADULT STAYS POSITIVE THROUGH PROBLEMS. (Chapter 1)
Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Every problem is a chance to make a choice. I can either go negative, or I can grow.
We only change when we see the light (we know enough that we want to change) or we feel the heat (we hurt enough that we have to change).
The Key Question: “How am I going to respond to the problems I face?”
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
AN ADULT LOVES PEOPLE. (Chapter 2)
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, `Love your neighbor as yourself’ you are doing right. James 2:8
The second test of maturity: Do I love people?
AN ADULT CONTROLS WHAT THEY PRONOUNCE AND POST. (Chapter 3)
Maturity is measured by how I manage my mouth.
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. James 3:2
Do not let any negative talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs… Ephesians 4:29
Don’t add to the negativity with noise pollution.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26
AN ADULT IS A PEACEMAKER NOT A PROBLEM-MAKER. (Chapter 4)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 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. James 4:1-2
There are 2 reasons for conflict:
When you ask you do not receive. But you ask with the wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3
Where there is strife, there is pride. Proverbs 13:10
Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it… There is only one lawgiver and judge, one who is able to save and destroy. But you, who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12
Why should I not judge people?
I’m not God.
Only God knows everything, including motives.
God judges fairly and justly.
5. AN ADULT IS PATIENT AND PRAYERFUL. (Chapter 5)
Be patient then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, how patient he is for the fall and spring rain. You too be patient. Stand firm because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. James 5:7
As you know, we consider blessed those who persevere. James 5:11
There’s a big difference between the answer, “No.” and “Grow.” Sometimes, God’s answer to prayer is, “Wait until you grow.”
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crop. James 5:16