Sermon Notes- Pastor Rafael- James Series: Week 1,  02.02.20 

James 1:1-8 NLT 

The book of James is very much in your face! 

It is widely believed that James (Jesus’ half-brother) wrote this letter. 

  • The fact that “James” need not further specify which James he is in (1:1), suggests that he is the most prominent and well-known James of the early church. He is James the half-brother of the Lord Jesus (Acts 12:17; 15:13–21; 21:17–26; 1 Cor 15:7; Gal 2:9, 12).

There’s proof that Mary had other sons after Jesus: 

  • Luke 8:19 
  • John 7:5- Jesus’ brother himself did not believe until after the resurrection: 1 Cor. 15:4-8 
    • Now, James calling himself “a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” 

James begins by making a BIG statement in verse 2. Consider it an opportunity for great joy. 

Do you look at trouble and trials as an opportunity for great joy? 

Do you know that NOT all trials are created equal? 

  • There are trials in life that you are not meant to go through. 
    • The kind where you can’t blame anyone else but you. 
    • “If you plant BAD SEED, you can’t rebuke BAD HARVEST!” -Steve Hill 
  • However there are those trials in life where you have no control at all. 
    • James says,” when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy”. 
    • In Philippians 2:5-8, Paul tells them to have the same mind as Christ Jesus, whom being God, didn’t think of equality with God something to cling to, but surrendered to the will of the Father, to the point of death. 
  • Hebrews 12:2-4 (NLT) 2″ We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” 
    • Jesus looked at the cross with the end in mind. 
  • Jesus had Heaven’s perspective of the suffering He was going to go through.
    • He endured the cross in order to accomplish the Father’s plan. 
  • The writer of Hebrews encourages us to: “Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” 
    •  Imagine the ramifications and consequences if Jesus had given up. 

James 1:3- WHEN your faith is tested! It’s not IF but WHEN!

  • Through all of these trials, your faith will be tested. 
  • Jesus was tested by Satan himself (Matthew 4, Luke 4, Mark 1) 
  •  John 16:33- Because Jesus overcame, we too can overcome. Because Jesus overcame, we can have peace in the midst of trials.
  • James tells us that there is a purpose for the testing:
    •  You GROW in your endurance. 
    • The more you endure, the more your faith grows. 
    • NKJV uses the word PATIENCE.
    • The more your faith is tested, the more your patience or endurance grows. 
    • The more your endurance grows, the more complete you will be. 
  • “So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:4
    • v4- So let it grow 
    • This phrase has the connotation of choice

Sometimes we want to avoid the things that make us grow, but we are fine with staying in the things that will stunt our growth. 

Have you seen this as true in your own life? 

If I could say anything to you, I would say DON’T GIVE UP! 

  • Too many times we give up too soon. 
  • Too many times we stop short of receiving the benefits that endurance would’ve produced in our lives.
    • “When your endurance is fully developed”.  It has to develop. 
    • It’s not a one-time deal, because you won’t face only one trial in life. 
  • It is the continual surrender to the will of God while understanding that this testing of our faith will bring wholeness to our lives 
    • V4- “you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” 
  • This idea of perfection has roots in the Old Testament, and can be illustrated by two words.
    • tamîm, which means “blameless” or “innocent.” It implies a character without defect and describes the person who lives in obedience to God. 
    • shalem, “perfect, whole, single-minded.” 
  • In other words, when you endure the testing of your faith, and when that endurance is fully developed, YOU become a person who lives in obedience to God. YOU become a single-minded, committed person and an unwavering person. 
  • Last week, we talked about how there are things God does on the inside of us. He does things that ONLY He can do, so that we can do the things He wants us to do. 

In this part of our text James moves from what we do (endure the trails of our faith) to what only God can do (give us WISDOM). 

  • Verse 5- “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. “
    • God is the giver of wisdom, and He is generous! 
    • Wisdom helps us see trials from God’s perspective 
    • Wisdom helps us see trials through the lenses of faith. 
    • Wisdom helps us to look at trials through the lenses of Romans 8:28. 
  • Having the right perspective is so important. 
    • You can complaint about having too much laundry. Or, you can thank God you have clothes.
    •  You can complaint that there are dishes in the sink…etc. 
  • Wisdom gives us heaven’s perspective and heaven’s solutions! 

How has your perspective changed as you have grown in wisdom? Where are you lacking? 

  • Verse 6- “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. “
  • When you ask God for wisdom make sure you place your trust in Him. 
    • We can’t ask God for wisdom, and then go with what someone else says about our trial. 
    • Seeking the wisdom God has given others, whom you trust, can be good. BUT IT IS NOT THE SUBSTITUTE to the wisdom God wants to give you. Remember, He is a GENEROUS God!
  • Proverbs 2:6 NIV 
    • “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” 
  • Is anyone facing a trial? 
  • Anyone need Wisdom? 
  • Read James 1 this week and ask God: 
    • 1. To reveal to you what He wants you to see. 
    • 2. What Am I going to do because of what God is showing me through His scripture? 
  • What is the Lord saying thru this message? 
  • What is my response?