We started off our time by singing hymn #407, "It is Well with My Soul"
We then recited our memory verses (James 4:1-12) and discussed them together.
Memory Verse Discussion
- Looking at vv.7-8, the “therefore” in vv.7 connects these verses to the previous section.
- We see God's promise of grace to the humble.
- We also see that this is in response to our becoming friends (chummy) with the world.
- God is never away from us, but is always ready to be near to us - the reason why God is not near you is that you are not near to God
- There's no such thing as a dry spell, if you're truly walking consistently in the Lord
- What does it mean to be miserable? It means to mourn over your sin, specifically friendliness with the world.
- When we confess our sin, we need to go to God with a contrite attitude, a lowliness, because we have committed sin against the almighty God.
- In what ways do we become friends of the world?
- How we view our finances - some place too much emphasis on, find too much security on retirement
- How we view our career - thinking that we need a job so much that we are willing to do anything to try to keep the job
- Entertainment/comfort - prioritizing this
- Family influences - Can't love father and mother more than me
- Be careful, else your love for the world will cause you to compromise and disobey God
- What are some forms of entertainment that can cause a believer to struggle?
- Too much engagement in sports (cult-like following)
- Wanting a comfortable life, that causes you to be anxious about losing a level of comfort
- Over-emphasizing fitness or health, seeing it as the most important thing
- Social media - can cause us to be envious of those who live for this world
- "Let your laughter" could be translated "stop laughing"
- God wants to give you His grace, you need to actively humble yourself
- When you offend someone, you can't glibly go to someone and say that you've sinned against that person - you need to come humbly
- Vv11-12 fits when you when you zoom out and see that James talks about interpersonal relationships throughout this letter.
- Vv11, prohibits us from speaking about others behind their backs, which is slander
- One subtle way that we need to be careful about is talking bad about someone when you're praying about them - we must never speak against anyone, and if we have an issue or concern we need to speak directly with that person.
- Rom 14 - we are not the judge of anyone else
We then turned to our new passage for memorization this week - James 4:13-17