OPENING SONG AND PRAYER
We started our time together by singing hymn #17 "O Father, You Are Sovereign."
REVIEW & DISCUSSION
- All things in this life will come to an end. Death is the great equalizer. Believers hope in future glory; in contrast, those who do not hope in Christ will find their lives ending in despair and hopelessness.
- God is the source of wisdom, and He invites us to ask of Him. "He gives to all generously and without reproach." (verse 5)
- How do we deal with anger? Keep our mouths shut! When we take time to listen and think instead of instinctively reacting with anger, we can defuse potential for sin. Our anger does not achieve God's righteousness; it does not accomplish good or establish justice.
- God is the one who brings us forth by the word of truth, but we need to receive the word implanted. We have to take the word that is in us and work it out in our lives. We must be doers, not mere hearers. We have to act upon what we have received and what we know. "Bear fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matthew 3:8). We must forsake all sin; and not only that, we must also replace it with the Word, which we then must actively practice in pursuit of righteousness and obedience to God. Galatians 5:13 says that we were called to freedom, but not for an opportunity for the flesh.
- When we look into the Word of God, it should show us what kind of person we are, and that there is a separation between us and God because of our sin. Therefore, when we receive the Word, we ought not to just store it away as knowledge, but actively practice and apply the Word in our lives in such a way that we repent of sin and actively do what it commands.
- James deals with mercy in verse 27. God wants true worshipers who not only turn away from sin, but pursue after obedience to what God wants, which is to love people, care for people, and show mercy to others ("orphans and widows in their distress").