This week we are focusing on James’ command to apply the truths we read in scripture. His contention is that hearing the truth is only half of the equation to living the Christian life; we must be doers also.
The first part of this weeks video is a recap of last nights Power and Praise worship night and some cool testimonies from there. The latter part of the video focuses on the importance of not keeping the gifts we receive from God to ourselves. As Matthew 10 says, “freely you have been given, freely give.”
This week we take a look at two powerful verses in James namely James 1:17-18; which focus on the unchanging goodness of God’s character and his plan to save people through the message of the Gospel.
This weeks video takes a look at James 1:13-16 and how we always want to place the blame for our sin and messed up lives on everyone and everything, rather than taking responsibility for our own actions; which flow from our own sinful desires. We are tempted to sin because of the sinful desires of our heart, so it is our heart that we need to deal with first; not the external circumstances or people in our life.
The good new is that no matter what temptation comes our way, we have the power through the Holy Spirit and faith in Jesus to resist and overcome every temptation (1Cor. 10:13). We never have any excuses to sin because God has promised that He always makes a way out of temptation, which means when we give into temptation it is because we have chosen not to take the way out.
The sooner we take responsibility for our sinful actions and understand that temptation comes form our desires, the sooner we can deal with our heart and overcome those tempting thoughts and desires and not end up falling into the sin that they are leading us to.
There is a theme running through the first chapter of James, actually it runs through the entirety of the Bible; namely that we need to lift our gaze heavenward. Too often we get caught looking down at ourselves and all of the chaos and frustration going on around us instead of looking toward the one who promises us an internal peace that surpasses all understanding. The author of Hebrews tells us to “look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right had of the throne of God.”
This weeks video discusses this theme of taking our eyes off of the circumstances of this life and putting them in the reality or circumstances that are unimaginable good; the circumstances of a perfect reality in the presence of a perfect God. Let those eternal circumstances dictate your attitude and actions rather than the trials of this life
This week we’re looking at James 1:5-8 and the importance of wisdom in our pursuit to become mature Christians. True wisdom starts with understanding what the true source is; Proverbs clearly says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Unless we learn to trust in God completely we will always be lacking in wisdom and therefore maturity because we will be receiving from the wrong source. God is the ground of wisdom which is often different from our initial thought of what is wise. The prime example of this is Jesus on the cross. Our worldly wisdom says that Jesus dying on the cross for sins is foolish, yet Jesus on the cross is the perfect display of God’s wisdom and an understanding that surpasses our own.
Rather than leaning on our own understanding or lack there of – especially in trials – we to trust in God and ask for wisdom to see things from his perspective and then trust he will answer our prayers and to fully submit to his answer and direction.
As we grow in wisdom and maturity we are able to withstand the waves of the sea without getting tossed around and disoriented because our faith is planted firmly in who God is and wanting what He wants.
Kicking off a new series on James where we’ll be touching on some of the major themes throughout the book. James is one of my favorite books of the Bible because of its simplicity and practicality; also because it’s written by Jesus’ brother and there aren’t a lot of authors who worship their brother as God.
This week we are looking at verses 1-4, specifically looking at James’ command to count all the various trials in our life as joy. This is definitely a weird concept since most people’s goal is to avoid and get out of the different trials and suffering that they face. Learn why you shouldn’t despise trials and the positive changes they bring to life when you choose to go through them with Jesus.
Easter weekend is here again! We would love if you joined us at Church of the Rock’s North End Campus (239 Selkirk Avenue) as we celebrate the Good News of Jesus’ death (Friday @ 11:00 a.m.) and His resurrection (Sunday @ 11:00).
You are also invited to join us Saturday afternoon from 3:00-4:30 as we discuss the question “did Jesus rise from the dead?” For us Christians this is the most important question to answer because Christianity stands or falls on this one fact. Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:14,17,19, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins… If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” In light of these verses we will be looking at the evidence to see if resurrection is the best explanation for the evidence; things like the crucifixion, the empty tomb, postmortem appearances, the quick and early rise of Christianity and much more.
If your faith stands or falls on the resurrection come learn how it not only stands but stands tall!
If you attend the North End Campus you are aware that we are doing an Apologetics class over the next 6 Saturday. The first class is April 1, from 3:00-4:30 pm at the North End Campus: 239 Selkirk Avenue. This video gives a brief explanation about what Apologetics is and why it’s important. If you are a North End Campus attender you should be at these classes.
Topics will include: How to have effective conversations with people who have different beliefs or values, Can we know that God exists? Is it rational and reasonable to believe in God? Is there evidence that Jesus existed? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Why should I believe and listen to a 2000 year old book? Is the Bible trustworthy? and much more.
If you or someone you know has asked those questions or other questions you didn’t know how to answer, then the Apologetics class is where you need to be for the next 6 Saturday’s. You will learn not only learn good answers to tough questions, but also how to ask good questions that lead to fruitful, respectful conversations with people who don’t presently believe what you believe.
Each class will include some teaching time focused on a specific topic (does God exist, why is there so much pain and suffering, etc.) as well as time for Q&A and discussion.