The War Within You (And How to Win It) (James 4:1-3)

The War Within You (And How to Win It) (James 4:1-3)

Thirty years ago, a group of historians did a research project together, and found that in the last 5,600 years, there have been over 14,000 wars fought in mankind’s history, in which more than 3.6 billion people have been killed. That’s about 2 ½ wars per year, with an average of 650,000 people killed every year as a result of war. They also found that in those 5,600 years that they researched, there have only been 292 years of peace in which they were unaware of a war happening somewhere in the world.…continue reading →
Wisdom From Above (James 3:13-18)

Wisdom From Above (James 3:13-18)

“You should eat better!” “You should get enough sleep!” “You should exercise more!” “You should do this, or that, or think this or that, and you should stop telling me what to do!” I’m sure you’ve noticed that there’s no shortage today of people and viewpoints telling us what we should think and how we should live. It can be overwhelming to hear all the different things that others think we ought to believe and do. Some people that you talk with are so incredibly passionate about one thing, whether it’s about education…continue reading →
The Perfect Man (James 3:1-12)

The Perfect Man (James 3:1-12)

Marc Pitman was a pastor of a church in Maine, and when he was invited to preach at a middle-school Bible camp in Sweden, he jumped at the opportunity. He even learned some of the language so that he could better connect with the students. But as he was speaking Swedish, he didn’t realize that the word for “relax” sounds very similar to the word for “passed gas.” So you can just imagine the laughter from the middle-schoolers when he thought that he prayed that the Holy Spirit would help us relax. What…continue reading →
Can Your Faith Save You? (Part 2) (James 2:20-26)

Can Your Faith Save You? (Part 2) (James 2:20-26)

Last week, we started asking the question, “Can your faith save you?” We talked about how faith and works are related to one another. The Bible says that we’re saved by grace through faith, and yet genuine faith goes on to walk in the good works that God calls us to do out of joy. We’re going to talk about that even more this week, focusing more on the works side of things. I think we tend to want to separate faith and works because most of us know that our works are…continue reading →
Can Your Faith Save You? (Part 1) (James 2:14-19)

Can Your Faith Save You? (Part 1) (James 2:14-19)

When I was 13 years old, my youth minister Jeff explained faith to me like this. Maybe you’ve seen this before, too. If I have faith that a chair will support me, then when it comes time to sit down, I’ll sit in the chair. But if I say that I believe the chair will support me, but never actually sit in the chair, then I demonstrate with my actions that I don’t really have faith in the chair. The same is true with our faith in Jesus. If we say that we…continue reading →
The Law of Liberty (James 2:10-13)

The Law of Liberty (James 2:10-13)

One night in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge was sleeping in a hotel room when he woke up to find that someone had broken into his room through the window and was going through his stuff. President Coolidge quietly spoke up, asking the burglar not to take his watch chain because it contained an engraved charm he wanted to keep. He then engaged the thief in quiet conversation and discovered he was a college student who had no money to pay his hotel bill or buy a train ticket back to school. So after…continue reading →
Playing Favorites and Playing Games with God (James 2:1-9)

Playing Favorites and Playing Games with God (James 2:1-9)

I really enjoy playing games with my kids. From time to time, we’ll get out the chess board, or some other board game, and we’ll just play for an hour or two. It’s tons of fun! We play one game called Pandemic in which all the players work together to find cures for the world’s diseases, and then rescue the world from a global pandemic. If only it were that easy, amen? And, of course, an important part of learning how to play the game is to read and understand the rules. The…continue reading →
Do the Word (James 1:22-27)

Do the Word (James 1:22-27)

There’s a legend about a cruel research study in which newborn babies died because of a lack of human interaction. In the thirteenth century, Emperor Frederick II of Sicily allegedly wanted to see what language babies would grow up to speak if they were never spoken to. In the experiment, Frederick found and gave a group of orphaned babies into the care of nurses, who could feed and bathe them, but not speak to them or show them the kind of love and play that babies should receive. According to the legend, all…continue reading →
The Implanted Word (James 1:19-21)

The Implanted Word (James 1:19-21)

I have another golf illustration for you this morning, even though I really know very little about golf. Professional golfer Tommy Bolt was playing in Los Angeles and had a caddy with a reputation of talking too much. Before he teed off, Bolt told his caddy, "Don't say a word to me. And if I ask you something, just answer yes or no." During the round, Bolt found his ball next to a tree, where he had to hit it under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. He got down…continue reading →