James - Living Faith in Difficult Times

The eponymous writer of the book of James is thought to be the Lord Jesus half brother, prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus he was not a believer, but it seems came to faith afterwards, and was  doubtless present at the prayer meeting mentioned in Acts 1.  He soon rose to be a prominent member of the Jerusalem Church; the Apostle Paul calls him a “pillar of the church”.

Early church historians describe James as a man of prayer and one who lived a holy life.  Indeed he prayed so much on his knees he earned the nickname “old camel knees”   Early church tradition says James was martyred by the Jewish leaders who took him to a pinnacle of the temple taunting him before throwing him off and stoning him to death.

The letter is addressed to Christians in exile, dispersed as a result of opposition in Jerusalem, it is full of direct and uncompromising advice to Christians on how their faith must be lived out practically.

James Overview - Ian Naismith
Morning Service, Sunday, April 19, 2020
Responding to testing - Part 1 - Christiaan Hofstra
Morning Service, Sunday, April 26, 2020
Responding to Testing - Part 2 - Christiaan Hofstra
Morning Service, Sunday, April 26, 2020
Hearing and Doing - David Knowles
Morning Service, Sunday, May 3, 2020
Blessed are the Poor - Christiaan Hofstra
Morning Service, Sunday, May 10, 2020
Tame the Tongue - Jim Gladstone
Morning Service, Sunday, May 31, 2020
Wisdom for Life - Christiaan Hofstra
Morning Service, Sunday, June 7, 2020
James 3:13-4:12 continues the theme of the tongue. James brought us the bad news in 3:1-12. 'No one can tame the tongue. With it we both praise God and curse men.' Today James will show us the underlying heart problem that causes the restless evil of the tongue: selfish jealousy and self-serving pride. However our selfishness can change if we're willing to exchange our earthly, nonspiritual wisdom for the wisdom of God. His wisdom is pure, overflowing with mercy and peaceable. We receive God's glorious gracious wisdom through submitting ourselves to Him. We resist the devil. We draw near to God who will draw near to us. We repent, cleansing our heart. We make God the object of our life, yielding to His Lordship. That is who will be wise.
What is your life? - David Knowles
Morning Service, Sunday, June 14, 2020
James 4:13 - 5:6 At the heart of this passage and arguably lying at the heart of his whole letter James asks us to consider a very important question; what is your life? It’s a question that probes and challenges us perhaps in ways that are uncomfortable. We look around our lives what we have, what we really depend on; we consider our hearts, what excites us, encourages us. Somehow if we are honest we are never satisfied. So we set about making plans for tomorrow, plans to make things better, to bring satisfaction, perhaps to as James says make a profit. As Christians of course we know the orthodox answer must lie in our relationship with God, the security that is ours in Christ, and the fact that life, real life does not consist of the things we can see and touch but in the eternal security of life with Christ. James in this passage does really challenge us to consider however that our lives may not consist entirely of the things that really matter, but that almost without thinking or even realising we are building lives on sand and seeking to fill our barns so that life is secure and comfortable. James does not hesitate to say such behaviour is not only foolish it is sinful.
Patient and prayerful - part 1 - Alan Paterson
Morning Service, Sunday, June 21, 2020
part 2 is a seperate upload
Patient Prayerful Endurance. In the concluding verses of James’ letter, the theme is PPE – ‘Patient Prayerful Endurance’. James looks to the certainty of the future coming and judgment, which gives hope in the present for his readers both then and now. He gave us 3 examples of patient endurance – the farmer, the OT prophets and Job. For the farmer, the ‘valuable’ harvest was worth waiting for. We thought of various OT prophets, but particularly Habakkuk who prayed, ‘How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? ‘ Maybe there are similarities today! And then there was Job, perhaps the greatest example of patient endurance. The second theme was prayer. We saw how prayer is appropriate in any and all situations. ‘Are you in trouble? Pray. Are you happy? Sing songs of praise. Are you sick? Pray.’ Various examples were given of people who prayed and we noted the verse ‘The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’. James ended his letter with the thought that we live in a fellowship of care and concern for each other. We should be looking out for any search and rescue missions we might need to help with for our fellow Christians.
Patient and Prayerful - Part 2 - Alan Paterson
Morning Service, Sunday, June 21, 2020