We spent a year in the Gospel of John looking at who Jesus is and the "grace upon grace" (John 1:16) that He gives. We spent a year in Ephesians looking at our identity in Christ and how experiencing the "riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7) changes us. We spent six months in the Psalms looking at the greatness and goodness of God, and seeing His grace in giving us forgiveness, His presence, wisdom, hope in trials, and so much more. Where do we go next?
NEW STUDY OF JAMES
I am excited to let you know that we plan to spend the next nine months in the letter of James! Over the next 35 weeks, we will look verse by verse at the wisdom God provides for His people in this amazing letter.
James helps us practically apply all that we have been studying together. It shows us how God's grace changes our speech, how we view money, how we pray, how we relate to one another, how we view trials, and so much more. James is full of command after command that show us God's will for our lives.
Yet, James makes us come face to face with our inability to change ourselves. James commands us to control our tongues (James 1:26) then later tells us that no one can do that (James 3:8)! We will see that this letter is not a call to try harder. It is a call to seek God's grace for what He tells us to do. The hope of James is found in the key phrase of the book:
James 4:6 ~ "But he gives more grace."
So in this very practical book, we will have reminders week by week of our need for God's grace - His kindness and blessings that we do not deserve.
I am excited that we can once again provide for you an ESV Scripture Journal of this book of the Bible. The Scripture Journal has the Bible's text from James on the left page, and a blank page on the right so you can take sermon notes, make personal notes of reflection, or write your prayers of response. Many of you have expressed how beneficial these journals have been for you in our previous studies. Click here to learn more about Scripture journals and how you can use them.
Copies are available at no cost to you in the resource center outside the church office or at the table in the back of the sanctuary. Pick up a copy on Sunday morning!
PRAYER FOR THIS STUDY
My prayer for this study is that God will show us more and more of what it looks like to follow Him in our daily lives, and that He will grow us in asking for, depending on, and being in awe of His amazing grace given to us to do so.
Let me encourage you to take time to read the entire book of James in one sitting to see the big picture of it.
Let me encourage you to pray for yourself, for me, and for our entire church family as we journey through this letter together. God's Word is powerful, and I am excited about what God will do in our lives as we expectantly and prayerfully look at it together.
~ Pastor Grady
PS - Here is a glance at some of the fun resources I am reading to prepare for these messages!