June 28, 2020

Father of Fathers
June 28, 2020
Jonathan Falwell


Having a sentence come out of your mouth that immediately causes you embarrassment, pain, or begins an argument, is easy to do—and you wish the ground would open up and swallow you! Can anyone share an example?


This week we begin a new series from the book of James, one of the most practical books in the New Testament. Our faith is the most precious thing we have. Putting it into action—during the hard times as well as the good ones—is how we show the world how deeply we love God. Life seems to be a constant series of troubles, and we sometimes wonder where God is in all the testing we go through. The truth is, He is right beside us, encouraging us, refining us, and molding our heart to be more like His. Each day is filled with dozens of opportunities to do or say what is right, and James gives us practical help to make those choices with wisdom.

Key Verse: James 1:26: If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.

Focal Passage: James 1:1-27


  • THE FIRE PERFECTS US: Read James 1:2-4. Which of the following would you consider to be the literal meaning of this verse: “Regard the trials that come into your life as opportunities to rejoice, knowing you will grow as a Christan,” or “Oh, here comes a difficult trial, which makes me so happy!”
  • Why should we rejoice at the opportunity to be tested? Read 1 Peter 4:13. How did Peter say the same thing as James?
  • What is the difference between daily irritants (flat tires, heavy traffic, etc.) and trials that test your faith? What are you really saying when your faith is tested? Do you sometimes feel that God has left you alone? Has He?
  • Can you see verses 2-4 as a circle? Will someone explain what they see?
  • HOW TO PERSEVERE: Read verses 5-8. James now continues his thought: if you need more wisdom to get through a trial, what do you need to do? What will God do? Who will He give it to? How much will He give? What does it mean that He not reproach you? What is the one condition that you must meet in order to receive the wisdom?
  • THE REWARD FOR DOING RIGHT: Read verse 12. What are some of the things the tempt you? What does he mean that you “endure” temptation? Could you say, “Blessed is the man who walks through a situation with blinders (such as a horse uses to eliminate peripheral vision) so that he is not swayed by worldly things that might cause him to stumble”? What will the Lord give this person?
  • THE WRONGS OF THIS WORLD AND THE RIGHTS FROM HIM: Read verses 13-18. Who tempts us to sin? Why are we tempted in a certain area? What area are you NOT tempted in? What happens when we give in to temptation? What does that lead to? When sin is full-blown, what does it bring? How can you know if something is from God?


  • Read James 1:19-20. What are the three “social” rules that would make most relationships work according to God’s plan? Which one causes the most trouble? Why?
  • What is the underlying reason that anger controls some people? Is it about controlling those around them, or about the pride to win the argument? What do you base your answer on?


  • Read verses 21-22. How do you step away from moral uncleanness that tempts you in your life? Recently we learned the meaning of meekness; does anyone recall what it was? The more literal meaning here is to “take hold of it with your heart.” Can you explain how you would do that?
  • What happens to those who hear God’s word taught, and then “live like the world the rest of the week”? What about those who hear and do God’s word?
  • HYPOCRISY: Read verses 23-25. How long do you spend looking in the mirror, in order to go out in public? What do you think when you see someone who looks as though they’ve gotten out of bed, and gone straight to their car? How is that analogous to being in God’s word, and continuing in it, versus reading a passage, and shutting the Bible for another week?   
  • What will be the reward of the person who loves God’s word?
  • DANGER OF WORDS: Read verse 26. Does something ever just pop out of your mouth without thinking? How many times do you wish you had been silent? What relationship with God does that type person have?
  • SAFETY IN ACTION: Read verse 27. What are the two things that shows we have a right relationship with God? How do those two things tie in with Matt. 22:36-40? How do we do either of these in our daily living?


Have you ever envisioned the family life of Mary and Joseph, with Jesus as the oldest “son,” and several younger siblings? By the time Jesus had started his ministry at the age of 30, his siblings seemed to have an attitude of “social distancing!” When Jesus indicated to Mary that John would take care of her after His death, and to John that he would take Mary into his home, it was obvious none of the brothers would have cared for her as tenderly as John.

But what about AFTER the resurrection? 1 Corinthians 15:7 specifically tells us that Jesus sought out James, his half-brother. Can you imagine all that went through the mind of James as he replayed the years that he had lived with Jesus, and disregarded any words that He was the Christ? After he understood the deity of Jesus, would he have taken Mary into his home, or did she die? Questions without answers, but James became mighty both in the words of the Lord, and as the leader of the church at Jerusalem.

His writing is a book to be memorized, meditated on, practiced, and preached whenever possible. Each verse is a sermon in itself, and his habit of playing off one of the words in the previous verse makes it easy to commit to memory. The circle of faith, which is so singular to James’ writing (verse 2,3), indicates a trial enters our life, we thank God for the opportunity to trust Him as He walks beside us through it (thereby also bringing us joy), getting wisdom for the way we conduct ourselves through it, being patient as God grafts us in the process of the trial, looking back when it’s over and seeing the faithfulness of God through it all, which increases our faith even more—just in time for the next trial! It’s a marvelous circle that shows our growth as a Christian, and enables us to carry out the following characteristics he lists in the rest of the chapters for the Christian life.