We’re continuing in our study in the Book of James. We pray these notes will help you review and meditate on our text this week.
- What are some of the church needs you’re aware of?
- Who in the church needs your intercession?
- What are you and your loved ones praying for at the moment?
- What wider situations can you pray into?
The title for our series in James is “Well Done is Better than Well Said,” and this week we looked at James 2:25-26 – a short text continuing his argument regarding the interrelationship between faith and works. He’s still responding to the “someone” of 2:14. Abraham has been offered as a demonstration that faith is always accompanied by works; this week Rahab is offered as a second example. You may wish to re-read Joshua 2 to see the story of Rahab.
This week, we reminded ourselves that the Gospel is “the power of God for salvation to all who believe” (Roman 1:16). As people who have faith in the Gospel, we are transformed– and being transformed– by the Gospel. James exhorts us to let our faith in the Gospel outwork itself.
- How do you keep yourself grounded in the gospel?
- How do you avoid the trap of doing works for other reasons?
- Do you really believe that you need the radical transformation of the Gospel? How can you stay focused on God’s sanctifying work?
As we saw, Rahab had heard that The Lord – Yahweh – is working mighty works on behalf of the people of Israel, and she believed that He is One True God. This faith led her to receive the spies, welcome them into her accommodation, and then protect them and send them out safely. As a result, Joshua saved her and her family with her alive at the fall of Jericho.
- We saw how Rahab eschewed the potential reward for betraying the spies to the authorities of Jericho. However, this would have been for a fleeting reward indeed! Do you sometimes feel tempted to favour the riches and recognition of the world, rather than Heavenly riches? You may wish to read Mark 8:34-38.
Some people are more naturally “risk-takers” than others. For us to take action we know God’s calling us to do can need courage. However, what’s really needed is faith in God – to believe that God is more than capable of looking after us!
- Can you refer to a time where you have taken a risk for God? What happened? Do you have any regrets?
- Can you think of a time when you’ve NOT taken an opportunity that God presented to you? What happened? Do you have any regrets?
Hopefully, the discussion around this will be positive and fruitful, leading to encouragement to press on and trust God. We should not hold onto regrets: by faith they are forgiven in Jesus’ name. Paul would have us to “forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. To press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14).
Keep Each Other Accountable
Remember, your Connect Group is meant to be a place you can safely share your struggles and know your brothers/sisters who love you will pray for you.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Pray for One Another
Share your prayer needs and requests. Commit to pray for one another, not just now but throughout the week.