Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on August 21, 2016:
- SUNDAY: James 1,
- MONDAY: James 2,
- TUESDAY: James 3,
- WEDNESDAY: James 4,
- THURSDAY: James 5,
- FRIDAY: Matthew 8,
- SATURDAY: Matthew 9,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: Faith in Action Sermon Title: The World-Changing Power of Faith and Works
Delivered On: August 14, 2016
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
Thank God that you are saved by the grace of Jesus and not by any merit of your own. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you power to live in ways that produce wonderful deeds and works that glorify Jesus and show people that God is alive.
Mirror Check - Read the Book of James this week. As you do, seek to identify one or two areas where you need to grow or make a change in attitude or actions. Let the mirror of God’s Word show you where you need to take a step forward in faith or a step back away from sin. Once you see this area, take action to change, with the help of the Holy Spirit and with accountability from another Christian.
Growth Group Discussion
What are examples of things Christians say they believe but take very little action on?
What message do we send to the world when we claim to believe something but do very little to affirm our beliefs with behavior that supports our convictions?
Read: James 1:22-25 Christians can hear a sermon or read a Bible passage, get convicted, but still take no action on what we know God wants us to do. Why do you think we can feel deeply challenged by the Holy Spirit one moment and still not move into action?
Read: James 1:26-27 James is clear that true faith moves us to actions consistent with the will and Word of God. In this passage James mentions watching our words, showing compassion, and avoiding the polluting effects of the world. What is one area God has convicted you and called you to action, but you have still not really started the works, deeds, or actions you know you should be taking? What does God want you to do in the coming weeks to walk in obedience to His call? How can your group members pray for you and encourage you to take action that affirms your faith?
Read: James 2:14-17 What does James mean when he says, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”? How does faith lead to works? How are works a sign of our faith in God?
As you have grown in your faith, how has this led to more works and deeds? How has your attitude toward acts of service and compassion changed, grown, and deepened as your faith has matured?
Read: James 2:18-19 What is James getting at when he says that the demons believe God is one and they tremble? How can the demons “believe” in God but actually work against the plan of Jesus in this world? How can people have mental awareness of biblical truths, but not actually be a Christian and committed to live for Jesus?
What would you say to a person who claims, “I accepted Jesus and I agree with what the Bible says about Him, but I have no interest in living for Jesus and I don’t let Him influence my lifestyle or choices”?
What does this mean: We are saved by grace and not by our works. But, when we are truly saved and in love with Jesus, we will always seek to do good works for His glory.