Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on June 12, 2016:
- SUNDAY: James 1, Proverbs 1,
- MONDAY: James 2, Proverbs 2,
- TUESDAY: James 3, Proverbs 3,
- WEDNESDAY: James 4, Proverbs 4,
- THURSDAY: James 5, Proverbs 5,
- FRIDAY: Proverbs 6-7,
- SATURDAY: Proverbs 8-9,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: Real Faith Sermon Title: Real Faith Stands Strong in Trials and Hard Times
Delivered On: June 5, 2016
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds… ([bible]James 1:2[/bible])
Thank God for past trials and tough times that have matured you, refined you, and driven your heart closer to the heart of Jesus. Pray for God to use whatever tough time you are facing right now to grow you in maturity and faith. Thank God that this world is not your final home and that a crown of life and the glory of Jesus await you!
Count Your Blessings – There is an old Christian song that has the chorus, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God has done.” Spend time this next week making a list of blessings and good gifts that God (your heavenly Father) has given you. Keep this list in your phone, purse or wallet. But keep adding items to it all week as you notice God’s good gifts. At the end of the week, review this list and ask God to help you see and remember his good and perfect gifts, even in times of deep pain and loss.
Small Group Discussion
What are some of the incorrect messages some Christians communicate when they are inviting others to place their faith in Jesus? Why is it important that we give an honest picture of the Christian life to those who are investigating the Christian faith?
Describe times in life where we have a great experience, lots of fun, and things seem to go our way. How do these moments bring a real and authentic joy to your heart?
Read: James 1:2 Describe times that are hard, that tax us, that can be painful, but there is a real joy that comes during and after these challenging times? How is this kind of joy authentic and real?
Read: James 1:3-4 and James 1:12 Tell about a time when God showed up and moved in your life while you went through significant struggle, suffering, trials, or loss. What are some of the ways you grew, matured, and went deeper in faith through this experience (that would have never happened had you not gone through this hard time)?
Read: James 1:5-8 Why do you think it is such a big deal that we ask for wisdom with strong faith and not with doubting? How does doubt get in the way of us hearing and following God’s heavenly wisdom?
Read: James 1:13-15 How are our sinful desires the source of much of our suffering and pain (and the world’s suffering)? How could repenting of sinful desires, or cutting them off before they lead us to sinful action, spare us a lot of pain and heartache?
What are ways we can identify sinful desires growing in our heart and how can we turn away from them and make sure we don’t act on them?
Read: James 1:16-18 How can focusing on the good gifts God gives us help strengthen us during the hard times of life?
What are some of the good gifts God has given you? How can you honor God for His generous and consistent blessings in your life?