1. James starts by addressing conflict within the people of God in v. 1a.
A: Pastor Nate alluded to John 13:34-35 on the subject of unity within the church. How does a local church being united serve as a beacon to the world? How does disunity deter people from the light of the gospel?
B: We heard practical ways for our church to maintain unity. Both dealt with forgiveness: granting it & asking for it. What are other actions that promote unity within a church?
C: In the midst of the good that is happening among us at MBC, we were reminded that the enemy, Satan, hates what we’re doing. There would be nothing better for our Enemy than to see seeds of disunity among us. How do we address areas of possible disunity in a way that honors God rather than letting them fester & become areas of actual disunity?
2. We then looked at v. 1b-3 & the idea of passions within us.
A: One of the most common passions is selfishness. We often see it show itself in arrogance & making much of ourselves rather than God. What beliefs about God & ourselves help us fight the sin of making much of ourselves?
B: In v. 2, we read about what we desire…in the sense of having a sinful longing. What happens when a person’s desires aren’t met? How does desire show true values?
C: In v. 2b, it says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Why is it foolish to live life pursuing satisfaction without God? How has God brought true satisfaction to your life?
D: In v. 3, we read a word about exalting ourselves rather than God through prayer. What is the difference between using prayer or other spiritual disciplines for God’s glory versus for our own glory?
3. We ended by looking at v. 4-6 by talking about God’s glory or our own & God’s grace.
A: In v. 4, there is a stark difference between those of the world & those who belong to God. How does the idea that those who are friends of the world are enemies of God motivate you to share the gospel all the more?
B. Pastor Nate asked a great question for all of us to consider in light of v. 5: “What is preventing us from being fully committed followers of Christ?” Take time to answer that question!
C: In v. 6, we read the good news that God gives grace to the humble. How can we be confident that God really does give grace?