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James: Humility and Wisdom—James 1:1-16
JAMES 1:1-16 (NIV)
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
1. Three things we know about trials:
Trials come in all types.
When you face trials of many kinds
Trials test our faith.
Because you know that the testing of your faith
Trials transform us with the joy of God’s presence.
Consider it pure joy… so that may be mature and complete
Blessed (makarios = joyful) is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)
2. Two things we know about wisdom:
Wisdom is a practical gift.
you should ask God, who gives generously
Asking for wisdom helps us persevere.
Such a person is [un]stable in all they do
3. One thing we know about humility:
We all live by God’s grace.
Believers in humble circumstances… the rich should take pride in their humiliation
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8–10 (NIV)
Small Group Questions
Welcome to the start of the Fall 2021 small group session! This session goes from the week of September 19 through the week of November 21st, 2021.
Winter session begins the week of January 16th - week of April 3rd, 2022;
Spring session begins the week of April 24th - week of May 22, 2022.
Please have your small group members review and sign the Small Group Agreement. This is for your leader to keep and can be found here: ( will attach link to PDF via Mailchimp) or on pages 13-14 of the leader handbook.
As needed, please find this week’s outline and resources online here for you and your small group to review.
CONNECT WITH GOD (choose one of these practices that best suits your group)
One Minute: Set a timer for one minute. Sit in silence, letting go of the anxieties of the day, the worries of tomorrow, and the urgency of the present. Allow the anxious thoughts to drift away and focus your heart on Jesus Christ.
Breath Prayer: This ancient form of prayer is a reminder of the nearness of God in everyday life and his provision- even in each breath we take. As we breathe in, we pray in our mind and heart “Lord Jesus Christ…” and as we exhale, pray “have mercy on me.” Do this in silence, together at your own pace, until everyone has prayed/breathed this ten times.
Opening prayer: Simply open your small group time in a focused prayer. Ask God to reveal his truth to you through scripture and the Holy Spirit. Give praise to God for what he has been doing in your life and the world, and recognize Jesus Christ as the great mediator between us and God.
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
Journaling: Many spiritual practices this year will require a journal. If you are a small group leader be prepared with paper and pen for those who are without. Please remember that there is no right way to journal. Journals can be intermittent, upside down, written, drawn, or doodled. They are a way to capture what God is doing in you over time. Journaling with your small group will include a prompt; however, in your time alone with God, allow the Spirit to be your leader.
Summer Recollection: Think back through your summer. Did you go on any trips, see any old friends or relatives? Did you read a good book or movie? Allow one memory of summer to settle in your mind. Once you have that scene, draw a very simple drawing of your summer memory in your journal. Do not worry about your artistic ability, you do not have to share this with anyone if you do not want to.
Now, write down how God was present in your life at that time. Was he near, far, everywhere, nowhere?
How present is God in your life right now?
Share your responses with each other.
CONNECT WITH SCRIPTURE (Read the passages and review the sermon outline. Then select the best questions or customize the questions for your group.)
- Read the main points from the sermon outline.
- What topic in the sermon and scripture stood out to you?
- How has your faith been tested in the last year?
- What does this passage tell us about humility and wisdom?
- If you could ask God for wisdom, what would it be for?
- What is a reminder in your life of humility--that we are all saved by grace and not by anything we have accumulated or accomplished?
- How have you experienced joy in the midst of a trial in your life (in the past or currently)? How has your faith grown?
CONNECT WITH GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD (select one question for discussion and pray together)
- Is there someone in your life who would benefit from hearing James’ message?
- How can you grow in humility and wisdom in the next seven days?
- Is there a temptation or trial in your life that requires prayer today?
- Even if you are not comfortable sharing it, can we pray for you?
- Pray for wisdom for each other as we live “scattered among the nations.”