Sundays | 9am & 10:30am

Attitude Matters: James 1:21-27

Be a Doer
Lance Terry

“That’s easy for you to say!” How often have you heard that phrase, or maybe even said it yourself? For several weeks, our study of James has included teaching that might be described as simple but not easy; simple because it is not complicated to understand but tough to put into action.

Today we learn to get moving! There are over 50 imperatives in the 108 verses of James’ book. This abundance of commands directs us to a practical bent toward action in living the Christian life. We also learn it’s the path to happiness.

As your group meets to discuss the sermon, be mindful of the struggles each member might be experiencing as a Christ-follower against the headwinds of trial. Allow plenty of time for prayer requests and for each member to pray aloud who feels comfortable doing so. Finally, take note of each request and follow up afterward with a call or a text message.

Let’s love each other well.

Sermon Summary

Lance Terry began his message with a baseball story that was actually all about life. On many days, our lives can seem like mundane practice drills of throwing and catching a ball, but on other days those skills are suddenly required for life-altering decisions. To always be ready, James said to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). That kind of attitude makes us ready for action.

Many voices are competing for our attention, and discerning the voice of God can be difficult – especially in the midst of trials. James said being receptive requires putting off what he called the “filthiness and wickedness” that weighs us down. He likewise said we should be teachable – a position of meekness absent of self-importance.

Receiving God’s word is essential, but it’s there for a reason. Once it is well implanted in our hearts, we must put it into action. Receiving God’s word and living it out is how we glorify God and how He shapes us into the image of Christ: it’s also the way to happiness. Living like that is what it means to be a doer of the word.
Group Discussion with Video

READ ALOUD> >
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.—James 1:21-27 (ESV)

WATCH> the video clip above

ASK> Did you play on a sports team as a child? What memories do you have of those days? What did you learn?

ASK> If you are a parent, did your children participate in sports? How was your experience as a parent different from when you participated as a child?

ASK> How do you coach a child to produce the best performance? How is that like our adult lives?

ASK> What is the “implanted word which is able to save our souls”? (James 1:21) How do we receive it? How is it connected to filthiness and rampant wickedness?

READ> Ephesians 4:22-31, Colossians 3:8, and 1 Peter 2:1. What clarity do these verses provide regarding our daily lifestyle?

ASK> What does it mean to forget what you look like after walking away from the mirror?

ASK> What does the “law of liberty” or “law that gives freedom” refer to in James 1:25?

ASK> What is the function of a bridle regarding our tongue?

ASK> According to James, what visible signs indicate worthless religion, and which ones accompany genuine religion?
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