A Letter to the Scattered Church part 1
Through the spring and summer of 2020, as the church building was closed by the government’s Covid restrictions, Jubilee Church was not closed. The church is the people not the building, so whilst we could not meet together, our amazing Tech Team livestreamed zoom meetings every Sunday on YouTube. Church members were in their own homes, scattered across Solihull and parts of Warwickshire and Worcestershire, watching as Rob and others brought a series of messages on the book of James. The links to the talks are in the headings.
Rob introduced the series with an introduction to the book of James. This was written to the early church, mostly Jewish converts, scattered across the ancient Mediterranean world. Rob talks about the practicalities of being the church during lockdown and ask a series of questions about faith, prayer and connection.
Turning Trials into Gold James 1:1-12
God can use our present trial to refine us and make us stronger. The early church understood that they would experience difficult times. Are we prepared for trials? Is our faith robust enough? God is able to bring something beautiful out of us when we are tested. Rob challenges us in this talk about our willingness to persevere, and to find joy in our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Temptation: The Baited Hook James 1:13-15
After reviewing the verses in James, Rob teaches how to deal with temptation. We do not need to fight temptation on our own. Temptation brings issues to light which we can take to Jesus to ask for help. Temptation is the point at which we can make a choice. We can deal with it with Jesus or give in to sin. Our trusted friends can help us too by standing with us, especially in prayer.
Unchanging James 1:16-18
Our guest speaker, Martin White, encouraged us to look to God rather than be tempted to focus on worry and fear. Circumstances can change. Seasons of our lives will change. But God is unchanging.
Hearing, Receiving & Doing the Word James 1:19-25
This passage concentrates on the importance of fully embracing the Word of God, so we bring fruit. Simon asks how we are going to respond to and be shaped by the Word. He encourages us to look intently at God’s Word and to remember it. And to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what God is wanting to say to us.
Rich and Poor James 1:26-2:13
Becky encourages us to see how the practical advice James gave to the early church is still relevant to us today. She reminds us that God’s Word must impact how we behave. God shows us such mercy and He calls us to show mercy to others. She ends with some practical ideas regarding spending time with God, starting small and being available.
Faith Without Action is Dead James 2:14-26
Paul continues with a look at the implications of faith and action. There needs to be proof our faith as faith is cannot be just an intellectual exercise. The proof comes through our actions – the works that God has prepared for us.
Next time we will look at the other half of the lockdown series: James – A Letter to the Scattered Church