A Letter to the Scattered Church part 2
As the church building continued to be closed by the government’s Covid restrictions, 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. In the this post we continue to look at the messages that were preached. The links to the podcasts are in the headings.
The Power of Our Words James 3:1-12
Words have an incredible power both as thoughts and spoken aloud. Rob talks about how we speak about ourselves. Do we encourage ourselves or pull ourselves down? How we speak about ourselves directs the course of our lives. We also need to be careful of what we say about other people. Do we encourage or discourage them? Are our hearts right with God? Our words in unguarded moments will indicate our heart’s health.
Wisdom from Above James 3:13-18
Contrast can be a really powerful way of drawing attention to things. James contrasts earthly and Godly wisdom and we need to understand the difference. Simon highlights some current injustices and the need for those with Godly wisdom to stand against issues in peace and righteousness.
Church: Don’t Be Proud, Be Humble James 4:1-12
This passage is broken down for us, with Rob showing us how James’ words are still relevant to the church today. James lists 10 commands which relate to both the early church and the church now. Rob explains what true humility is and how important it is for us to live in humility.
What is your life? James 4:13-17
Are you a hearer? Or a hearer and doer? Steve takes these questions and discusses what our lives should be like, suggesting that every day we should be asking questions. God, what do you have for me today? What can I do which will bring glory to God?
Church we can make a difference James 5:1-6
Rob highlighted the fact that injustice is close to God’s heart. We have a responsibility to steward what God has given us. He suggested some practical ways in which we can help to fight injustice in the world.
Patience in Suffering James 5: 7-12
We only learn patience by going through hard times. As we wait on God’s timing we need to stand against injustice, continue to be faithful and respond with grace. God looks at our heart’s response. We need to focus on Jesus not on our problems.
Church: We must pray James 5:13-18
Rob reminded us that it is imperative that we pray. He took us back to the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17. James 5:17-18 shows us that what was possible for Elijah in prayer is possible for us. We need to pray with confidence.
Restoring the wanderer James 5:19-20
Peter concluded the series with practical suggestions of how to bring hope and wisdom to those who have moved away from God. Empathy, listening, encouragement, understanding and humility are all ways in which we can gently help people to return.