James, a half-brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem church, provided pastoral guidance for the early church, showing how to live more intentionally in a real-world of threats posed by external persecution and internal bickering. Pastor ‘Jacob’ believed wisdom from above would help the church live out its faith with hope and love

Speaker: Dr. Jim Littles

Faith and Wisdom

Trials will come to all believers. Wisdom allows disciples to rejoice in suffering, assured that perseverance will result in greater maturity. James assumed all saints would need to ask for wisdom so that they could grow through trials rather than experiencing the instability of attempting to walk in faith and unbelief at the same time.

Speaker: Vince Stegall

True Riches

Joyfully living as God’s people requires an awareness of the Gospel’s great reversals. Impoverished disciples are richly exalted. The temptations of daily life provide disciples with an opportunity to replace wrong desires with delight in God’s abundant gifts.

Speaker: John Hamilton

Hearing & Doing

Wisdom from above calls for change in a challenging world. Rather than looking for that change in others, disciples apply wisdom in their own lives. By listening to and applying wisdom’s liberating words, disciples activate behaviors that make a difference in the world around them.

Speaker: John Hargrove

The Problem of Partiality

Wisdom from above positions disciples to value people as God does. James acknowledged that patterns of prejudice can creep into the church, but wisdom will guide believers as they commit to faith, honor the poor, and follow the royal law of loving neighbors as themselves.

Speaker: Gordon Hikel

Faith and Works

Pastor James observed a tendency to separate faith from Kingdom service on behalf of others. Disciples will lay aside empty, sentimental blessings for a life of faith that produces works. Regardless of their station in life or history, faith-filled disciples can model transformed lives through their actions.

Speaker: Greg Peters

Taming the Tongue

Like the Creator whose image they bear, people have power in their words. Wisdom from above reveals both the danger of unruly tongues and the solution to the problem. Disciples will constantly watch their mouths as they apply wisdom through right worship and through actively blessing others.

Speaker: Jeff Emery

Wisdom from Above

Pastor James told his readers that they would need “wisdom from above” in order to live as servants of Jesus Christ. The world around them followed a wisdom from below—one that was ordered against God and His ways. Contemporary disciples must also identify and abandon earthly and demonic wisdom as they live out the wisdom from above in their daily lives.

Speaker: Steve Schobert

A Call to Humility

Pastor James had already explained that temptation springs from wrong desires (1:13-15). Now he focuses on the ugly consequences of seeking for pleasure rather than for God’s Kingdom. Thankfully, God’s grace provides a path to restoration for those who humbly surrender their personal preferences for His Kingdom purposes.

Speaker: Kirsten Stigleman

Living by Faith

Wisdom from above reinforces the Lord’s call to walk by faith and not by sight. Faith liberates disciples from judging others since God alone is the Creator and Judge. Faith also liberates disciples from feeling the pressure to plan all their tomorrows alone, realizing that each day is a gift to be received from the gracious hand of a sovereign God.

Speaker: Derrick Weeks

Misplaced Treasures

Wisdom from above calls disciples to live in light of Christ’s return. Pastor James comforted his scattered congregation with the assurance that God heard their cries against injustice, and that He will judge those who oppress the poor and hoard wealth for themselves. Believers must use their wealth righteously, blessing and caring for others.

Speaker: Misty Michael

Patience and Trust

James calls believers to demonstrate their faith through patience and perseverance. Wisdom from above provides a long-term perspective that is free from bitterness and deceit. Disciples can patiently endure hardship because they trust the Lord’s purpose, knowing that He is compassionate and merciful.

Speaker: Steve Schobert