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WebClass Bible Study Resources for September 6, 2015

The teacher for this session is Kathy Thompson.

We are back in the Book of James this week.    

  • What's your favorite food? 
  • What's your favorite movie? 
  • What's your favorite type of music? 
  • What's your favorite type of vehicle? 
  • What's your favorite social media platform? 
  • What's your favorite sport?
  • Does anyone else have a favorite thing that you don't like?
  • How can it be someone else's "favorite" – if it's not something you like?

Favoritism is a challenge and it's something that seems to come naturally to us. But the type of favoritism that James talks about, is a little different than what we are talking about.

Watch the clip "Time to invite someone to church" from YouTube.
  • Did you see that twist coming? 
  • Have you ever wondered if people who make you feel uncomfortable – feel the exact same way about you? 

Read James 2:1-26.

  • Why is it so dangerous to show favoritism? 
  • How do you think we show favoritism? 
  • Why do you think these believers favored the rich? 

James teaches us that some of our demonstrations of honor are overt and some are more subtle and maybe even subconscious.  

  • How does your church demonstrate honor?

This kind of behavior according to James is serious and sinful. 

  • What do you think?
  • Have you ever judged someone based on their appearance?  
  • Have you ever been judged based on your appearance?
  • If we know we should love our neighbor, why is it so hard to love them when they are different from us? 
  • Why is it so hard to show real faith in action?
  • Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to be like Jesus? 

Watch the clip "Do or do not. There is no try." from Star Wars.

  • Is there a difference between trying and doing? 
  • If we say we are trying to be like Jesus, then are we giving ourselves an escape clause? 
  • What if we trained like a Jedi to only “do” in our quest to be like Jesus… would it make a difference?  
  • Why is it important to "stick with the plan" when it comes to training a dog, to becoming an opera singer, or to becoming a professional athlete and/or a body builder?
  • What does that mean for our faith to have "works?"

Watch the clip "Mayura Dissanayake MMA Store Clerk Beats Up Thieves" from YouTube.

  • If you were the store clerk, would you have helped your coworker or have hidden?
  • If you had trained all of your life to be a fighter, would it be easy to “do” what you have trained for? 
  • Do we sometimes fail to show our faith because we do not train to show an active faith? 
  • How can we train to have a living and active faith?

Rick Jordan says, "The evidence of genuine faith is not found in the words of a creed, but in the works of a 
changed life."

  • What do you think?

James claims that true faith produces evidence of itself in daily living. 

  • What do you think? 
  • How would our faith stand up to this kind of scrutiny?

James tells us that Abraham's faith was brought to completion by his works.

  • What does he mean?

It may sound strange to hear James use the words "love" and "law" in the same sentence.

  • Can the love of a neighbor be legislated?
  • How does faith shape our behavior?

Modern readers of James face the same dilemma as the first readers of this letter. His words are easy enough to understand, but are we doing what he said? What characterizes our spiritual lives? How can we authentically live out our faith today? I challenge you to try to incorporate some of these truths into your life this week.

Facilitator

KathyThompson.jpg

A native of Virginia, Kathy Thompson is the daughter of a Baptist minister. She also married a Baptist minister! She and her husband, Robert, live in Ashland, Virginia where he recently retired as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ashland, where they served for 20 years. Kathy was active in the music department at First Baptist and taught Sunday School for many years. She is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and teaches music at Liberty Christian School. She and Robert are the parents of two sons: Matthew and his wife Jennifer, and Christopher and grandparents to Peyton Elizabeth. They also have a precious dog named Eli.

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