This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I will focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection.
The Big Picture of James:
James is a letter written to Jewish believers by a man named James who also happened to be Jesus’ half-brother. It is possibly the first New Testament letter to be written and the purpose was to encourage the Christians at that time. “Endurance” is a key word and theme throughout the book as James calls the believers to live our their faith in bold ways. It talks about everything from doing the word not just hearing it, to how faith and good works go together, to resisting the devil. It’s a great summary of what it looks like to seek the wisdom of God and live as a Christian. It almost feels a little bit like the New Testament version of Proverbs.
Key Themes in James:
- Endurance/Patience (1:2-3, 12, 5:7-11)
- Wisdom (1:5-8, 3:13-18)
- Temptation (1:12-15, 4:1-3, 4:7-8)
- Faith and Works (2:14-26)
- Speech/Our Tongue (3:2-21, 4:11-12)
- The Importance of Scripture (1:22-25)
- Wealth/Poverty/Caring for Poor (1:9-10, 27, 2:2-9, 5:1-6)
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book or books each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse per book. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow…” (James 1:2-4a)
REFLECTION: How can you let your current hard times be spaces for growth and joy?
- “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19)
REFLECTION: How have you seen these three things in Jesus? What helps you be listen more than we speak?
- “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come close to God will come close to you…” (James 4:7-8a)
REFLECTION: We need both defense (resist the devil) and offense (coming near to God) to stand firm in our faith. How can you cultivate both this week?
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video for James
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for James
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!