The endurance of faith is centering Christ in all your planning and priorities, and living a life of patience for the return of Christ.
Think about your life… We ask God for direction in big things like marriage, health, school, and jobs. This week at Imprint Church in Woodinville we challenged you to think about how you are involving God in your everyday decisions. Do you keep him in the forefront of your mind when you’re going about your day-to-day business?
This week’s sermon walks through James 4:13-5:12 and living a Christ-centered life.
There are three areas that James is pushing in this passage: our PLANS, our PRIORITIES, and our PATIENCE. He will argue basically that you can live a self-centered life or a Christ-centered life in these areas:
- A Christ-centered life makes God’s will the focus of all our PLANS (James 4:13-17).
- A Christ-centered life uses money, wealth and business to show our PRIORITIES (James 5:1-6).
- A Christ-centered life is supposed to be one of PATIENCE (James 5:7-12).
You see James doctrine of the Christian life is the doctrine of process and growth. James knows that we don’t become like Jesus over night. James knows that there is not a definitive experience that we can have over the span of 15 or 20 minutes that will then reorient us so that we never ever have another struggle in the rest of life. Our life is a process of growth in holiness and patience endurance. We don’t drift or stumble into holiness, we grow into holiness. It can be only done if we have the proper focus the coming of Christ.
The only way to do this is through the person and work of Jesus Christ. God gave us an example in Christ of a person who lived his life with all of these things in place and pointed us to the Father. And not only did He gave us the example, but he gave us the ability to do it.
Watch the recorded sermon on James 4:13-5:12 in video below or download the audio podcast.
Imprint Church has small Christian community groups that meet in Woodinville, Redmond, and Kirkland. Here are the discussion questions for our community group members or for your own personal study.
- Read James 4:13-5:12.
- How does James characterize our lives in this passage (i.e., the length of our lives)? Why is this significant?
- Why does James insist that we preface our plans by saying, “If the Lord wills…”? What does this mindset indicate? How does a concern for the will of God demonstrate our belief in His sovereignty?
- What attitude does God want us to have about the future? Why?
- What does James say about money, wealth, and business in this passage? What can you apply to your own life from these words?
- Read Luke 12:13–21. What does this parable teach you about priorities? About wealth? About certainties in life?
- What are some things that you know are clearly the will of God? What are some things that you know are not the will of God? What do you do with the gray areas?
- What is patience/endurance in the context of James? Why is it important for a believer’s life?