Friday, November 8, 2013

Trials, Perseverance and Wisdom

Are you facing trials? Is your faith being tested? Do you feel like you are lacking in wisdom? Many of us face those challenges on a regular basis. Today we begin our Bible study in James which will begin to show us how to face those challenges and grow in the wisdom and security of Christ. This is going to be your opportunity to SLOWLY learn, not just more about the Word, but how to dig into it more deeply.

Let's start by reading James 1:1-8. Be sure to have a pen and paper ready or you can print out the Scripture Study worksheet we talked about last time. Write down your insights as you read. When I do my study, I like to take each verse apart, that helps me understand each section better.

Here is an example of verse 1:

1 |   James : who is James?

 a servant of
  • God    
  • the Lord Jesus Christ
 to:  who is he writing to?  
  • the twelve tribes scattered among the nations
GREETINGS.                      
 
You will see that I have italicized the questions I have as I read and the insights that God gives as I study. You should write down your thoughts the same way. My hopes aren't just to do a Bible Study, but to give you the tools and examples so that you can start digging into the Word more deeply for yourself.

The next thing you want to do is to look at some of the words used in each verse and explore their meaning. For this verse, I want to see what "a servant" of God really means. Now is when we are going to utilize the Biblos tool we introduced in our last posts. Go to www.biblos.com and enter "James 1:1" into the search bar.

You will see this passage in many different translations. You will also see cross references on the right hand of the screen, as well as commentaries toward the bottom of the page. You can use all these resources, but for our study we are going to focus on the Lexicon which is on the right top tab. When you click on that tab you will see a table of the verse in the NASB version as well as the definition, Strong's commentary number with a link, Greek translation, and more.

Let's look at the word for servant which is "bond-servant". Under the definition you will see that it means a slave. To find out more about the original meaning of this word, click on the number in blue under "Strong's". This page is where I get all of the extra information about the passages I am studying. This is where I get insight into how to understand what each phrase is really talking about.

See how under the HELPS Word Study it says, "someone who belongs to another," and, "without any ownership rights of their own," as well as, " Ironically, 1401 /do├║los ("bond-slave") is used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers." All of this information helps us to understand the passage better.

So basically what verse 1 is telling us is that James is calling himself a slave to Christ and is proclaiming his willingness to live under Christ's authority as His devoted follower. This verse also shows us that James is writing to the twelve tribes that are scattered among the nations.

So now it's your turn. Read James 1:1-8. Grab your notebook or print several copies of the worksheet in the link above and start writing down what you find. Be sure to leave comments here or on our Facebook page so that we can all share the neat things God has for us to learn.

Did you think I was going to do this study for you? Nope, totally wrong. God wants us each to study the Word on our own. We are going to do just that as we SHINE... share, help, inspire, nurture, and educate one another. This week is your opportunity to get acclimated to studying. Next week I will give you the insights and cool new stuff I have discovered as I too go through our study of James.

I am looking forward to growing with you all as we learn how to persevere through our trials and grow in the wisdom and grace God has for us as we dive deeper into His Word. I can't wait to hear what God shows you in His Word this week.

Until next Friday, BLESSINGS!

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