Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
- James 5:13-18
Over the next 5 weeks at Crosspoint, we will be going through the book of James. The book of James is a practical, concise “how-to” guide to living the Christian life. The main theme of James is faith. Faith isn't just something we simply have inside or believe in; it’s something that is alive and active in the life of every believer. Join us for the next 5 weeks as we tackle issues such as:
You’re invited to jump in at your own pace and “do life together” in community here at Crosspoint. We pray that you encouraged to grow in your relationship with God and with others during this series.
At Crosspoint, we believe the Church boils down to relationships: a relationship with God and a relationship with others. Our goal as believers is simple: Love God and love others. We believe that our lives can be transformed in amazing ways by engaging with Christ and His Church weekly. It's important to remember we are disciples of Jesus. A “disciple” is simply a follower of Jesus Christ. When we talk about becoming “daily disciples,” we are referring to our individual commitments to allow God to change us, inside and out, by taking the following steps:
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written over a period of at least 1,500 years. God inspired everything written by about 40 different authors across three continents—Asia, Africa and Europe— and in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
The Bible addresses a great variety of topics such as the divine nature of God, the sinful nature of man, the way of redemption, and the ultimate destiny of the universe. Yet in spite of its diversity, there is one story, one theme, one solution and one plan of redemption for mankind. It’s all about one name: Jesus.
It’s important to learn from God’s Word. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
A great way to go deeper and learn more is by reading and reflecting on a few verses of Scripture each day. During this Bona Fide Series, we will study one chapter of the Book of James each week. On the next page you can see the daily reading schedule. There are 5 readings each week, one for Monday-Friday. Don’t underestimate the importance of allowing Scripture to mold your life daily. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Oh, to be bathed in the text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up into your very soul until it saturates your heart!”
If you aren’t used to using a Bible, that’s ok. Your Bible includes a Contents page that lists the names of all the books and their page numbers. Individual verses can be found almost like street addresses in a city: the name of the book is listed first, followed by the chapter number, then the verse number. For example: John 3:16 means the book of John, chapter 3, verse 16.
Before reading the verses, take some time to focus your mind and heart upon God and His presence. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and to help you be fully present as you read His Word. Express your desire to hear from Him in these quiet moments.
Read the passage slowly and thoughtfully, aloud or silently. You may want to read the passage several times, allowing time for the verses to settle in. As you read, listen for a word or phrase that might catch your attention. Be willing to listen and reflect, without judging or analyzing. Allow God’s Spirit to open the message for you.
Most of us are very good at analyzing four facts: who, what, when or how. As you reflect, allow yourself to push past analyzing the words to listen deeper to how the text connects with your heart and life. Ask questions like: What does this reveal about God or myself? How does this connect with my life experiences? How does this impact my relationships with others? How should I think, believe or live differently?
Finally, talk with God about what you have read. Openly and honestly tell God what is on your heart. Think about whether God may be nudging you to respond in some specific way, or to simply rest in His presence and promises to you.
Many people find that journaling is a helpful way to reflect on their daily Bible reading. Writing down your thoughts can help you gain insight and understanding about God, yourself, and the world around you.
When we take time to look back at the things God has done in our lives, the prayers He has answered, the gifts He has given or the struggles He has brought us through, we grow in our faith and trust Him more with the future.
You might choose to write your thoughts or questions about what you have read, God’s promises or what you sense He may want you to do, or even to write out your prayers.
There is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. It is a reflection of your unique relationship with Jesus, and it only requires a commitment of time and thought on your part.
DURING THE WEEK
How will you share what you are experiencing from God’s Word with someone else? Who will you share it with? If you have children, how will you share this with them? Consider picking a passage to read and discuss with them or share your favorite verse from the week and what it means to you. Spend some time praying together.