Category Archives: Genuine Faith

Genuine Faith Endures through Prayer

Genuine Faith Endures through Prayer

James 5:7-20

Four Keys to Enduring Hardships:

___________________________ (James 5:7)

___________________________ (James 5:8)

___________________________  (James 5:11)

___________________________ (James 5:13-18)

James 5:16 “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

“Great power” refers to something that gives us _______________________________________ and enables us to _______________________________.

There’s a correlation between _________________________ and the _________________________________.

Is anyone suffering?  __________________________________________.

Is anyone sick?  _____________________________________________.

If anyone has sinned?  _________________________________________.


Connection Group Questions

Read James 5:7-20

What attitudes does James tell us underlie effective prayer? 

See James 1:6-8   James 4:3

Specifically, how did Elijah pray? (James 5:17) ________________________  

Look up the following verses and note how they support this approach in prayer:

Luke 18:1

Colossians 4:2

Romans 12:2

Acts 1:14

Why do you think God values persistent prayer?

James offers us Elijah as an example of someone whose prayers were powerful and effective.  But he also reminds us that “Elijah was a man (a person…just like us).”  In what ways is your prayer life strong, like Elijah’s?  In what ways is it not?

Group Prayer Time:

In our worship gathering this week, we prayed individually for a few specific areas  that are mentioned in James 5:13-16.  (forgiveness, healing and strength).  Have each person share about one area they need prayer for, and then take time for a few others pray for them in this area.

After praying for needs, take a few minutes as a group to offer prayers of praise, worship, adoration and thanks to the Lord. 




Genuine Faith Submits to God’s Will

Key Question:

James 4:4

James 4:7

Submit means to be ___________________________________________.

James 4:13-15

Our _____________ have to do with how we use our ________________. 

We need to take time to ________________  and ________________  the Lord.

Our ______________ have to do with how we spend our______________. 

2 Corinthians 8:7 (NIV)  “But since you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you –see that you also excel in this grace of ______________.”   

________________  is not a ________________  issue; it’s a   ________________ issue.

Matthew 6:21

Practical Steps:

Start by __________________________________________________.

Commit to _________________________________________________.

Grow in __________________________________________________.


Connection Group Questions

Read James 4:1-5:6

James 4:4  What do you think it means to have “friendship with the world”?  Why do you think James uses the term “adulterous” to describe people who practice friendship toward the world?

What ideas come to mind when you think of the word ‘submit’?  How does that differ from the idea of being “under God’s arrangement” and having our life oriented around Him?

Plans/Time:  How difficult or easy is it for you to give time to God?

What are the greatest obstacles you have to spending time “seeking” Him?

What are the greatest obstacles you have to spending time “serving” Him?

What are some things you could do to create time to seek and serve Him in a greater capacity? Do you believe it’s something he is calling you to do?


Do you agree that giving is more of a heart issue than a money issue?  Why or why not?

2 Corinthians 8:7 says we should excel in the grace of giving.  How important is that to you personally?

Is it difficult or easy for you to give your money to God?  What are your greatest obstacles to giving with greater generosity?

In the message this week some practical steps were given in regards to becoming more generous.  Is there a step that you plan to commit to? Why (or why not)?

Read James 5:1-3.  What does James point out about the relationship between worldly wealth and the passage of time?

Look up Matthew 7:19-24.  What similarities do you find between the to the words of Jesus and the words of James?

Based on the words of James and Jesus, what is the right relationship to have with wealth and possessions?   Why?

What one step can you take this week to better live in light what we’ve discovered this week?


Genuine Faith Shows Godly Wisdom

Genuine Faith Shows Godly Wisdom

James 3:13-18
James 3:13
Proverbs 9:1 “Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
The foundation on which wisdom stands is a _______________________ .

7 Pillars of Wisdom from James 3:17
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.
Godly Wisdom is _________________________.

James 3:14 -16
James 1:5-8

If we _____________ God’s wisdom, we will _______________________.
But He expects us to __________________________.

Matthew 7:24-27

Connection Group Questions

Read James 3:13-18
James:13. How do you think can we recognize wisdom and understanding in ourselves and in others?

Why do you think James says wisdom should be seen in our good conduct and shown in our works?

James 3:14 What can bitter jealousy and selfish ambition look like when it takes root within community of believers?

Much of the book of Proverbs is an appeal to pursue and seek wisdom. Look up the following verses. Note what each adds to your understanding about wisdom.
Proverbs 8:10-12
Proverbs 8:32-36
Proverbs 1:7
Proverbs 2:1-6
Proverbs 3:5-8

James 3:17 Why do you think the premiere pillar/quality of wisdom is that it is “pure”?

James 3:18 One of the pillars of wisdom is that it is ‘peaceable’ and James says a crop of righteousness is sown in peace by the peacemaker? What do you think James means by this phrase?

Which of the 7 pillars that show Godly wisdom would you like to see more of in your life?

Which specific relationships in your life would greatly benefit from you operating out of a greater Godly wisdom?

What one step can you take this week to better live in light of this truth?

Genuine Faith Chooses Words With Care

Genuine Faith Chooses Words with Care

Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

James 3:1-12

No ______________ can tame the tongue, but the ___________________can.

Galatians 5:16
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Romans 8:26 says the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.

Seek ______________________________________________

James 1:19

Be ________________________________________________

Be ________________________________________________

Be ________________________________________________

James 4:11

Never ______________________________________________

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen .

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Connection Group Questions
Read James 3:1-12
What do you think James means (in verse 2) to when he says that one who controls his tongue is “a perfect man”?

Of the images that James uses in this passage, which one can you most relate to, and why?

Have each person in the group look up and read one of the following passages. What does each one say about the tongue?
Proverbs 6:16-17
Proverbs 10:19
Proverbs 12:22
Proverbs 17:27-28
Proverbs 18: 6-7, 13
Proverbs 26:20
Proverbs 28:23

How do you think the Holy Spirit can help you in controlling your tongue?

Read James 1:9. Which of the three be’s do you struggle with the most? Why?

Read James 4:11 What are some ways we can speak evil of other believers? What are some ways we can speak evil of unbelievers? Do you struggle in either of these areas? Explain.

Ephesians 4:29 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (see message notes) talk about building others up. For some it comes easy, but for most people it takes intentional effort. What are some ways you can become more intentional in building others up and encouraging others?

Pray for one another in your efforts to tame the tongue and build people up!

Genuine Faith Bears Good Fruit

Genuine Faith Bears Good Fruit

James 2:14-26

Faith vs Works:

If salvation is ____________________________________________, then works _____________________________.

If salvation is ____________________________________________, then  faith ______________________________.

We are saved through faith, but works are the ___________________________.

Justified by works?

Justified means to be _________________ in right standing.

It is JUST as IF  I’D never sinned.

It also means to be ________________ or _______________  in right standing.

James’ main idea:

You say you have faith?  ______________! Don’t tell me; ____________!

Ephesians 2:8-10

Faith without works is _________, _____________ and ________________.

What are you doing to put your faith into action?

Faith isn’t needed when we _______________________________________.

Connection Group Questions

Read James 2:14-20

What do you think James means by faith?  What do you think James means by works?  People can place faith in many things.  How is faith in Christ different than faith in other things, like elevators, spouses, or savings accounts?

James gives an example in 2:15-16 of lifeless, empty faith.  What kind of action would have accompanied genuine faith in this situation?

Have you ever offered pious words of encouragement or sympathy without doing anything practical to help a brother or sister in need?  What usually are the motives behind such statements?     

Why is faith apart from works useless, as James states in 2:20?     

Read about Abraham in Genesis 22:1-18. What do you learn about Abraham in this passage?  How did Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac prove the authenticity of his faith?

Read about Rahab in Joshua 2:1-21.  What stands out to you about this woman?  How was her faith proven to be true?

What areas of your life would you point to as evidence or proof that you have a genuine faith?  (Hint: Look at Galatians 5: 22-23 for areas to consider as a starting point.)

Faith without works is dead, lifeless and useless.  So… How are you putting your faith into action? 

Describe the thinking of someone who believes faith in God means we don’t need to worry about obeying the word any more. Is there an areas of your life where this applies to you?

Try to summarize the message  of James 2:14-26 in one sentence:   

What one step can you take this week to better live in light of this truth? 

Genuine Faith Does not Discriminate

Genuine Faith Does Not Discriminate

James 2:1

The Greek word prosopolempsia literally means acceptor of a face, or a respecter of persons.

Galatians 3:26-28 “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  

God is not a _________________________________.  We should not be either.

What is __________________________in society is _________________ ____________________________ in God’s eyes.

James 2:2-10

When it comes to how you treat others, ______________________________.

James 2:12-13

Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh [sinful behavior], but through love, serve one another.”

Genuine faith does not discriminate, but _____________________________.

Genuine faith does not discriminate, but ______________________________.

Genuine faith does not discriminate, but ______________________________.


Connection Group Questions

Read James 2:-13 again.

James 2:1   From this week’s message:  What do you think is the difference between discrimination as society defines it, versus the kind of favoritism James alludes to?  How does the phrase “as you hold the faith” qualify the concept of partiality, favoritism or discrimination?

Identify some of the certain actions that society approves of which are contrary to God’s word.  Which ones are the most difficult for you to stay true to, and why?

James 2:2-7  James uses the example of favoritism between rich and poor people, but favoritism can be seen in other areas, too.  Is there anyone to whom you show favoritism or discrimination towards?  Why have you singled out that person for your favor? How does showing favoritism toward them damage your ability to love them as you should?

Describe a time you were treated with positive favoritism. How did it feel?   

Describe a time you were treated with negative discrimination. How did it feel?     

Why is it so important for believers not to discriminate among those who enter the doors of our churches?

James 2:10-11  What do these verses tell us about being a lawbreaker? Does it seem fair to you? Why or why not?

Look up Romans 13:8-10. How do Paul’s words reinforce the principles in 2:9-11?

How should the idea that we will be “judged under the Law of liberty” impact our words and actions? List some specific examples for each of these areas: home, work, church, community.

Is there a person in your life to whom you need to extend mercy instead of judgment? What is holding you back from doing so?

James covers a lot of territory in these verses, but if you were to glance back though 2:1-13, how would you summarize in one sentence (in your own words)? 

3 ways we should not  show partiality or discriminate were mentioned in the message.  Keeping these in mind, what is one step can you take this week to better live in light of this truth?


Genuine Faith Obeys the Word

Genuine Faith Obeys the Word

James 1:19-25

The ______________is our __________________________________. 

Things that need to move out:

________________, which refers to our sinful ____________________.

________________, which refers to our sinful ____________________.

Something that needs to move in: _______________________________. 

Questions: Is the word of God being “implanted” in you?  Would you consider your heart “fertile soil” for the word of God?  Is it taking root, growing and developing within you?

Five things we should do with the Word of God:






Three results of pursuing God’s word in our lives:


____________________________   John 8:31-32


Connection Group Questions


Read James 1:19-25

Verse 21

With what attitude are we supposed to receive the Word of God?

Why do you think this attitude important?

Verses 22-25

In what way does James warn us not to be deceived?

How do you see Scripture as being like a mirror?  What does it show us about ourselves?

What have been your impressions of people who claim to know Jesus yet do not live according to His word?  How do you think others view us when we do that?

Verse 25

Many people view God’s word as something that takes away our freedom.  James says it is the perfect law that GIVES freedom.  How do you tend to see it?  In what ways have you experienced ‘freedom’ as a result of obeying God’s word?

Read Psalm 19:7-11 and note list each of the ways the law sets us free.

Verse 25

How does it make logical sense that the one who hears and does will be blessed in what he does?

Share a time when you experienced God’s blessings as a result of obeying His word?

Look up the following verses and note how they reinforce what James says about God’s law:

Psalm 1:1-2

Luke 11:27-28

What aspect of God’s character has this week’s passage of James shown you more clearly?    

What one step can you take this week to better live in light of this truth?



Genuine Faith Resists Temptation

Genuine Faith Resists Temptation

James 1:13-18 

Understanding God (James 1:13, 16-18)

God is not _________________________________________________.

God does not _______________________________________________.

God is the _________________________________________________.

Key Idea: God is not ___________________________________________.

Understanding Temptation (James 1:14-15)

We all have different ___________________________________________ because we all have different _____________________________________.


Sin =

Resisting Temptation requires us to:

____________________ our DESIRES.

____________________ our OPPORTUNITIES.

____________________ taking ACTION.

1 Corinthians 10:13  “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptations he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

When it comes to temptation, there is always more at stake than we think.” ~Andy Stanley

Death =

When we have sinned we must  ____________________________________.


Connection Group Questions/ For Further Study

Read James 1:12-18

Verses 12-13

The Greek word peirázō can refer to either trial/testing or temptation.  The context of the word determines its intended meaning.  What do you think is the key difference between trials (v 2, 12) and temptations (v 13)?

Think of a temptation you have faced unsuccessfully. What was the outcome? In hindsight, how would you handle the temptation differently?      

Verse 13 What do we learn about the character of God?

Verse 14 What is the actual source of temptation?

Verse 15 What is the certain result of giving into temptation?

Read these passages individually and answer the following questions for each passage:   What instructions does this passage give us about dealing with temptation and sin?  What are some examples of ways we can do what this passage says?

Mark 8:34

Romans 8:12-14

Galatians 5:24-25

Colossians 3:1-5

Verse 16

Why do you think it was important to James (and to God) for us to know that God is NOT the one who tempts us to sin or do evil things?

Verses 17-18

God is never the source of our temptation, but according to James, what things is the source of?  (See also verse 5)

How could each of these characteristics of God help us deal with temptation in our lives?

Take some time to share the areas of your life you have been struggling in.  As a group, take time to pray for each person that they might find victory/freedom in their areas of struggle.

What one step can you take this week to better live in light of this truth?