Welcome back to online bible study as we discuss week five of James, Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. On Day one we completed “The Interview” in our workbooks and walked through a 9-step process. While the interview wasn’t pleasant for many of us, it was based on the book of James and important to our study. We learned You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:2 NIV So if you do not have the fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control- then ask God for it. If you do not feel like the Proverbs 31 women, then ask God for it. If you are in conflict over a situation or relationship, then ask God to repair and heal it. Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt 7:7-8 NIV
This week in our study we also examined if we are living by the Spirit or by the flesh. Did you enjoy the session on friendship? Beth brought social media into our study of James, showing us how Facebook, Twitter, email and blogging are aligned with the human spirit. “Friendship means closeness,” she writes, and “friendship also means neighbor.” She points out that intimacy with Christ comes intentionally and through closeness, or face-to-face. This is an excellent argument for attending church, volunteering or joining small groups in your local community. To be a neighbor and love one another as Jesus loves, we need physical closeness. There is much pride and narcissism in social media as we are empowered by the “delete” or “unfriend” button, or can simply “lurk upon others” and not engage our hearts with them. If you don’t think the devil is prowling social media setting traps and destroying others, you’re not seeing it with spiritual eyes. Know the difference between friends of the Spirit and friends of the flesh. As Beth says in the audio session, you may need to let a few friends go and seek spiritual friends. “Friendship with God makes a person humble and friendship with the world makes a person proud,” writes Beth. I chose humble friends and hope to be one myself.
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Beth Moore Quotes
- If we can’t ask God for it, He’s not in it.
- Authentic faith cannot help but act.
- Face-to-face or presence-to-presence intimacy with Christ only comes intentionally.
- Friendship with God makes a person humble and friendship with the world makes a person proud.
- Be deliberate in what you resist and what you draw near.
- Scripture by no means presents God and Satan as equal opponents. One is Creator, one is created.
- When we resist God, we draw near to Satan. If we’re in Christ, the Devil cannot have our souls.
- If it’s under God, it’s in order.
- Mercy triumphs over judgment.
For Next TWO Weeks (There is no lesson Dec. 26)
- Read Week Six in the workbook
- Listen to the Session SevenAudio or the Session Seven Video (optional)
- Check-in with your small group leader
There will be no lesson on Dec. 26. For those of you who started late or are falling behind, use the time to catch up on your reading. We’ll be discussing week 6 on January 2.
Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like
- Which “submit to God” statement on page 143 spoke most you and why?
- Why is the attitude that we control our destinies and can enforce the fulfillment of all our plans a little absurd? (page 150 )
- Beth says “God looks upon a situation in context of what is, what was, and what is to come.” When you think of your present struggle from The Interview on Day one, how does this make a difference? (page 153 )
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.