Welcome back to online bible study as we continue discussing James, Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. We’ve just finished reading week four in our workbooks and once again it’s time for a group discussion. We first learned from Beth two key points: first, faith is meant to do some good and second, faith shows works. This ties in to last week’s lesson where we discussed ways to love our neighbor. It reminds us that by loving others, we are demonstrating faith.
In the audio session, Beth talks about how the good life saves us from ourselves, while jealousy and selfishness make us spiritually sick. Then she explains how we carry this in our heart and try not to show it to others, because we’re “religious people.” She says “it’s really un-cool to be jealous and have self-ambition and be a Christian!” It resides in the heart. “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it,” says Beth. Instead of physical or mental illness, Beth proposes we have “social illness.” The more we put ourselves first, the more insecure and jealous we become. All of these are forms of pride.
We need the Holy Spirit inside us to keep us from being full of ourselves. On page 101 in the workbook Beth writes “the Holy Spirit convicts us and compels. If we can keep on living without any intervention, interference, or empowerment from Him, He may not be present with us.” If you haven’t invited the Holy Spirit into your life, do so now. If you are struggling with this, seek the advice of your pastor.
Once again Beth opens her heart as she discussed James 3:1 and shared her own teaching experiences. One of the reasons I like her studies so much is that Beth is transparent and real. She reminds us that she’s human, flawed as much as God allows it, and a living testimony of God’s powerful mercy and grace. Her testimony reminds me of my own life verse for teaching: He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30 It’s been the focus of my heart since I started ministry and I carry it with me as Beth carries John 7:16-28 and Jeremiah 45:5 I know many women participating in the online study are also leaders of church studies…and I hope you were touched by this week’s lesson. It wasn’t written to create doubt and confusion (the work of the enemy) it was written by Beth to remind you false teachers exist and will mislead others. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV James reminds us to beware of false prophets too..and I think we’re so convinced everyone is a false prophet, we don’t recognize a real one when he appears. It’s an uphill battle for modern prophets to validate themselves.
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Beth Moore Quotes
- Yesterday’s failure can become tomorrow’s hero of faith.
- Aside from Rabbi Jesus, no teacher masters teaching.
- God will never call you to sacrifice your intimacy with Him on the alter of ministry.
- Many lessons will be taught to you before they’re profitably taught through you.
- I’m not sure which is more toxic: the criticism of people or their adulation.
- Let’s quit trying to take people’s pulse to see if they love us.
- We have a choice which fire lights our tongues (Holy Spirit of flesh).
- You can be rescued by God from your Egypt and still be filled to the brim with bitterness.
- Jealously takes root in the soil of insecurity.
For Next Week
- Read Week Five in the workbook
- Listen to the Session Six Audio or the Session Six Video (optional)
- Check-in with your small group leader
We’ll be reading up to week 5, discuss it a week from today and take a Christmas break. 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
- Do you struggle with superficial faith or legalism? (page 105 )
- Do you believe in modern prophets? How do you know they are real?
- Beth says “Our culture is mass producing narcissists… If you are not fighting it, you are doing it.” What can you do personally to fight this?
- Share your example of wisdom and understanding by completing these sentences: wisdom knows that…. (and) …understanding knows that… (page 123 )
- Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.