Personal Spiritual Growth, Part 1 (James 1)

Personal Spiritual Growth, Part 1 (James 1)

HANDOUT FOR SERMON: ADMONITION FOR PERSONAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH. December 3rd, 2023, Manchester, TN.

INTRODUCTION: Today’s lesson is intended to help each individual person here today. We will look at James chapter 1 to see the guidance and teaching offered by God to help us grow and mature in a way the pleases Him and benefits us!  The Book of James focuses on the individual responsibility in our relationship and service to God.  God appeals to everyone who reads and studies His will in the Bible. We must make a personal choice and decision to believe. Everyone must choose to become a “follower of Jesus.”  God has, throughout the existence of the world, expected individual people to make the right choice to listen to Him and follow His instructions.

Scripture: Joshua 24:15, Matthew 16:24, John 15:5-8                                                                                       You are responsible for your salvation. It is up to you to decide to have faith and become obedient to God. It starts with faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Your faith causes you to see yourself as God sees you. Then you recognize your need and dependence for God’s guidance and redemption. (Ephesians 1:7, Acts 3:19). Grace, mercy and redemption are found in Christ Jesus. Becoming a child of God, a Christian, is based on your willingness to submit to God, to be born again, John 3:3-5. You must also submit to baptism for the remission of sin, (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:4-6) This results in your becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:16-17).

The Bible speaks of “babes in Christ.”  Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Ephesians 4:14.  Because we are “babes” in Christ, our heavenly Father through His Son speaks about the need for growth.  Scripture: 1 Peter 2:2-3, 2 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 6:1, Colossians 3:9b-10.

LESSON: Open your Bibles to the James Chapter one and we will look closer at how God wants us to mature in our faith and walk with God.

1.YOU NEED TO GROW IN HOW YOU SEE AND IDENTIFY YOURSELF. James 1:1 & 27                             How do you see yourself?

  • A bondservant, a slave of Jesus Christ. Verse 1
  • Christians scattered in this world. Our citizenship is not of this world.
  • People who decide to keep themselves unspotted from this world. Verse 27
  • What does this mean to me personally? I need to grow up spiritually so I can deal with the challenges and the sufferings that will eventually come because I am a Christian.
  1. GROW IN THE WAY YOU LOOK AT SUFFERING AND TRIAL. James 1:2-4 How do you see yourself?
  • We all grow because of the challenges, troubles, and trials we experience.
  • This world will abuse you, criticize you, reject you and belittle you.
  • Avoiding trials is avoiding God’s will. Christians who try to avoid trials and persecution will not grow and mature in their faith and spiritual strength.

3.GROW IN FAITH SO YOU AUTOMATICALLY PRAY DAILY TO GOD. James 1:5-8 How do you see yourself?

  • We are taught and commanded to pray to God. God cares and He is listening.
  • God works through His word, through people and through His providence.
  • God is still very active so we can pray with confidence.
  1. GROW IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE OF LIFE WITH HUMILITY. James 1:9-11 How do you see yourself?
  • Our need to grow in “littleness.”
  • Greed, status, and position often ruins people.
  • Christians do not need lots of money but we need lots of grace and plenty of humility.
  • We live simply to glorify God in our lives and in our family’s lives.
  1. GROW IN SEEING GOD AS A GOOD FATHER THAT IS HELPING YOU. James 1:12-18 How do you see yourself?
  • God is not against you; God is for you.
  • If you preserver then God will bless you.
  • Don’t be deceived! Don’t listen to those who say God is against you or God is not good.
  • Satan sows seeds of doubt in your mind but God is the giver of good gifts!
  1. GROW IN APPRECIATION FOR THE STRENGTH & CHALLENGE OF SCRIPTURE. James 1:19-21 How do you see yourself?
  • The greatest gift from God is Jesus and His word! We must listen to it and value it!
  • Keep your mouth shut and control your anger.
  • Yes, some teachings are demanding and hard.
  • We though must consider our attitude toward the word of God.
  1. GROW IN URGENCY IN PUTTING INTO ACTION WHAT YOU READ. James 1:22-24 How do you see yourself?
  • Is your life different because you read the Bible?
  • What have you acknowledged and literally changed in your life?
  • What have you given up? How much have your sacrificed for God and others.
  • These lessons are written to Christian (not the non-Christian).
  1. GROW IN CONNECTING RELGION WITH THE REAL WORLD. James 1:25-27 How do you see yourself?
  • Go out there and live it. Pure and undefiled religion. Who do we usually think about when we read this scripture?
  • How many fatherless and widows have you focused on, yet consider yourself a good, strong and faithful Christian? I wonder what God will say to us on judgment day?