Sermon Bible Study Guides

in James

James 5:7-12 - 13th August, 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read James 5:7-12.
  2. Who does James address?
  3. What are the repeated words/phrases/ideas?
  4. What commands are given?
  5. What reasons are given?
  6. Do we see anything that connects to other sections of James?

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. What do we learn about God?
  2. Why is it important that the readers be patient? What might be causing them to be impatient?
  3. What does it mean to "establish your hearts"?
  4. How is grumbling (or not grumbling) related to patience?
  5. What do we learn about suffering and patience when we think about the steadfastness of Job?
  6. How is verse 12 connected to the rest of the passage?
  7. What aspects (God, Man, Christ, Response) of the gospel are touched on in this passage?
    1. How does the gospel re-orient us to be patient in suffering?

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. How should we act as we wait for the Lord?
    1. How are you tempted to be impatient with the Lord and his timing?
    2. How are you tempted to grumble or be impatient with one another?
  2. Are you suffering? Are you waiting?
    1. How could you be helped by the example of the prophets?
    2. How does the Lord's character of compassion and mercy impact your waiting and your suffering?
  3. Do you ever feel like people don't believe your "yes" or your "no"?
    1. Why might this be?
    2. Why should Christians care about the impact of their words without oaths?
    3. How can you grow in truthfulness with the things you say?

Psalm 125 - 6th August 2021

OBSERVATION
What does it say?

  1. Read Psalm 125.
  2. What moods or emotions does the psalmist express? (look for emotional words or punctuation)
  3. What imagery does the psalmist use?
  4. Do you see any similarities between this Psalm and the previous Songs of Ascent? (Psalm 120, 121, 122, 123, 124)
  5. Are there repeated words or ideas?
  6. What connecting words do you see?  (therefore, yet, however, likewise, so then, then, because, for, but, etc.)

INTERPRETATION
What does it mean?

  1. Why does the psalmist compare the Lord to a mountain--specifically Mount Zion?
  2. The Lord protects his people from enemies (v. 2) and from wickedness (v. 3)
    1. Why does He do this?
    2. In the story of the Old Testament, does Israel "stretch out their hands to do wrong"?
    3. How would instilling this ideal (that wickedness will not rest on the land forever) be a comfort to Israelites living in exile?
  3. How are verses 1-3 different from verses 4 and 5?
  4. What do verses 4 and 5 teach us about God? How does might this give encouragement to Israelites in exile?
  5. Is there anything in this passage that points to or foreshadows truths of the gospel? (Remember there might be many answers to this question: does it mirror Jesus in any way? Anything pointing to sin, judgment, salvation, God's love, etc.?)

APPLICATION
How should it change us?

  1. God's protection of His people is linked to their trust in Him (v. 1).
    1. What does this mean for those who have trusted in Christ Jesus for new life?
    2. What about those who have not trusted in him?
  2. God will not allow the unrighteous to rule over his people forever. How does this truth affect Christian prayer?
  3. How does the good news of Jesus motivate us to "do good"? How can you do good to others this week, and especially to those who are in the church? (Galatians 6:9-10)
  4. What are some ways that we might be tempted to "turn aside" to our own "crooked ways"? How can we resist those temptations?

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