Preparation is the key to success. This is just as true in Bible study as it is anywhere else in life. In the coming weeks we are going to spend many hours in personal study, listening to teaching, and discussing the book of James. The question is, “Are we ready to receive what God has for us in this great book?”
I want to suggest several things that would help you prepare for our study of James. If you will commit to preparing yourself for our study with one or more of these, I believe it will greatly enrich the personal benefit you receive from James and corporate benefit we receive from the discussion.
- Read through the book of James once per week while we study it together. You can download the book of James to print out on 7-8 pages of paper double-spaced and with extra wide margins. This will allow you to read the book as a letter (how it was written) and make notes all over it (those you like you add to your Bible).
- As you read through the book of James keep in mind that James is writing to a group of Christians who are refugees for their faith. They left their home, extended family, work, language, and culture rather than forsake the name of Christ. They are hurting (emotionally, relationally, financially, physically) and angry. This letter is James’ encouragement and instruction to them. Often with the practical nature of the book of James we forget to read this book in light of the historical context of its recipient.
- Review the handout of topically arranged memory passages from James. Identify one or more that fit you and commit to memorize them. As we study through the book of James pay particular attention to how James is “setting the stage” for the passage(s) you are memorizing. This will allow your Bible memorization to be enriched by a more complete understanding of the context of the passage that speaks to your need.
- Pray at least once per week for me, as your teacher, and my time of preparation. Ask God to use our time of study and discussion to expand your understanding of and ability to apply (live out) the book of James.
Bible Memory Verses for James
Below are passages to memorize from the book of James based upon various life struggles and family roles. Use this not only to assist you in strengthening the discipline of memorizing Scripture (Psalm 119:11; Hebrews 412-13), but also to prepare your heart for this study.
- Those who are in the midst of suffering (1:2-4, 12; 5:7-11)
- Those who are seeking to live with greater wisdom (1:5-8)
- Those struggling with pride or identity is in “stuff” (1:9-11; 4:6; 5:1-6)
- Those struggling with temptation (1:13-15; 2:10-12; 4:17; 5:19-20)
- Those who struggle to rest in the goodness of God (1:16-17)
- Those who need to work on conflict (1:19-21, 26; 3: 2-12; 4:1-10; 5:12)
- Those with more “head knowledge” than practice (1:22-25; 3:13-18)
- Those who neglect the call to care for others in need (1:27; 2:15-17)
- Those who favor or seek favor those with status (2:1-7)
- Those trying to evangelize the pseudo-religious (2:19)
- Those who struggle to evaluate sincere faith (2:14, 20-26)
- Those who struggle with control issues (4:3-16)
- Those who live with as “that’s none of your business” motto (5:16)
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”