Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

James Series

Faith Works When Temptations Knock

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Day 1: Read James 1:13. What’s interesting in this first chapter of James is not only when temptations keep coming, so will trials. If that weren’t enough James uses the same Greek word for trials or temptations. So what’s the difference between the two? Their source and their goal. God uses trials to help us grow. Satan uses temptation to lead us to sin. Think about a challenge you are facing. How is Satan using it as a temptation? How is God using it as a trial to make you stronger?

Day 2: Read James 1:14-15. Satan follows a consistent 3 step process with temptation: Desire. Disobedience. Death. It is not that every time you and I give in to temptation and sin, that we die. We have the forgiveness of Christ that we can hold on to and receive. Where have you seen this pattern at work in your life? Where do you need to ask for forgiveness? To pray to the Holy Spirit for strength?

Day 3: Read James 1:16. Central to dealing successfully with temptations is to refuse to be deceived, fooled or hoodwinked. How has Satan used that tactic in your life in the past? Where might he be seeking to deceive you in your life today?

Day 4: Read James 1:17. When temptations and trials come knocking, James wants us to know God is not the enemy. God is the source of goodness. Give thanks for 5 gifts of goodness you have seen God provide in the last 24 hours.

Day 5: Read James 1:18. While Satan uses desire as bait to hide temptation’s hook, to catch you. God uses first-fruits to give you a glimpse of the great work His grace can do in your life. Where have you seen God’s grace at work in your life this week?

Day 6: Read James 1:12. Even when you fall into temptation, you bite the bait, you’ve done what’s wrong. Satan will seek to keep you down, and Jesus arms extend from a cross to lift you up. Ask God to forgive your sin then rejoice in the forgiveness, mercy and grace God gives to you this day!

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back: Persevering Through Pressure” by Charles R. Swindoll (Amazon Kindle)
  • "The Problem of Pain" by C. S. Lewis (Amazon Kindle)
  • "Lessons from the Navy" by Mark Brouker (Amazon Kindle)

You can also watch this week's sermon or read the full message & GPS here.


Faith Works When Problems Come

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Day 1: Read James 1:1. To those facing the problem of being dislocated from their home, he says “Greetings!” Another way of saying, “Rejoice!” Perhaps in your life you experienced a forced move, did the word rejoice come up as you moved?

Day 2: Read James 1:2-4. What happens is not the source of our considering it pure joy. The source of pure joy is the work Jesus is doing, the perseverance muscle He is building or in an oven’s case baking. Perseverance builds strength and finds growth from facing problems. Where has God built perseverance in your life? Where might He be building perseverance in your life today?

Day 3: Read James 1:5. In those “light bulb” moments when God pours out His wisdom, He leads you in the next best step to take in facing your problems and even more in following Him. When have you sensed God’s wisdom at work in your life? Where do you need to ask for His wisdom to be at work right now? 

Day 4: Read James 1:6-8. The prayer for wisdom is not a prayer for a divine explanation. The temptation is to pray how do I get out of this? Better to pray, how can I grow through this? Take time to pray for God’s wisdom to work in a specific situation in your life today.

Day 5: Read James 1:9-10. James doesn’t hate rich people. James does realize the trap riches can bring. If you live in America, you and I are considered on the rich side of the spectrum in the eyes of the world. Where might riches be pulling you away from God? How will you keep Him first in your life?

Day 6: Read James 1:11. James doesn’t put that verse in to be mean to rich people. Abraham was rich. David was rich. You are rich. James puts that verse in as a warning light when problems come, faith works. Faith perseveres because its source is God. What pulls you focus towards “stuff”? What pulls your focus toward God? What warning lights are set up in your life to warn you your stuff is taking over what’s most important? Guiding lights to connect you with God as your top priority?

Recent additional GO DEEPER reading opportunities:

  • "The Problem of Pain" by C. S. Lewis (Amazon Kindle)
  • "Lessons from the Navy" by Mark Brouker (Amazon Kindle)
  • "The Gospel According to Hamilton: Seeing God in the Broadway Musical" by Jeff Hamling (Amazon Kindle)

You can also watch this week's sermon or read the full message & GPS here.