2.1: approaching God, James 1

> Prayer is a lifestyle. According to James 1, what kinds of things should we ask for/not ask for? And what kind of attitude should we have?

> How should scripture interact with our lives?

> What verses from this chapter would you like to memorize?

2.2: seeking wisdom above all, 1 Kings 3

> If you were given the chance to ask for one thing, and you knew you would get it no matter what it was you asked for – what would you seek? What does this say about your values? (Consider Matthew 6:21)

Bonus: Proverbs 8 & 9 – Wisdom

> Some of the wise sayings of Solomon are written in the book of Proverbs, and Psalm 72, 127, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs are also attributed to him. Read Proverbs 8 & 9 (they are short chapters) and look at what is said about wisdom. Write your own reflections and prayer.

2.3: temptation and obedience, 1 Samuel 15

> Backstory: Samuel was the spiritual leader of the nation,  and the prophet who anointed Saul king.  The Amalekites were a very evil nation who did many cruel and sinful things. Consider James 1:13-15, then read this chapter, and consider how well Saul faced temptation.

> Notice how Saul tries to “excuse” his sin and convince himself and Samuel that what he did was okay. Once you have given in to temptation, why is it hard to admit later that what you did was wrong?

> Consider verses 22-31 on what God desires, what shows our rejection of him, and how we come again into right relationship.

2.4: faith, James 2

> What does God say about how to treat people? How does he judge us?

> What kind of actions will reveal that we have characteristics of Jesus in our hearts, and a true faith in Christ?

> As Abraham, do you think you could trust God and love him enough to give up ANYTHING he asked you to?

2.5: Rahab: an active faith that was rewarded, Joshua 2,6

> Rahab had a lifestyle God does not approve of, yet when she put her faith in God, he saved her and helped her turn her life around. How does this impact your view of sin and salvation, and how we as Christians should interact with those who are not yet (or brand new) believers?

> What differences do you see between the way Joshua and Saul led?

> Do you think Saul and Rahab got what they “deserved” or does God seem unfair? Why did God judge as he did?

2.6: honoring God by purity, James 3

> This chapter talks about the importance of purity in our speech (v. 1-10), purity in our hearts (v. 11-12), purity in our attitudes (v. 13-16), and then about what true purity looks like. In which area is it hardest for you to maintain purity?

> What things might you need to submit to God, or repent? Are you holding onto a grudge in any area? Where might you be lacking God’s perspective?

2.7: honoring God by action, Ephesians 6

> Regardless of our age, we are to honor our parents. What are some practical things you can do to show honor to your parents?

> Today we can take the slave/master analogy to mean student/teacher, or employee/boss.  How well do you respect your master? Or, if you are able to set your own schedule and agenda, how well do you honor God in that? How can you improve?

2.8: spiritual battle, James 4

> Is your first thought when you need or want something to ask God, or to try to get it yourself? Have you recently asked God for something, but had selfish motivations for wanting it? In what ways do you need to better apply verses 4-10?

> Humble confession before God is the first step to being strong in spiritual warfare, as Ephesians 6 talks about. Consider Eph. 6:11-18 and think about ways you ought to rely on God more. Which part of your armor is the hardest to keep on?

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