A New Year of Awakening

Pastor Craig Carter Is anyone ready for the year to be over? 2020 has been one for the record books. It certainly has been the craziest in my lifetime. Someone has described it as “the gift nobody wanted, but it keeps giving and giving.” Let me remind you of just a few of the things that have happened this year: The year began with Australian bush fires, locusts in Africa, and the impeachment of the President (seems like long ago, doesn’t it?). Hurricane season started early and lasted late (and I’m not sure it’s over yet!) It brought 30 named …

How to Live with Power

Pastor Craig Carter The primary message in the Letter of James is that Christian faith should be demonstrated through Christian action. It’s not enough to know the right thing to do, real followers of Jesus actually do it. So the key verse is found in chapter one, verse 22: Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. (James 1:22a NLT) James argues against a brand of Christianity that simply accumulates biblical knowledge. It’s something I believe is commonplace today as we seem to have developed what I like to refer to as “alien believers.” Do you …

How to Live with Wealth

Pastor Craig Carter This fall we have been engaged in a church-wide study of the Letter of James. This New Testament book is filled with practical advice and shows us “how to live” as Christians. In many ways, the letter of James serves as a commentary on Jesus’ teaching as it touches on many of the themes Christ addressed. One such theme is money. You’ve probably heard that Jesus talked about money more than any other subject. That being the case, it is not surprising that James addresses the topic as well. Jesus made it very clear that material possessions …

How to Live in the World

Pastor Terry Tatum We are several weeks into our church-wide study of the book of James titled “How to Live.” We’ve covered a large portion of James so far and this week we’re discussing how to live in the world. First let’s recap a couple of things we’ve learned: Who was James and who was he writing to? James was the half-brother of Jesus and a leader in the church in Jerusalem. He was writing to Jewish converts to Christianity. In other words, he was writing to people who should know the right things to do – church folks, a.k.a. …

How to Live with Wisdom

Pastor Craig Carter The New Testament letter of James is filled with practical advice and tells us how to live as God’s people. We have learned how to live with patience in times of trouble … in victory over temptation … with others both inside and outside the fellowship … by faith that is real and alive and … and with a controlled tongue. In each case, James says it’s not enough to know the right thing to do, we must do it. But therein lies a two-fold problem. First of all, how do we know what to do in …

How to Live with a Controlled Tongue

Craig Carter The New Testament Letter of James is filled with practical advice to help us live as Christians. As a congregation we have been studying this letter in detail since early September. We have observed that James first introduces a wide range of subjects in the opening chapter and then addresses each topic in greater detail throughout the remainder of his letter. Today we are going to explore James’ statements in chapters one and three regarding how to live with a controlled tongue.  In chapter one, he says, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, …

How to Live by Faith

Mindy Clemons, Lynn Haven UMC Adult Discipleship Director As a church we have been reading through the Letter of James – a section each week – and exploring the letter’s How to Live instructions through Sunday’s teaching sermons and our mid-week Bible study. It is our hope that every member of our church is growing in faith by participating in this plan. We have learned that James, the half-brother of Jesus and a leader of the church in Jerusalem, was writing to an audience of Christian believers. It’s important to know whose mail we are reading for the passage we …

How to Live with Others (Part 2)

Pastor Craig Carter This fall, we are exploring the New Testament Letter of James. It begins with a claim that life is a series of tests consisting of trials and temptations. While Satan wants us to fail these tests so that we stumble and fall, God wants us to pass them all because they enable us to grow and develop as Christians. Given that life is a test, it shouldn’t surprise us there is one day going to be a final exam. Jesus suggested as much during His earthly ministry. And since the Lord hopes we pass with flying colors, …

How to Live with Others (Part 1)

Pastor Terry Tatum Many times in church world we go a mile wide, reaching all kinds of people, but we only go an inch deep as far as actual teaching. With our current sermon and study series, How to Live, our goal is to go a mile wide AND a mile deep, to help as many people as we can go deep into God’s word. How to Live is a church-wide study of the letter of James. The way this is set up will allow you to go deeper into God’s word by reading Scripture several days each week, hearing …

How to Live in Victory

Pastor Craig Carter Last week we looked at the opening verses of the letter of James where he writes… “My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy…” (James 1:2 NCV) The Greek word translated “troubles” literally means “trials, tests or temptations.” Another translation puts it this way: My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways. (James 1:2 GWT) While most students aren’t very fond of tests, they can and do serve a useful purpose: They assess where we are in our grasp of the subject …