Chapter 3 of The Book of James
I will interpret the title of this chapter for the sake of those who are not familiar with the sounds of New Orleans. “Who dat” is simply a way of saying “Who is that?” with some Cajun spice. Have you ever taken a long look at yourself and thought those very words?
I was leading an afternoon group discussion at the Women’s Home for Addicts and Alcoholics. We began by asking the lead question, “If you could ask God for anything, what would you ask for?” After we got past the fluff, saying what you think you are supposed to say instead of being honest, we had an exceptionally good class. I was ready to close in prayer when one of the clients asked me what I would ask God for.
Since the group leader does not normally participate in answering the question (They, whoever they are, say the discussion works better this way), I had not given much thought to a personal answer. What would I ask for? The response led directly to this study.
“Lord, let me see myself as other people see me,” I prayed. It’s easy to look at other people and form an opinion about them, but we tend to look at ourselves in a different light. What about the people who really know us? What do they see?
I was satisfied with my prayer until I spent some more time with the Lord. By the next day it was urgent that I added to my request. “Lord,” I began, “let me see myself as others see me and then help me be man enough to take it.” “Even more importantly, Lord, let me see myself as you see me.”
The scriptures covered in this lesson will help you take a good look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word. You will not find a better portrait of yourself. You may have the opportunity to teach this lesson to thousands in the future, but today it is for you. Your life will change when you can see yourself as God sees you.
It is important that you do these lessons in order. If you do this you should be able to take each study in the direction God is leading you. It will be a great help to you if you write each truth you learn in a ledger. Over time you can go back and be encouraged when you read them again. There will be truths you have learned which will be even more profound the second time around.
“. . . to keep oneself unspotted from the world . . .”
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Lesson Study No. 3
Before you begin this worksheet, read (James 1:21-27), and then “ask God for wisdom”. (James 1:5)
- (James 1:21-22) When you see the word “therefore” in scripture it is “there for” a reason. The phrase always refers to what was previously written.
(James 1:21) Because we are Christians what should we give up?
(James 1:21) Because we are Christians what should we receive?
Look up the word “engrafted” in the dictionary and write out the definition.
(James 1:21) What does it mean “to receive with meekness the engrafted word”?
(James 1:21) What is the “engrafted word” able to do?
(James 1:22) What do we actually do to ourselves when we hear and understand the Word of God but fail to do anything with it?
- (James 1:23-24) When you look in the mirror what do you see?
When a person reads the Word of God they should see themselves, not those around them. Trying to apply the Word of God to someone else will never set you free. Let His light shine on you.
(James 1:23) Has God ever showed you something about yourself and you never did anything about it?
Before you answer this question, “ask God for wisdom” as you might have tried to bury it so deep you forgot all about it.
- (James 1:25) What does a person have to do to be blessed in his deeds?
Have you continued in the ways of the Lord?
Are you mindful of the things of God?
Do you do the work of the Lord?
Take another good look at yourself.
Does it make you want to say “Who Dat”?
- (James 1:26) What happens to a person who does not bridle (control) their tongue?
The trouble with talking too much is, after a while, you start to believe everything you say. We will talk more about the untamed tongue in chapter 6 with our lesson from James 3.
- (James 1:27) What is “pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father”?
Name some people you know who need help.
What are you doing to help them?
Take note of the phrase “God and the Father”.
According to this verse, Who is Jesus?
Read Romans 12:2. How do we keep ourselves unspotted from the world?
- Write down some truths you have learned from this lesson and how you can apply those truths to your life. Remember, these are “words you can live by”.
- Memory verse:
“But be you doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”