Playing Favorites (Part 2)

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 2:8-13 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. (v. 12) Kari was shocked when her 27-year-old daughter called her on a Monday last October, and told her that her wedding, scheduled for Saturday, was cancelled. The groom-to-be had called it off. Even though she was heartbroken for her daughter, Kari needed to decide what to do about the reception, which had already been paid for. She quickly made …

Playing Favorites (Part 1)

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 2:1-7 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. (v. 1) Mahatma Gandhi was a wise man, who led India in the independence movement against British rule and developed nonviolent civil disobedience. He was extremely well-educated, and a voracious reader. He was curious about Jesus, and read the Gospels in order to learn more about him. Gandhi often quoted from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. However, he …

Just Do It!

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 1:22-27 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (v. 22) Early in the 20th century, evangelist Billy Sunday said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you an automobile.” In other words, saying so doesn’t make it so. James says the same. People can listen to sermons or Christian music all day long, and memorize the entire Bible; but until the Word of God …

Just Hush!

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 1:16-21 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. (v. 19) When I was about seven, my entire extended family was gathered for a holiday dinner. Parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were talking all at once, and the noise at the dinner table was deafening. I looked at my grandfather, leaning back in his chair. He hadn’t said a word all day. I remarked, “Grampa, you’re so quiet! …

Fleeting Beauty

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 1:9-15 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. (v. 11) I live in Arizona where we have magnificent displays of wildflowers in the spring. Some of the most beautiful flowers are found on the spinystar cactus. Spinystars are small; only six inches tall and hard to see amid the surrounding grass. That is, except for one day each summer. On one day, all of the spinystars …

A Word to the Wise

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 1:1-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (v. 5) For the next two weeks, we will dig deep into the letter written by James, who introduces himself as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” James was a leader in the early church, and his letter was written as an encouragement to believers who were scattered around the …