Yesterday we started our series “Five Star” that is taking us through the book of James. James was written by James, the half-brother of Jesus. We focused on James chapter one this weekend. You can watch the yesterday’s sermon, Doors Of Opportunity, here or listen to it here. Also, we are often asked what songs we sing on a Sunday in worship, so I have included those song titles and the name of the CD below.
James 1:1, “This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!”
James refers to himself as a ‘slave of God’ not the brother of Jesus. He is humble and didn’t want any of the attention on himself.
James 1:2-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Problems Lead to Doors of Opportunity: Problems are an opportunity for great joy! They are an opportunity for us to grow in our faith! Faith that is consistently growing leads to endurance which leads to becoming spiritually mature, not lacking anything. Which means you’ll come to a place where you don’t need for anything.
Philippians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
James 1:2, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
James says to count it all joy when you experience trials! Trials are an opportunity for God to do something new and exciting!
When one door closes, God can open other doors. Some doors that God opens for us are…
Door of Grace – The door to salvation, to a fresh start. Revelation 3:20, “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Today can be a fresh start. God can use the things going on in your life to point you back to His hope and His grace.
Door of Freedom – Jesus can set you free. If you know the truth the truth will set you free! Freedom from sin, freedom from bondage, freedom from addictions, freedom from past pain or abuse…
Matt shared a quote from Pastor Tony Evans, “Satan’s goal is to keep sinners from going to heaven and to keep saints from enjoying the trip to heaven by tying them up in spiritual bondage and defeat.”
Acts 12:6-19, “The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place. At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.”
The door that man could not open was open for Peter. He had friends that were in the home of Mary praying for Peter to be released. Then, when he was released and standing at the door knocking, they couldn’t believe he was there! God had answered their prayer and they were shocked!
Door of Ministry – God can take a challenging circumstance and open a new door of ministry for you. To build his kingdom. He can turn what is now a message into a message to be used for His Kingdom! Continue to faithfully step in the doors that God opens for you. Don’t wait until he opens the big door of your dreams. Start where you are and go through the doors of ministry that may seem small to you and let Him open doors for you as your are faithful.
Door of Complete Sacrifice – This is when we totally get it. Our life is ALL about Jesus. We are willing to do whatever, go wherever, give whatever, say whatever. Everything we do, everything we say…it’s all about Jesus. Our prayer is, “Not my will but your will be done!” It’s all about the Cause. We are kingdom builders and world changers because we have surrendered all to Jesus.
You can find the songs that we sang this Sunday in our Source.
Always by Jeremy Scott -Generation Unleashed Live (CD)
Our God by Chris Tomlin – Our God (CD)
Savior King by Hillsong -All of the Above (CD)
How He Loves by David Crowder -Church Music (CD)
Happy Day by Tim Hughes – Holding Nothing Back (CD)