Darcy Reimer
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Pray

Read James 1:12-18

1) Share with one another how God spoke to you through the message on Sunday? Anything jump out for you? Anything trouble you? Cause tension? (if someone is unclear on how they can tell if God is speaking to them personally, take some time to speak into that).

2) God promises to bless those who patiently endure testing and temptation; a Crown of Life to those who endure testing and come out the other end with their love for God still strong. This "crown of life" is often understood as something received in heaven. James makes it clear that this "crown of life" is something we experience in the here and now. Are you experiencing this "crown of life"? Take some time to give evidence of this. Maybe take some time to encourage one another in how you see this "crown of life" in their own life.

3) Is this "crown of life" true in your christian experience? Maybe you are discouraged right now in that you don't see this "crown of life"in your life or in the life of the church like you long to see. Maybe after following Jesus all your life you don't see the maturity in your life you quite expected to see at this stage of the journey. Maybe you wonder if the good years are behind you? Share your thoughts. What is God saying to you concerning this?

4) Let's talk about how blaming God in mistrust for all our misfortune, disappointment, and temptation (even evil) has the power to undermine God's good work in us. Have you been guilty of piling all misfortune, evil, temptation and testing all onto God, unjustly? Can you see now how unhealthy this is?

5) Maybe we need to ask God for the gift of repentance? Remember, repentance is a gift, and is described as a change of mind and heart. Do you need a change of heart / mind concerning sin and the matter of blaming? Do we blame God rather than owning up to our own mistakes and choices? Have we come to believe the lie that there is no evil impulse in us? Or have we gotten too soft on sin? Let's talk about it.

Try to discern God's voice amidst this and pray into it.