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1. Remember the gift-giver.

  • Scripture reference: James 1:17-18, 1 John 1:5-7
  • Leader Notes
    • 1. God is only a giver of good gifts. 
    • 2. Part of being grateful at birthdays, is remembering and thanking who gave you the gift.
    • 3. God is always changing hearts and lives. This is one of His greatest gifts. 
  • Question for reflection: Take time and make a list of 5 “gifts” God has given you. How will you remember to cultivate a heart of gratitude? 

2. Three simple truths.

  • Scripture reference: James 1:19-20, Proverbs 10:19, Romans 2:4 
  • Leader Notes
    • 1. Let every person be swift to hear. 
    • 2. Let everyone be slow to speak. 
    • 3. Let everyone be slow to wrath.
  • Question for reflection: If you were going to focus on one of these areas to improve, which would be the greatest blessing to the people around you? 

3. Do the word.

  • Scripture reference: James 1:21-24, Matthew 7:21-28 
  • Leader Notes
    • 1. God brought us forth in creation by the Word and He continues to lead us by His word. 
    • 2. Because we have the tendency to build unstable things,  God encourages us to build our lives on Him. 
    • 3. Let’s simplify our lives and simply do what the Word says. 
  • Question for reflection: Think about some of the important events/tasks you have scheduled this week, how will you apply the word of God this week in order to make the greatest impact for the kingdom of God? How would your life be different if you simply did what the word of God asked? 

4. Be religious in the best sense.

  • Scripture reference: James 1:25-27
  • Leader Notes
    • 1. The word of God is the perfect law of liberty, a follower of Jesus will understand this and a religious person will not. 
    • 2. Only in a highly politicized world will people miss the essence of the Bible so completely. 
    • 3. We must move through the world in a way that brings Jesus glory. We must not be overwhelmed by the concerns of this world. 
  • Question for reflection: What are you currently angry about? Have you asked the LORD if your wrath is in line with His heart and Word? What would it look like for you to truly be religious in the best sense of the word? 

Optional Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes you say that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
  • Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
  • What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
  • Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?