To know God and to make Him known.

The Gospel in Shoe Leather

As a young Christian, I studied the book of James intently. As a matter of fact, the first verses of any length that I ever really memorized were from James 1:2-10. I can still say them today! Aside from the memory verses, I found this book full of practical principles and enlightening instruction. You could say this book helped me put on the walking shoes I needed to travel the Christian road.

Has your family ever considered studying a book of the Bible for a school year? Consider the book of James. Do you have middle schoolers or high schoolers? I would go so far as to say you need the book of James!!

Consider some key themes and ideas that are compared or contrasted:

  • Trials produce maturity
  • Getting wisdom
  • Hearers vs. doers
  • Showing favoritism
  • Faith and works
  • Taming the tongue
  • Wisdom from above vs. wisdom from below
  • Quarrels, selfishness, pride, and humility
  • Greed
  • Patience and endurance

Do any of these themes strike a chord in the heart of your family? They all do in mine!

Here is just a sample of one theme we recently pulled out as a family:

2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.                    — James 1:2-10

The plumb line has been set, the standard has been revealed; now, we ask questions and discuss. Which characteristics typify my speech and my conversations? Hearing hard things from other family members teaches us to recognize our own need for grace and our need to extend grace to others, as we seek to "walk out" God's revealed standard concerning wisdom.

The book of James, the gospel in shoe leather--watch out! Not only will it shoe your soul for the walk of life, it will nstep on your toes!

CATEGORIES: Articles, Big Ideas: Truth, Beauty, Goodness and more!, Dialectic Stage (ages 12 to 14), Grammar Stage (ages 4 to 11), Rhetoric Stage (ages 14 to 18)

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