In our last visit we were doing a biographical study of James, the author of the epistle named after him. We first collected information about him. You will find a concordance helpful when doing this. Then we correlated this information into an outline.
It was an historical sketch: James – before becoming a Christian, James – becoming a Christian, and James – as a mature Christian. Under each main point we gathered sub points.
The final step in a biographical study is to crystallize some applications to your own life based on what you learned from studying his life.
The first one I identified was, being exposed to Christ doesn’t make you a Christian. James had been exposed to Jesus all his life, but only made his commitment to Him after the resurrection. Growing up in a Christian home and going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. You need to commit yourself to Christ by faith. God however uses all of our experiences and our position in life for His purpose. Being Christ’s brother no doubt contributed to James becoming the leader of the Jerusalem church.
Another application is – he practiced what he preached, and had high expectations of Christians doing the same. We should not expect of others what is not true in our own life.
Finally, he was a man of prayer. His background and his position were not enough to succeed in the work of God. He knew he needed God to answer his prayers. That’s why prayer is mentioned throughout the book.
While reading the book, keep in mind the example of James. It’ll help apply his teaching to your life.