Like Matthew, the Book of James was intended for a Jewish audience, as seen in verse 1. James is Jesus’ half-brother. He had initially rejected Jesus (Mark 3:31-35), but probably trusted him after his resurrection (Acts 15:13). James was one of, if not the first book of the New Testament written. James is giving very practical advice for how people’s lives should match what they believe about Jesus. Having grown up in the same house as Jesus, he would have lots of insight into what faith looks like in everyday life.

Just as Jesus had been arrested and crucified, so the Jews who had trusted Jesus were also being persecuted. Understandably, they couldn’t figure out why God was letting this happen. James puts a strange twist on difficulties by saying we should find joy in them, because they make us strong. The best test of our faith comes in the bad times, not the good. Jesus had taught that it was hard for rich people to get to heaven, so James also sees poor people as being the ones with all the advantages. They can be stronger in this life due to their struggles and be more likely to have eternal life. It’s not that God causes our suffering, but he does use it to make us stronger.

James tells us it’s not enough to read the Bible; we need to put it into practice. There aren’t too many people who are joyful in suffering or like being poor, so there aren’t very many who seem to have put this chapter into practice. However, many have grown stronger in their faith in difficult times. The joy probably comes more after the trial has passed and the faith has been strengthened, but with faith, we can believe the trial is for our benefit even in the midst of it. (Daily New Testament , quarter 1)

What if….some of the hard things God calls us to do, is really to strengthen someone else’s relationship with him?

Good and evil

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Matthew 12:35 NIV

When I look at my life, and the lives of those around me, we all have the ability to bring out good and evil.

I see good come out of people that I would consider to be toxic.

Thank you Father, for this verse, and the conversations I will have in the future.

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned. Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
James 5:8‭-‬20 NIV


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Philippians 2:3‭-‬5 NIV

This is a verse that I need to put into action. When I am frustrated with someone, I should probably ask myself, why? I have been praying for wisdom and discernment. One person has demonstrated their character over and over…(Lord, how can I help that person grow and be happy in you?). That isn’t the one on my heart, making me angry. It is another. I have not prayed for her. I still need to have a discussion, because her attitude and words are destructive. First, I need to pray, that my heart is right, and that I would understand where she is, and why she is so negative. Forgive me Father, for not lifting her up to you first.

Don’t give up

Word… don’t be afraid to walk out on water…. get around new people….

Vlcs isn’t slipping through our fingers… it is God’s and we need to have faith in Him to do His work.

Visalia First
March 3, 2018
03/04/2018 Visalia First: Giving Up Too Soon: The Problem of Giving Up Too Soon
By: Mike D. Robertson
Lead Pastors | Mike & Karen Robertson

II Kings 13:14-21 NKJV
14 Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” 15 And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and some arrows.” So he took himself a bow and some arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17 And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the Lord ’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them. ” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. 19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.” 20 Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. 21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

The Doorkeeper To Blessing!

1. SOMEONE is the doorkeeper to your next blessing.
God doesn’t allow full access to Him without other people.
Enemy doesn’t want you to have relationships


The Doorkeeper To Blessing!

2. God is not going to allow you to ACCESS all of Him without needing someone else.

The Doorkeeper To Blessing!

3. We need people who connect us with our DESTINE, not just our history.
God will connect us with people that will make us uncomfortable.
God calls us out to make us uncomfortable togrow us.


The Doorkeeper To Blessing!

4. Elisha gave up what he could SEE for what he could not see.
God is calling us to do more.
sometimes God will test your staying power.


It’s Bigger Than Us!

1. All of us have been called to something that is BIGGER than us.

It’s Bigger Than Us!

2. The problem with too many people: They GIVE UP too soon!
Thinking too small.
whatever we are thinking Is too small.
Faith- in order to pull off whatever it is He is calling usto do.


It’s Bigger Than Us!

3. What cannot be accomplish in my LIFETIME can be accomplished through a LIFELINE.
Elijah wanted a double portion of what was on the man of God.

Too many people give uptoo soon.

Elisha was angry because he had more to give-


“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.”
– Jim Rohn
Sticks astones a