Study Tools

James: Key Verses

Each chapter in the book of James has a two to four themes. If you want to learn the content of the book of James you can learn the themes along with key verses which will help you know what is contained in each chapter and in the book.

I would encourage you to commit these verses to memory. Learning key verses for books of the Bible will help you know what is contained in the book. And, in this case, each of these verses will give you a greater idea of what is in each chapter.

James 1

Greeting — James 1:1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Trails and Temptations — James 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Doers and Not Hearers Only — James 1:22

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James 2

Partiality — James 2:1

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Faith Without Works — James 2:14

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

James 3

Controlling the Tongue — James 3:5

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

Wisdom — James 3:17

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

James 4

Worldliness — James 4:4

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Judging One Another — James 4:11

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Boasting About Future — James 4:14

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James 5

Warnings to the Rich — James 5:1

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Patience in Afflictions — James 5:8

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Prayer — James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Wandering Christians — James 5:20

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Image with link to a memory course for the book of James.While I have listed these as the key verses to help you learn the topics in each chapter, there could be other verses that you may find to be better in helping you remember each chapter’s content. If you do have another verse that you prefer, post that in the comments below. I am curious as to what stands out as important to others.

For the most part, this list came from a memorization course on the book of James that I am doing. Check out the Master of Memory course if you would like to memorize the book as well.

Bible Thought

To Whom Do You Pray?

Recently I was in Ethiopia and was privileged to be part of a prayer meeting in which the people were praying specifically for missions. It really was an amazing meeting. There were pastors, missionaries and church members.

I was struck by how the different people in the meeting prayed. Keep in mind that I could not understand the words of the language. What I could understand, though, was the seeming attitude in their prayers that spilled out in the way they spoke.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

—Matthew 6:5-7

God: Feared Ruler

A couple of people prayed in a way that seemed too familiar. They prayed as if they were carefully slipping into the room of a ruler whom they feared, but maybe not respected. It is a way many of us are taught to pray. We are given formulas for approaching God as if a protocol minister were preparing us to enter into the throne room of an angry king.

We should certainly take our prayers seriously and with gravity, yet we should also see God as someone who loves us. God is not looking for an excuse to beat us over the head with His scepter. He has invited us to approach Him with confidence through the authority of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Televangelist Prayer

One of the ladies who prayed sounded like a televangelist yelling at her audience trying to convince them of their wickedness and need for repentance. The problem is that she was speaking to God. It almost sounded like she was angry at Him and trying to coerce Him into granting her petition. This reminded me of the story Jesus told in Luke 18:9-14 about the proud Pharisee and humble tax collector in which Christ said the humble one would have his sins forgiven.

Approaching God with confidence is appropriate, but there should be some reverence mixed in. When you go to God flippantly, or with the idea that you are the boss telling Him what He should do for you, then you have crossed the line from confidence to arrogance. That is exactly the perceived attitude that came through this lady’s prayer. I say “perceived” attitude because I really don’t know the lady, her heart or even the words she was saying, but I think the way we speak tells much about our attitude and thoughts.

God: Respected Friend

One older pastor prayed as if God was in the room with him. He spoke in a respectful way that seemed to exude an understanding of holiness; yet his prayer was confident as if he were speaking to a friend.

I appreciated his balance of respect and closeness to God. Prayer was obviously not something new to this man. His prayer was like talking to a friend he greatly respected and trusted.

We should pray to God as a king, judge, respected elder and friend. The proper attitude in prayer is somewhere mixed into the middle of all those ideas.

Bible Thought

Hear Lord, for Thy Servant Speaketh

How do you approach prayer? Is it a time where you go to the Lord and tell Him to listen to everything you have to say and then walk away unwilling to hear what He has to say to you?

God spoke to the young boy Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. After being instructed by Eli to listen to God’s voice and respond to him, Samuel said, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.” Samuel was intent on listening to God.

How often do we turn that around though? We tend to go to God and say, “Hear Lord, for Thy servant speaketh.” We aren’t willing to take the time to listen to what He has to say to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit.

We know that God wants us to take our burdens to Him in prayer (1 Peter 5:7). There is nothing wrong with taking a list to God of needs and requests. But our prayers should not stop there. Does He know you love Him too? Have you praised Him for His wonderful watch-care in your life?

There are many other examples besides Samuel we could look to for someone listening to God. The Old and New Testaments are full of stories. John 10:27 says that God’s sheep hear His voice. You may be thinking, “I am one of His sheep, but I don’t hear His voice.” The problem is not that He wants to keep you clueless and unsure of His will. The problem is often that we are too busy talking, entertaining ourselves, worrying or a host of other things that we haven’t even taken the time to listen to His voice.

I am not talking about an audible voice. God clearly spoke that way in the Bible at times. What I am talking about is that you are in tune with God, His Word and the Holy Spirit to know that He is leading you in a certain way. You don’t need an audible voice when you have the Holy Spirit of God living within you. Allow Him to guide your life and help you make decisions. But He can’t lead if you aren’t listening to His Word or focusing on His will for your life.

Take time to pray. God wants to hear from you. But don’t forget to listen too.

Bible Thought

3 Ways to Pray for Missionaries From the Apostle Paul

Paul is talking to the church in Thessalonica in 2 Thessalonians chapter 3. He asks for prayer in three areas for himself and his fellow missionary partners in verses 1 and 2.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

God’s Word Would Have Free Course

Paul asked the people to pray that the Bible would have “free course” as the missionaries go out to preach. This phrase carries with it the idea that God’s Word would run freely and swiftly in the places it is preached. That the Bible would not be hindered in its mission.

Pray for missionaries (and anyone preaching the Gospel) that the Bible will accomplish its task. Pray that as it is preached it will freely penetrate the hearts of men.

God’s Word can be hindered because of worldly influences over the lives of the hearers. Culture, superstitions and human nature are factors in keeping the Bible from being accepted. Religion can play a role in hindering God’s Word too. When people have been taught half-truths concerning the Bible, it can cause confusion in the mind of the listeners. They may be convinced that they are just fine before the Lord because of the good deeds they have accomplished. The truth is that we are wicked sinners who are in need of a Savior.

The Bible Would be Glorified

The people in Thessalonica should pray that God’s Word would be glorified—honored or lifted up. The idea is that the Bible should have value placed on it. The Bible is often de-valued, not by the hearers, but by those who are preaching it. When a missionary does not place proper value on the importance of the Bible, then those who are listening to God’s Word being preached won’t value it either.

It is important for missionaries to maintain a proper testimony. No one expects the missionary to be perfect. He is a redeemed sinner like anyone else in the church. However, people do look to pastors and missionaries as examples of how to live. When a leader does not value God’s Word enough to obey it and preach it with authority, then it is hard for the followers to do the same.

God Would Protect Them From Wicked Men

Finally Paul asked that the church pray that they would be protected from wicked and unreasonable men. Our warfare on this earth is not with flesh and blood; however, spiritual warfare is often manifested through people.

Pray that missionaries would be spared from people trying to hinder the work. Missionaries face daily trails just like anyone else in the churches back home. However, every struggle seems to be magnified when working in another country. Roadblocks in ministry can be seen as personal attacks on the missionary. Of course this is often a matter of perception. But it is easy for a missionary to get discouraged and the work of God to halt its forward progress.

As a missionary in Mexico I was involved in an accident which resulted in me spending several hours in jail. I had no opportunity to personally argue my side of the story. In Mexico the law is that you are guilty until proven innocent. I spent 7 hours waiting for my innocence to be proven by the testimony of others and by the evidence available. Fortunately I was released with no further problems. But that could have gone another way. I could have been wrongfully charged for something that was truly a freak accident. I believe God spared me from that because of the prayers of supporters. God saved me from the hand of people who had no interest in my success as a missionary.

Do you pray for missionaries? Paul asked that the church in Thessalonica pray for him and the other missionaries with him in these three specific areas. Will you pray for the missionaries you know that God’s Word would accomplish its task, that it would be glorified and that the missionaries would be spared from wicked and unreasonable men?