Kids Lesson: Doers of the Word (James 1-2)
Doers of the Word (James 1-2)
Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word” (John 14:23). James reminded believers to do what Jesus said. Jesus takes our punishment for sin so we can live for Him. When we trust in Jesus, we can do what is good and right.
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Bible Story - The Good News
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James was a leader in the early church. He wrote a letter to believers who were living in many different places. James told them how believers should live.
James wrote, “Do what God says. If you hear God’s word but don’t do it, you trick yourselves. Anyone who hears the word but does not do it is like someone who sees himself in the mirror and then forgets what he looks like.” Anyone who hears and does God’s Word will be blessed. James said that people who really love God will love people too. God is honored when Christians show their faith by doing what is right and good, like helping people who have no one to take care of them. James also wrote, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is cold and hungry and you say, ‘Go in peace, stay warm and full,’ but you do not give him clothes or food, what good does that do? In the same way, faith in God without action is no good.” Anyone can say, “I have faith,” but we know someone has true faith by what he does. James reminded the believers of Abraham and Rahab. Abraham had true faith. We know this because he obeyed God when God asked him to do very hard things. Rahab had true faith too. We know this because she hid spies in Jericho even though it was dangerous. God does not accept people because they do what is good and right. He accepts people who trust in Jesus. Those who are accepted into God’s family will do what is good and right because God loves them.
Bible Story Summary
- James said to be doers of the word.
- We know someone has true faith by what he does.
- Christians do what is good and right because God loves them.
- Do we do good works to make God love us, or do we do good works because God loves us? What is the difference?
- How does someone’s actions show he or she is a Christian?
- Brainstorm ways your family can live out your faith by serving others.
Donate clothes or other items for people in need or fill ziplock bags of items to
distribute to people without a home. Items could include socks, wipes, granola bars, and water.
Download PDF (Lessons for January 10 through January 31)
Echo Clap a Rhythm
Form a circle on the floor. Clap out a simple rhythm (1-2-3-4) and guide the group to copy you. Repeat using different clapping rhythms, incorporating finger snaps, pats on your knees, and rests as time allows.
Say: Thank you for clapping with me. You had to listen carefully and do what I did. In today’s Bible story, a leader in the early church named James wrote to believers. James told believers to listen and do what God says.
Elementary Discussion Questions
Help your kids find James 1-2. Ask the following questions:
James says that a person who hears the Word of God but does not do what it says is like who? (A person who sees himself in a mirror and then immediately forgets what he looks like, James 1:23-24)
What two groups of people did James specifically mention helping? (widows and orphans, James 1:27)
What does James say a person can show their faith by? (the works they do to obey God, James 2:18)
If you take care of people in need and show kindness to others, but do not trust Jesus, are you saved? Remind kids that faith is necessary to salvation. We cannot earn salvation by good works.
Why is faith without works useless? Guide kids to understand that a person who claims faith but shows no outward signs of loving and obeying God’s Word probably does not have true faith. Explain that saving faith is marked by the Holy Spirit’s presence in a person’s life. He transforms people to live more and more like Jesus; a person who isn’t being transformed likely doesn’t have the Holy Spirit in his life.
What are some ways we can do good works through faith? Help kids brainstorm practical ways they can live on mission, such as sharing their lunch with a friend, showing kindness to someone they don’t normally get along with, and telling their friends about Jesus.
Close with this: James’ letter was written mostly to Jewish believers. He wanted them to be prepared for hard times, and he wanted them to honor God with their actions, not just their words. James said faith without works is useless. We know that the Holy Spirit helps us do good works for God’s glory.
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