Review: “James: Mercy Triumphs” by Beth Moore

James: Mercy Triumphs

Want a hard-hitting, engaging, potentially life-changing Bible study? James: Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore fits the bill.

When LifeWay Christian Resources asked if I would review Moore’s latest release, I readily agreed. I’ve heard her speak at conferences and have always come away chewing on the meat of God’s word, but I had never before worked through any of her many Bible studies.

Although James, like all of Moore’s studies, is addressed to women, I can honestly say that this study ranks as one of the most transformational for me personally. Perhaps it was the timing, meeting me right where I happen to be in life. Perhaps it was the über-practical content. Whatever the reason, I can unreservedly recommend this study to you.

Here’s a promotional video to give you the flavor of the study:

About the Study

James, unsurprisingly, is about the brief New Testament book that bears his name, but it is also a character study of the man himself, which is surprising, considering that we know very little about him. Yet Moore skillfully pulls the threads of Scripture and history together to paint an intriguing picture of James the man, which has significant bearing on the letter that he wrote.

You may know that James was Jesus’ physical, younger brother. But do you know what their relationship was like before Jesus was crucified? What it was like after He was raised? Did you know that James was the leader of the brand new church in Jerusalem? That he was thoroughly steeped in the Old Testament scriptures as well as Jesus’ teachings? That he effortlessly wove them into his letter? And that the letter he wrote was probably the first of the New Testament books written? All these facets of James the man (and others described throughout the study) help to understand the sometimes jarring words we find in his letter.

James confronts us with the practical implications and obligations of living out the faith we claim. It’s convicting, to be sure, but it also inspires even greater love for our awesome God and the people around us.

About the Layout

James marks a number of “firsts” for a Beth Moore study.

  • It is the first study for which she collaborated with her daughter, Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick, on the content of the study. More on this in a minute.
  • It is the first study where she provides five levels, or options, of participation, allowing each student to choose the level that best meets their schedule and constraints.
  • It is the first study where she encourages students to handwrite and memorize the text – in this case, the book of James. (These are optional, so don’t be frightened away.)

Workbook SampleJames is an eight-week study (seven weeks of homework), and one of the first things you’ll want to do is determine your level of participation. Each level builds upon the previous one. Here are the five options defined by Moore:

  1. Watch the Videos: There are eight videos that comprise the heart of the course (with two optional bonus videos). These can be purchased at most Christian bookstores or ordered online. (There are also audio-only versions available as CDs or MP3 files.)
  2. Complete the Homework: The beautifully constructed workbook supplements the video sessions and goes much deeper into Scripture. Again, workbooks can be purchased in stores or online. (The book is also available as an interactive iPad app for those who prefer a paperless option.)
  3. Handwrite James: Seeing, hearing, and reading are powerful learning mechanisms, but how about writing? Taking the time to slow down and handwrite the text of the book of James is wonderful in so many ways!
  4. Read the Articles: Scattered throughout the workbook are articles, written by Moore’s daughter, Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick, that are meant to take you even deeper. These articles are a little more technical and scholarly and are for anyone wanting even more meat to chew on.
  5. Memorize James: This is the pinnacle, where you hide God’s word in your heart. It is a blessing to you and to God. Just think how your Father feels when His children regard His word so highly that they put forth the time and effort to memorize it. And, of course, God’s word never returns void – it will bear fruit in your life.

Additional Resources

Promotional MaterialsIf you will be leading a Bible study group through James, here are a few more supplemental resources you may want to consider:

And here are some materials that you can use to promote your Bible study:

Wrap Up

James is superbly constructed, from beginning to end, and Moore’s speaking and writing style is so personal and engaging that you can’t escape the practical ways in which the Scriptures apply to your life. And application is the goal of any Bible study. As James would say:

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;

for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

James 1:22

Upon completing the study, I can concur with Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick’s poignant summary regarding the legacy of James the man:

“The words of Jesus are so deeply implanted in James that he effuses them creatively in his own unique circumstances. This word embedded in James is a catalyst for him to create his own sayings but in the same tenor and tone of Jesus’ voice.

This is the bottom line for me. If you asked me what I want to take with me from James, it’s this. I want the life and wisdom of Jesus to so transform me that even when I’m not deliberately referencing a Bible verse, I remind someone of Jesus.”

(Page 207)

Amen.

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6 Responses to “Review: “James: Mercy Triumphs” by Beth Moore”

  1. LifeWay Women thanks you for a most thorough post about our newest Beth Moore Study, James. Thanks so much!

  2. Hi, Kris! You’re so welcome! Keep churning out fantastic studies like this one. I’ll be glad to review and share them as well. :)

    –David

  3. I am trying to open the Viewer Guide with answers and it will not open, I keep getting an error message. ANy sugesstions?

  4. Hi Maria,

    Your browser might be blocking it from opening. I recommend right-clicking the link for it and selecting “Save link as”. Then save it to your computer, and you’ll be able to open it that way.

  5. David,

    I tried that, I get an error saying the selected document cannot be opened. Can this me emailed to me?

    Maria

  6. Hi Maria,

    I’ve sent the PDF to you in an email as requested. If you don’t have a PDF viewer installed on your computer, you won’t be able to open it. If you need a PDF viewer, you can install the free Adobe Reader here: http://get.adobe.com/reader

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