JOURNEY THROUGH JAMES #7: WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?
(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
INTRO TO TOPIC: This morning I want us to think about our lives. What is your life?
- What is God calling you to do? How can you impact and bless others? Think about it!
1. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?:
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17, NKJV).
THE BIG IDEA: God has an amazing plan for our lives, and we need to learn how to trust Him.
FOUR CATEGORIES OF RICH AND POOR PEOPLE:
- The Godly Poor: Jesus, Ruth, widows and orphans; people who have no money.
- The Godly Rich: People like Abraham, Job, people who have money but love God.
- The Ungodly Poor: Lazy people who won’t work, gamble, waste money on addictions.
- The Ungodly Rich: People like Herod and Pharaoh. Spend their money ungodly.
- What category are you in? Most of us don’t think we’re rich, but compared to other countries in the world, most of us in North America we are!
- In our text today, James deals with the godly poor and the ungodly rich.
2. WARNINGS TO THE RICH:
“1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” (James 5:1-3, NKJV).
- James warns the ungodly rich: They are going to be judged and end up in hell.
- Instead of being generous with their money, they were keeping it all for themselves.
- James echoes the words of his half-brother Jesus: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).
- Note – James is not talking to the godly rich here. The godly rich are generous:
- “As the Scriptures say, Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten.” (2 Cor. 9:9, NLT).
“4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.” (James 5:4-6, NKJV).
- Here James rebukes the rich for defrauding those who are in need.
- He also rebukes them for spending their riches on pleasure and luxury.
THE IDEOLOGY OF THE UNGODLY RICH:*
- I do not belong to the Lord. Nothing I have belongs to the Lord.
- I deserve all that I work for. I only answer to myself.
THE THEOLOGY OF THE GODLY RICH OR POOR:*
- I belong to the Lord (God created us and saved us, our lives are not our own).
- Everything I have belongs to God (not just 10% – it’s all God’s). Money, time & talents!
- Everything I have is a gift (remember James 1:17 – every gift comes from God).
- I am a steward of the Lord and must give an account one day.
3. WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE SECOND COMING:
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8).
- James’ challenge: be patient and persevere. (I have a hard time being patient!).
- Even though life gets hard, we must remind ourselves of the second coming of Jesus.
- Life is like farming: We go through seasons of life – we are a field and God wants fruit.
- You can’t rush fruitfulness – abide in Jesus and fruit comes (see John 15:1-5).
- As God is patient with each of us, we must be patient with one another.
- Establish = to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix; to strengthen, make firm.
“Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9).
- Here James reminds us of the importance of our relationships.
- Don’t grumble! Instead, show love, acceptance and forgiveness to everyone.
“My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:10-11, NKJV).
- The Old Testament prophets and Job are great examples for us to be inspired by.
- Jesus will return to the Earth one day to bless us – if we suffer patiently.
- He wants us to establish our hearts – to confidently trust that God is good.
- Finally, we are reminded that the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
James started out by challenging us with the question: What is your life?
Here he reminds us to focus on eternity: Jesus is coming back one day!
Therefore – how shall we live our lives? Patiently and generously…
*some of these thoughts came from a sermon by Mark Driscoll.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/