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Summary: Wrap up of our James study

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Bona Fide

A study of James

Part 13

“Living Bona Fide”

I have spent the last 3 months teaching and preaching through the book of James

We have spent a lot of time learning what being Bona Fide means

Now it is time to apply what we have learned

Dustin Hoffman in the movie Little Big Man

Said while giving his biography about his life and in particular his life with the Indians to a reporter

I was not playing Indian

I was living Indian

I want us to think about those words for a moment

Just a few short words from a silly movie

But

We can apply those words to our life as well if we take the instructions

Guidelines

Rules for living that James lays out for us

And truly

I mean truly apply them to our lives

Little big man was not pretending to be Indian

He was not dressing up for Halloween

He was immersed in the Indian life style and culture

This is what James has been teaching us

Change the word Indian to Christian

And you will see the similarity

Bona Fide Believers are not playing Christian

They are living Christian

What I mean is the world sees a change in them and in their lives

The people they know hear a difference in their words

See a change in their responses and reactions

Notice something out of the ordinary in their actions

The Bona Fide believer also sees a change in themselves

Feel a Change in themselves

They think differently

Act differently

Make decisions differently

Than they once did

And most definitely different than the world around them

Today my plan is to wrap up our study of James

Easter is getting near

And we need to shift our focus fully to Jesus

And his sacrifice for our sins

We need to concentrate and fully appreciate the magnitude of what he did for us

And prayerfully

Over the next weeks we will have repeated opportunities to do that

From our Palm Sunday service

To our Good Friday service

To the “ Sonrise” service

To our regular celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning

But for today

Let’s continue with the concept of Pleasing God by becoming more like Jesus

Sanctified the theologians call it

Bona Fide we say here at Caney Creek

Chapter 5 of James is kind of a recap of the entire chapter

As a result of that we are going to skim past a bit of it

Not that it is unimportant

But that we have covered theses items in one way or another already

And then

Recap the last several weeks

And then go back to 5 for our conclusion of this sermon and this series

James 5 covers the topic of money

James says

And

Jesus says

That money is not inherently evil

But that the love of money

The focus on

The making of money into an idol is

He says that when we focus on the green stuff

We stop focusing on the right stuff

And we are in danger of losing site of what is important

The love of money has destroyed

Marriages

Families

Friendships

And can and will destroy or walk with the Lord if we place too much emphasis on it

We need money to pay our bills

To enjoy parts of our lives

The church and other ministries need money to do the work God has set out for them

But the focus of money becomes a stumbling block to those who forget its place in their lives

Individuals

Families and even churches

Please open your bibles to James 5

Let me read James’ hard words from verses 1-3

James 5:1-3

“ Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.”

James tells us that Bona Fide believers keep money in its place

And that elevating money to the place of God or sometimes above God

Will stifle our walk

Steal the joy of our salvation

And can build a wall of separation between us a God

God who loves us so much

He says that the treasure we should seek is only found in relationship with God though Christ

And worldly treasures will rot and corrode and disappear

There is an old saying they don’t put trailer hitches on Hearses

So why do we seem to spend so much time and energy on acquiring more and more things w and more and more money

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