6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: James speaks of two different people; the rich and the poor. What’s the meaning? 1- Humble means high 2- Rich means low 3- Perseverance means salvation

INTRO.- The brother in humble circumstances. Did you ever have those? Ever live in humble circumstances?

ILL.- One day, a wealthy family man took his son on a trip to the country so he could have his son see how poor country people were. They stayed one day and one night at the farm of a very humble farm family.

When they got back home the father asked the son, "What did you think of the trip"?

The son replied, "Very nice Dad." Dad said, "Did you notice how poor they were?" "Yes". "So, what did you learn from this trip?"

"I’ve learned that we have one dog in the house, and they had four. We have a fountain and imported lamps in our garden, they have a stream with no end and the stars in the sky. Our garden goes to the edge of our property, they have the entire horizon as their back yard."

At the end of the son’s reply the father was speechless and then his son said, "Thank you Dad, for showing me how poor we really are."

How poor where you when you were growing up? What do you have now that you didn’t have when you were growing up? Were you really that poor?

What were your humble circumstances? Where were you born? How did you live? No doubt, most of us had a lot less than we do now. No AC, lucky to have screens on our doors, no TV, fortunate to have a radio, and even a car.

ILL.- In Sunday School one time Matt Sandy said they were so poor when he was little that he had no remote control for the TV! Poor boy!

If many of you were to go back home to where you born and raised there probably wouldn’t be a house there any more!

Most of us were raised in somewhat humble circumstances as far as this world is concerned, but we must always know that there is something better than greatness or even great wealth!

Matthew 16:26 Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

ILL.- Bill Gates of Microsoft is still number one in the money game at $59 billion but he won’t be number one when he dies. Wealth will meaning nothing to God at death.

Bill Gates needs Jesus just like everybody else. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. AND, God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. And Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:16)

PROP. - James speaks of two different people; the rich and the poor. What’s the meaning?

1- Humble means high

2- Rich means low

3- Perseverance means salvation


9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. Humble means high?

I Peter 5:5-6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

If we go down, we will also go up! If we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. But the problem is this: most people don’t like to humble themselves before anyone, including God! We don’t like to admit that we could be wrong. We don’t like to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” And even to God.

ILL.- A preacher named Eddie Martin said: This well-dressed woman came forward during the invitation. I took her hand and prepared to give her a prayer to repeat after me. I took this woman’s hand and began to give her the prayer to repeat after me. “Dear Lord, I know I’m a no-good sinner.” She never said a word. I looked at her and said, “Don’t you want to be saved?”

She said, “Yes, Eddie, I do want to be saved, but I’m not a sinner.”

“Then you can’t be saved,” I said, “Jesus only died for sinners.”

“But, Mr. Martin,” she replied, “I’m a good sinner.”

“A good sinner! Lady, there is no such thing as a good sinner. You will have to take your seat. God can’t save you until you become conscious that you are a no-good sinner and need His forgiveness.”

“But, Mr. Martin, you don’t understand. I’m really not a bad sinner.”

I told her to go back and sit down. She held on to my hand with a vise-like grip. Finally she looked me in the eyes and said, “Oh, please forgive me. I know I am a no-good hell-deserving sinner. I am a proud, no-good sinner. I do need Christ to forgive me of my sins.” “Wonderful! Now, lady, you are ready to do business with God.”

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