Summary: James tells us that our faith must be integrated into our Business decisions, as well as the ethics of how we earn our money and how we spnd it.
James 4:13-5:6 March 9, 2003
Jesus – He’s Not Just for Sundays Anymore!
Glen was telling me a while back about a book he had seen. It was a take off on “women are from Venus, Men are from Mars,” the title was “Men are Waffles, Women are Spaghetti.” The idea is that the way that our minds work is similar to these dishes on the plate – for women, everything is there on the plate and everything is connected. For men, the thought world is a big waffle with all sorts of compartments with everything in its compartment. Some compartments are full of syrup, others have butter and still others are just empty. What women need to understand is that there are times in our life when we have entered an empty compartment – we’re flicking through the channels and nothing is on – on the TV or in our brains, so you walk into the room and say “what are you thinking?” and we have a panic attack, because we aren’t thinking anything, but we do not want to admit to thinking nothing, so we scramble like made to enter a compartment where we are thinking something, and then explain it to you.
The difficulty is that we often apply this way of organizing our thoughts as a way of organizing our lives – we have a faith compartment, a work compartment, a play compartment, a family compartment, and we see very little cross over from one compartment to another. When I was running a church youth group up at Humber Blvd. B.C., I was talking one evening about School and one of the girls asked, quite honestly “What does God have to do with school?” We might ask the question, “What does God have to do with my work or business?” But the reality is God wants us to think of our world like spaghetti, and maybe our faith is the sauce – touching every aspect of our lives.
Jesus puts it this way: "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
When we let the kingdom of God into our lives – it is not just our “spirituality that the kingdom touches and changes, but every sphere of our lives and our existence. Our faith in Jesus, our reliance on him, our obedience to him is to be worked into every area of our life.
James is dealing with letting God into our workplace, our business, our money compartments, our “micro” economy, and how we interact with the “macro” economy.
This is what he says:
13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
Inviting God into your work/business 4:13-17
Jesus tells a story that illustrates the problem that James speaks about in the first section.
"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ’What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18"Then he said, ’This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ’