Summary: The perils of finding our wealth in things instead of the richness of Jesus
Making it Rich without Jesus
We live in a city that makes people choose between a command of God to be diligent stewards with the funds that He provides for you and the ever so innocent, just a dollar, lottery. We promise Lord if I just win, just this once I will give a tenth to the church and I will be diligent with the money. Statistics are that people go through their winnings within 5 years no matter how much it is. There was a man who was a prosperity evangelist and his whole ministry was based on the fact that he was once down on his luck had ten dollars in his pocket and that is all he had to his name. He was in a church and praying god help through this and he felt that he was suppose to give that last ten dollars. It wasn’t but a matter of months that things turned around for him and God blessed him abundantly, making him a multi-millionaire and now going from church to church telling his testimony about how God turned his life around and all he did was give all that he had. At the end he had a Q&A time and someone stood up and asked him “Could you do it again?” That question tore at the soul of his ministry because he knew he couldn’t. I don’t want to talk to you about how God views the rich and the poor for that is not what this scripture is dealing with. It is however dealing with people who have their priorities of wealth mixed up. What is being rich with out being in Christ.
1) The Lowly brother exhalted
a) Let the lowly Brother
i) Just because in on verse we are talking about someone who is rich you may not assume that this verse is talking about someone who is poor. For it is not.
ii) The term Lowly is in the KJV (tapinos) “brother of low degree” which in the Greek means 1 not rising far from the ground. 2 brought low with grief, depressed. lowly in spirit, humble.
iii) The brother who feels like they can’t get of the ground can glorify God that his or her day of exaltation is drawing near
iv) How many times have you felt low to the ground unable to get up? Feeling like you have been kicked while you are down and held down so you can be kicked some more?
v) The Word of god says to glory in those times.
vi) James is talking to people scattered about the region because of persecution. Brothers and sisters in Christ thrown in Jail because of their belief, because of their statements “Jesus is Lord”
vii) James says rise up look ahead to what is coming, the Glory of the Lord, the day that you will ride with Him to the defeat of the enemy.
viii) Glory in your exaltation…
b) glory in his exaltation
i) Where the term “lowly” means “you are in a place where you feel cast down” or literally “not rising far from the ground”
ii) Jesus wants you to remember that one day will come when you will rise far off of the ground
iii) A day when you will be caught up with him in the “harpadzo” which means caught up or in the Septuagint it is Rapturo and rapture to us
iv) A day when you can lift your head up high and see for yourself where your help comes from.
v) Psalm 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep
vi) You can look to that day and the word says you can glory in your exaltation which actually means “you can rejoice that you have a high position in the heights of Heaven” it is not saying you have to be rich or poor
vii) It says for the lowly brother the humble brother, you may be oppressed but you can set your sights on the place of exaltation
viii) Luke 6:20-24 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.