Summary: What is our attitude towards money?
Next Friday will be the start of a new year; 2016 years after the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth!
About 2000 years ago, this is what life in America looked like…. Show picture…
What has changed in 2000 years??
What has not changed in 2000 years??
Since the beginning of time, humans will do as humans do: trying to do the best they can for a better life….. then they die.
Our passage today is always pertinent but it is very appropriate to note as we look forward to another year in our lives. Please open your Bibles to James 4…. As we read, remember that God was talking directly to Christians 2000 years ago when there were no cell phones, no cars or bicycles; the major mode of transportation was walking… Read along with me v13-17….
Who was God talking to directly in v13??
God is concerned about Christians whose focus in life is to make money!
Before moving on with the connecting verses, let us note 2 things:
1. Does God not want Christians to make money?
There are 2 verses which answer this question:
2 Thessalonians 3:10 ….. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." In other words, Christians must work and make money in order to live!
God allows money to be used in life but a love for money is a problem! 1 Timothy 6:10a tells us, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Money is a necessity in the world but a love for it is a sin!
2. How common today is the problem in v13?
Before we say, “this problem really does not apply to me”, what criteria do we use in taking a job or keeping it? I remember a Christian came to me and told me, he was so frustrated at work, everyone has a foul mouth and all the junk posted by coworkers. So I asked him, why don’t you look for another job? His response was, “Oh I can’t leave that job, I am vested there and making good money!!” God knows our hearts and God knows how easily money can influence us!
Before we move on, let me just quickly make a note here about gambling. Yes, gambling can be for entertainment; but do we actually pray before we play? Ask God what He thinks of your gambling! Are you really prioritizing for God what you have or are you actually wasting money that you really don’t have? And if your hope is toi get more money in gambling, isn’t that a love for money, which is the root of all evil?
God reminds us who we are in v14…. A truth we should always state: There is a God and we are not Him!
And so, what does our Creator God tell us in how we should live?
v15: We are to seek God’s will and live it!
And how do we find God’s will??
The Bible, especially this letter by James, is full of instructions (God’s will) for Christians! Read the Bible daily to know God’s will and live it everyday!
I’ve said this before, “I don’t need to read any other book of telling me how to live, I’m still working on what my Creator and Savior is telling me from the Bible!” How many “how to” books have we read in comparison to the number of books in the bible?
And what happens when we don’t do God’s will? We are told in v16-17….
Because we really don’t know anything and God knows everything, when we don’t do God’s will, we boast in our arrogance and we sin! We noted this earlier…. Christians can easily rebel against God and sin! We need to be alert of our sinfulness and know what to do!
Let us close by pondering and praying about these questions:
1. Do we focus more on making money rather than doing God’s will?
2. How often do we read the Bible and are we really making an effort to do God’s will?
3. Do we know what to do with our sinfulness?