Summary: This five part sermon series explores the book of James, which is all about where the rubber meets the road, and discovers what real faith looks like in real life. Each sermon is expository and alliterated. Power point is available.
Real Faith for Real Life: James Four
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 10/21/2012
Good morning and welcome to Blooming Grove. It’s great to see such a good crowd here this morning and you’re all awake, which is a plus. I heard about a mom who was talking to her kids in the car on the way to church and she reminded them that they needed to be quiet during the sermon. She prompted them, asking, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” Her little girl answered, “Because some people are sleeping!” Awake or asleep, we’re just glad you’re here and we hope you feel welcome.
A few weeks ago we started this series through the book of James, which is all about real faith for real life. If you’ll remember, in the first chapter, James talks about how real faith helps us carry our burdens, overcome our battles, and to apply our Bibles to our lives. In chapter two, James goes about defining real faith for real life and he identifies three types of faith—dead faith, demonic faith, and dynamic faith. In chapter three, James talks about how real faith ought to affect the way we talk; the things we say. Our words have the power to direct, destroy or delight—so we need to be careful as Christians about what comes out of our mouths.
As we move into chapter four, I want to remind you again that James is Jesus’ little brother. Think about the dynamics of growing up in Jesus’ shadow. How much pressure was that? A couple of weeks ago in youth-group, we watched this Christian comedian named Michael Jr. who talked that. He said, “Everybody probably thought he could do all the stuff that Jesus could do, but he couldn’t. He was just James, not James Christ… and you know how little brothers are. I’m sure everywhere that Jesus went, James followed him. Everything Jesus did, James tried to do it too. That’s what little brothers do.” So, Michael Jr. says, “I’ll bet one time, James almost drowned.”
I don’t know about that, but I do know that James was probably very familiar with concepts like jealousy and covetousness. And he writes about those here in chapter four. Let me share it with you: “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.” (James 4:1-2 NLT).
These opening verses are all about the reality of covetousness.
• THE REALITY OF COVETOUSNESS
Covetousness is what Dave Ramsey calls it stuffitis. And God thought it was serious enough to make “thou shall not covet” one of the Ten Commandments. It’s this persistent desire for more stuff, better stuff, bigger stuff, prettier stuff, other people’s stuff. And this covetousness sets in at an early age, doesn’t it?