Summary: This sermon is about overcoming comfort, complacency, and cowardice.
Turn with me to James 4.
Read James 4:13-5:11.
A lot is covered in this passage, but it points to some very important conclusions. We cannot be comfortable, complacent or cowardly. James, in his most practical style, calls us to be completely sold out to God. A life that is God-filled will look considerably different from a worldly lifestyle. The first thing James confronts in this passage is that…
I. We cannot be COMFORTABLE.
Ours is a society built on comfort. Walk into any furniture store, and the name of the game is comfort. They have chairs with built in heaters and massagers along with drink holders, magazine pouches and remote control holders. Movie theaters have luxurious seating. Even airlines are advertising comfortable seating. We are bent on comfort.
The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What is the source of our comfort?” Do we have permanent comfort or temporary comfort? Eventually the movie usher is going make you get out of that nice comfortable seat. James examines these two types of comfort. The first is…
A. Temporary COMFORT.
What does it mean to be temporary? It won’t last long. When I was working at my old job we had tons of temporary employees. They came and went about as fast as the weather changed. They were there one day and gone the next. On a couple of occasions, some left for lunch and never came back. On the other end of the spectrum, the employer could decide to let any one of them go at any time for any reason. The nature of temporary employment is just that, temporary.
Temporary things are fleeting. There is a major difference between a permanent tattoo and a temporary one. A temporary one is gone the next time you take a shower. I guess for some that may be more permanent than it would be for others.
Temporary things go away. They don’t last forever, which causes me to wonder why people keep getting permanents.
When we try to find our comfort in temporary things problems arise. The first thing we notice is that there is a…
1. False love of the WORLD.
In verse 13, James talks about some people who make big plans about going here and there and making all kinds of money. They had done all the market research. They had done all the preparations. They knew just where the market for their goods would be the best. They would get there before anyone else and make a killing.
Remember the Beanie-Baby frenzy a few years back. People were tackling each other and paying hundreds of dollars for a beanbag toy. That’s was these people had. They had the hot new thing to be sold at the right place for an inflated price. They had it made. They would be on easy street. They would be retired younger than anyone else.
They were seeking comfort from profiting on the buying and selling of there goods. They had a false love of the world. They had it all figured out. They were over confident in their abilities to make a quick buck. James reminds them of something. They had a…
2. False view of LIFE.
I remember that Friday afternoon. Mark got off the elevator on the 25th floor. We had had a good lunch and good conversation. Mark was to become a permanent employee on Monday. He was happy. Two years after retiring from the Navy, he had finally found permanent employment. I waved to him and said, “Have a good weekend. See you Monday.” Well Monday never came for Mark. That weekend, his pickup slid off an icy road, and he died.
That was over six years ago, but the images of the last time I saw him, and thoughts surrounding his death have never left me. Not one of us is guaranteed another day on this earth. None of us are guaranteed to see the sunset tonight.
James says that our life is like a mist. It could also be translated a puff of smoke. What happens to the smoke when you strike a match? It’s there for a second then gone. Our lives are fleeting.
It’s been said that we are living on borrowed time. None us know when our loan will be called. It could be any minute. We have to look for…
B. Permanent COMFORT.
Where does our permanent comfort come from? It comes from God. It entails a true view of life and a true love of the world. The first thing that James looks at is a…
1. True view of LIFE.
It was most presumptuous of me to believe that I would see Mark again on that Monday. For any number of reasons, that is true. He could have been sick. I could have been sick. The company could have gone bankrupt. Either of could have been laid off.