Summary: True wealth is measured not in money but in faith.

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“The Reversal of Fortunes”

James 1:9-11

“True wealth is measured not in money but in faith.”

Sunday Morning Sermon


Intro: (start with title and text)

Good Morning! It’s good to see you here this morning. It is hard to let go of what you’ve got. I’ve watch Hailey and Brianna in the nursery and Hailey isn’t good at sharing – she’s quick at saying, MINE. You have this adorable sweet kid with great parents – and even she isn’t good at giving stuff up.

I heard a story of a man who bought his son a XBOX 360, ½ a dozen games, a big TV and all the wireless accessories you could want. He was sitting on the couch and he asked his son if he (the old man) could give it a shot. The son told him, NO, it’s mine. The father says, “I did a 180 on the 360 and everything is now in the game room, and I’m the only one with a key.” It’s not easy to let go of what you’ve got.


We all have things we want. Things we could live without, but if we had the money we’d get it. Our society is built like that – because America has been richly blessed – we are consumer driven. We get offers in the mail – buy it now, pay for it later. I bet they don’t have those offers in Zimbabwe. Because we live in the world we do – we will have people who have a lot and people who don’t have much at all. Those people exist inside and outside the church. (advance)

Turn with me to James 1:9-11 (Read)

James is writing to the church, Jewish Christians. I see two things this morning – really descriptions of people inside the church.


I. Humble brother (9)

It’s not so much the person he’s talking about – but the circumstances. He’s poor. He’s a Christian brother and he’s poor – this doesn’t have a dollar amount with it, necessarily. The brother is unimportant he’s looked over and passed by.

a. He doesn’t have much value – according to the world.

i. Maybe he’s just a number at work

ii. He doesn’t stand out much

1. His car, his house and his clothing are nothing special

According to our society – we don’t go after this kind of person. He would never run for public office, never be a leader, and never be on the decision end of anything. Our churches have had a bad habit of putting men who were successful in the business world in leadership in the church. This person would be overlooked and possibly even rejected.

b. Here’s his hope

i. He is Christian – saved by grace, bought by the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross – CHRISTIAN.

c. Here’s what he can do

i. “take pride in his high position”

Not here…the position that he takes pride in is not the current circumstances. He doesn’t look at his 17 year old Chevette and boast about it, he’s not lining it up for classic car shows. Because according to the world – He’s nothing – there is no high position. What is there to take pride in? I believe it’s two fold.

d. His source of pride

i. His faith – the now

True wealth is not measured in money but in faith. Jesus says that the poor in spirit will own the kingdom of heaven.

I look back at our marriage (12 years today) and when we first got married we were POOR. We were so broke we couldn’t pay attention. Our faith in Jesus and what he’s done for us – was strong. I see the hand of Jesus walking us through times in our marriage when only he could get us through – his power, his love, and his forgiveness. Maybe we didn’t have status in the world. But we had our faith – and we still do. While your faith doesn’t pay the phone bill – you couldn’t look up ATT.COM and put faith as a method of payment. But even in a low, humble position God can and will bless your life. He might do it through money, but I believe that he will take care of your needs, and use that time to help you see his mighty hand.

ii. His future position

This is kingdom talk, but it’s also future blessing talk. I read verses like:


Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

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