091206 How to Live Your Faith 05 Rich Little Poor Little Rich One - James 1:9-11

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Sermon 5 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 1:9-11) presented December 6, 2009 at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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091206 How to Live Your Faith 05 Rich Little Poor Little Rich One - James 1:9-11

  1. 1.
  2. 2. James 1:9-11 NIV <br />The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. (10) But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. (11) For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.<br />
  3. 3. Where does your income rank in comparison with the rest of the world?<br />Top 1% = $50,000/year ($4,170/month)<br />Top 5% = $34,000/year ($2,800/month)<br />Top 10% = $25,000/year ($2,080/month)<br />Top 20% = $1,900/year ($158/month)<br />Top 30% = $1,400/year ($117/month)<br />Top 40% = $1,100/year ($92/month)<br />Top 50% = $900/year ($75/month)<br />
  4. 4. If you became super rich, which personality would you be most like?<br />
  5. 5. One area in which we need God’s wisdom is in relationship to wealth<br />Love of God & money are mutually exclusive<br />Matthew 6:24 NIV “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.<br />Matthew 19:24 NIV Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”<br />
  6. 6. Money is not evil, per se<br />1 Timothy 6:10 NIV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.<br />
  7. 7. James meets thisproblem head-on<br />Gives practical advice to both rich & poor<br />Wealth ensnares the rich who trust money for security<br />Wealth ensnares the poor who believe their greatest need is more money<br />These beliefs contradict Jesus’ teaching regarding wealth<br />
  8. 8. Matthew 6:19-34 NIV <br />“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (20) But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. … (24) “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. <br />
  9. 9. Matthew 6:19-34 NIV <br />(25) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (27) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? <br />
  10. 10. Matthew 6:19-34 NIV <br />(28) “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (30) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? <br />
  11. 11. Matthew 6:19-34 NIV <br />(31) So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (32) For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.<br />
  12. 12. Jesus’ point was that life’s deepest needs can be met only by Him<br />He wants to provide even the practical needs of food, clothing & shelter<br />He wants to care for us & to provide for us<br />All he asks is: <br />Matthew 6:33 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.<br />
  13. 13. James continues this teaching<br />He writes to believers who have lost all as a result of persecution as Christians<br />They had left everything in order to be faithful in following Jesus<br />He begins by addressing the poor<br />
  14. 14. 1. The rich little poor person<br />James 1:9 NIV The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.<br />
  15. 15. Those in humble circumstances can rejoice <br />A high position is theirs in God’s kingdom!<br />Gkkauchaomaimeans “to boast” <br />James encourages the poor to boast in the best sense of the term<br />The poor should boast inthe fact that their low estate is temporary<br />
  16. 16. God promises the poor His kingdom’s wealth<br />We are assured of an exalted position in the kingdom of God<br />We are loyal subjects of the King of kings and Lord of lords<br />The going may be tough, but there is a day we will “cross over the Jordan” into the “Promised Land”<br />
  17. 17. This hope inspired the spirituals sung by slaves in our history<br />Swing low, sweet chariot,Coming for to carry me home.Swing low, sweet chariot,Coming for to carry me home.<br />I looked over Jordan, and what did I see,Coming for to carry me home?A band of angels coming after me,Coming for to carry me home.<br />If you get there before I do,Coming for to carry me home;Tell all my friends I’m coming too,Coming for to carry me home.<br />I am sometimes up, I’m sometimes down,Coming for to carry me home,But still my soul feels heavenly bound,Coming for to carry me home.<br />
  18. 18. The Scriptures tell the truth about wealth<br />Proverbs 13:7 NIV One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.<br />Matthew 6:20-21 NIV But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.<br />
  19. 19. James’ encouragement is clear<br />Those in humble circumstances should be assured that the best is ahead<br />We’re promised a high position in the kingdom not just for now, but for eternity<br />
  20. 20. 2. The poor little rich person<br />James 1:10 NIV But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.<br />
  21. 21. How should well-to-do Christians relate to their wealth?<br />We should not glory in our wealth but in our humiliation<br />This contradicts everything society saysabout wealth<br />James writes from the perspective of the kingdom of God<br />
  22. 22. His analogy is both graphic and practical<br />He compares riches to flowers of the field which are attractive when in full bloom<br />At best, their beauty is temporary<br />The sun withers the grass, the flowers drop off their stems & their beauty comes to an end<br />So it is with riches<br />James 1:11 NIV For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.<br />
  23. 23. Jesus warned about the dangers of trusting riches<br />Of the seed that fell among thorns:<br />Mark 4:19 NIV but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.<br />Jesus warned: <br />Luke 12:15 NIV Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”<br />
  24. 24. He went on to share the parable of the rich fool<br />Planned to tear down his barns to build larger ones to contain all his wealth<br />But the Lord required his soul that night<br />Jesus concluded that story by saying, <br />Luke 12:21 NIV “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”<br />
  25. 25. That is the essence of James’ teaching<br />He tells those who are rich not to be so foolish as to trust in their wealth<br />They should be rich toward God & should not glory in wealth, but in their low position<br />
  26. 26. Tapeınosismeans “to be made low”<br />James 1:10 NIV But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.<br />From tapeinos which was used to describe the brother in humble circumstances<br />James 1:9 NIV The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.<br />
  27. 27. What a great insight!<br />God asks the brother of low estate (tapeinos) to glory in his exalted position in God’s kingdom<br />He asks the man who is rich to glory in his low estate (tapeinosis)<br />This insight leads us to the basic truth James wants to teach us<br />
  28. 28. 3. How to be rich & poor <br />James 1:11 NIV For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.<br />
  29. 29. James wants rich & poor to have the same focus<br />Whether rich or poor, we are the Lord’s – if we are serious about following Jesus<br />James wants us to be content<br />Hebrews 13:5 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”<br />
  30. 30. Paul had something to say about this<br />Philippians 4:11-13 NIV I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (12) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do everything through him who gives me strength.<br />
  31. 31. The focus of godly living is in trusting the Lord for all things<br />Need for perseverance to overcome trials<br />Need for wisdom<br />Need for the poor to be encouraged by their exaltation in the kingdom of God<br />Need for the rich to stop trusting in wealth & start walking humbly with Christ<br />
  32. 32. Christ is the source for everything we need!<br />Paul said it elsewhere:<br />Philippians 4:19 NIV And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.<br />We can trust Jesus’ promise:<br />Matthew 6:33 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.<br />
  33. 33. Whatever our earthly estate, the best is yet to come<br />God has given his word – and you can take that to the bank!<br />

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