Notes: Having wealth is not a sin. Pursuing, gaining, and keeping wealth at the expense of others is. Using your wealth in a way that does not honor God is also a sin. In the next portion of his letter, James gives a stunning rebuke to the rich who do not honor God with the wealth He has given them.
Notes: James teaches us a sobering truth: our lives are as short as a morning vapor that comes right before dawn and disappears under the sun. No person can control how many hours they have left to live; every moment is under the care of God alone. To live our lives without this wisdom as central is a presumptuous sin.
Notes: Slander is a serious sin that divides and destroys. It is a sin of the tongue that starts in the heart. It is a sin that we all have and do participate in. The antidote for the deadly poison is humility. Humble yourself in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you.
Notes: Once we admit that the source of fights and quarrels comes from within our own hearts, the question is: how do we overcome our own hearts? The solution is humility and God is ever at work to humble us. The power to change our own hearts does not come from within, but is grace from God. He alone is the One who humbles and we must submit to His work.
Notes: James asks us a very direct and pointed question: what is the source of quarrels and conflicts among us? It is our tendency to blame others rather than to humbly admit that they come from within us. Foolish pride must be dealt with. Reconciliation with God corrects our proud hearts and brings a harvest of peace; peace with God, peace with others, and peace within.
Notes: In his opening instruction, James tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask for it from God. He has continued giving us instruction on God’s wisdom at various points throughout his letter and now he returns to it head on. God’s wisdom is revealed through the behavior of those who practice it. God’s wisdom produces a righteous harvest.
Sermon by Jeff Wagner
Sorry for the quality problem in the middle!
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