Part 4 – Letting My Money Change Me for Good James 1:9-11
March 8, 2020 Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor – SCBC
James 1:9-11Christians who are poor should be glad, for God has honored them.10 And those who are rich should be glad, for God has humbled them.They will fade away like a flower in the field.11 The hot sun rises and dries up the grass; the flower withers, and its beauty fades away.So also, wealthy people will fade away with all of their achievements. (NLT)
Philippians 4:12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.(Paul)
1. God Has a Distinct Purpose for the Times in Which We Have FinancialNeed.(James 1:9)
A. James 1:9Christians who are poor should be glad for God has honored them.
B. God is saying to us, if we’re going through financial difficulties, then be glad.
C. 1 Samuel 2:7The Lord makes rich and the Lord makes poor…
In both conditions that come our way, God is expressing great love to us.
D. A positive attitude in tough financial times comes by remembering that we already have been given much.
1. 1 Timothy 6:6But Godliness with contentment is great gain.
2. Happiness is enjoying whatever you have.
3. If I can’t enjoy life when I have little, I will not be able to enjoy it when I have much.
E. A positive attitude in tough financial times comes when we choose to use hard times to trust God instead of ourselves.
1. James 2:5Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
2. When we are facing financial need and respond correctly, we are in a position to really learn to trust God and see God come through for us.
3. The word faith means the trusting response to the revealed Word of God.When God tells us to do something through His Word and we obey, even when we don’t want to, that is faith.
4. The way that God most often meets our daily needs is by blessing our obedience to His principles in regard to the money He gives us and then trusting God with the difference.
F. A positive attitude in tough times can come by remembering that God uses those times to protect us from things that could be harmful to us.
G. If you are going through tough times financially, it can be a great benefit to you if you will let it be.
2. God Also Has a Distinct Plan for Us in our Times of Prosperity. (James 1:10)
A. James 1:10And those who are rich should be glad, for God has humbled them.
B. In times of prosperity, there are two huge problems that we face.
1. The first problem of prosperity is self–sufficiency.
a. Deuteronomy8:11-14Beware lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then your heart becomes proud, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
b. 1 Samuel 2:7The Lord makes rich…
c. James 1:10-11And those who are rich should be glad, for God has humbled them.They will fade away like a flower in the field.11 The hot sun rises and dries up the grass; the flower withers, and its beauty fades away.So also, wealthy people will fade away with all of their achievements.
d. The wise person realizes that all their money and accomplishments can vanish in a second.Wise people switch their attention from a love of things to a gratefulness toward God who gave them.
2. The second problem of prosperity is that we tend to become self–centered.
a. The more we have, the more we want for ourselves.Part of God’s goal in our times of prosperity is that we become more others–centered.
b. Ephesians 4:28Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.
C. God is telling us that we can get excited about our financially good times when we realize that they are pointing us to God, not ourselves and they are giving us an opportunity to be more generous.