James: Week 10
James warned the rich who oppressed and exploited the underprivileged that riches would amount to nothing in the end. Instead, the humble and righteous would prevail.
Why is money a sensitive subject for most people?
How does money offer a way to look into our hearts
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
Highlight or underline words in the previous passage that communicate emotional intensity.
How would you describe the emotional tone of these verses?
Why does this message warrant such emotion?
How might we be prone to misunderstand James’s message?
What’s actually being condemned here? What isn’t being condemned?
Part 1: Oppressor
What did James say about wealth or poverty in the following verses?
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
How would you summarize James’s overall teaching on wealth?
Notice that James was specific in his condemnation. He didn’t make a blanket statement against rich people. He warned his readers throughout the letter about the selfish desire for riches. In chapter 5 he condemned-
The inevitable abuse of power and the oppression of people that result from a self-centered attitude toward wealth, believing it will provide security
The indulgent posture of being self-sovereign
Wealth gained at the expense of others
Valuing possession over people
How does a desire for money and possessions affect a person’s spiritual life?
What precautions do you take to guard your heart against unhealthy materialism?
Part 2: Laborer
Restate Jesus’ point in your own words.
How have you experienced the truth of Jesus’ principle?
What practical steps have you taken to ensure that you’re serving God and storing up treasures in heaven?
How can you serve God with the wealth He has given you?
Regardless of your present employment situation, how can you use it to work for the Lord?
What does it mean to “work heartily”? What does the way we do our work matter to God?
How would you summarize the overarching principle about work?
Matt Chandler lists the following four points to summarize
What specific commands are given to masters that apply to employers
Money is dangerous.
What’s the distinction between money being dangerous and money being bad?
2. The heart is deceptive.
Why is this true not only for money for also for every area of our lives?
3. A love of money is deadly.
Why is discontentment toxic for our sould?
4. Only the gospel can deliver us.
How do we find contentment in the gospel? How do we find generosity at the heart of the gospel?
What has proved effective or helpful in your life for developing a godly heart and wise habits in regard to your finances and possessions?