Friday, October 24, 2008

James 1:9-11 Keeping Your Focus

James 1:9-11 Keeping Your Focus

I. Our High Calling
A. Sometimes, as Christians, we get so focused on our circumstances, that we forget what God has called us to do; to ultimately bring Glory to Him.
B. He says, “To glory in your high position….” James is telling us based on the teaching of Christ, how we are not to have pride in ourselves, but to remember that without Christ, we are nothing (John 15:5).
C. If we are nothing without Christ, than we are everything when we are with Him (“lacking in nothing” v. 4; “God, who gives generously and without reproach” v. 5).
D. This isn’t talking about glorying in ourselves and saying how much of a Super-Christian we are, but rather to “count it all joy when ye suffer divers temptations;” to count it worthy that God has called you to suffer and to be comforted through that suffering, for His name’s sake, that He will get the glory.

II. The Fall of the Temporal
A. The rich man is not to be boastful and prideful in his own riches (I believe this is speaking both of physical and spiritual riches), for eventually, those riches will pass away, including some of the spiritual ones.
B. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that of faith, hope, and love, all that will remain in the Day of the Lord, that final day of judgment, after God creates a new heaven and new earth, will be His Love.
  1. We won’t need faith anymore; since faith is the substance of things hoped for and not seen, when we see Christ with our own eyes, we won’t need faith.
  2. We won’t need hope because our hope will have been given to us: the eternal, perfect relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. So, the spiritual riches of hope and faith will both be gone, just like this heaven and earth will one day be gone.
  3. If we boast in these spiritual riches as if they were somehow our own or of our own doing, then we have in effect said that we have made ourselves who we are without acknowledging the work that God has done in our lives.

C. Physical riches are completely temporal. Not a shred of them will outlast this physical life.
D. Even circumstances are temporal.
  1. He compares the circumstances of life to the rising and falling of the sun and the changing of seasons.
  2. He likens how if the rich man pursues after the riches rather than the glory of rejoicing in the great things that God is doing and has done, then he will fall into ruin just like the flower in Fall.

1) Is your focus on the pursuit of either physical or spiritual riches that a relationship with God can offer, or is it on the relationship itself?
2) Is your focus on the circumstances, or what God will bring out of them?

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