Hymn: We started off our time singing hymn #129, "Crown Him with Many Crowns"
Memorization/Review: We then spent time reviewing/reciting our memory passage together, starting with James 4:11-12
James 4:11-12 Discussion
- It's one thing to confront someone about sin for the purpose of coming alongside one another to build one another up.
- However, this passage is talking about those who have no intent on helping them to grow but are pointing out one's sin for the purpose of condemning them.
- James not only points out that we should not judge others, but points out that there's serious audacity when we judge and condemn one another.
- Jesus's right to judge is a great and serious claim (John 5:21), and when we judge others we are trying to play God
- The bible clearly states that there is judgment for unbelievers, but as fellow believers, we should never speak out against one another, and this is something that we need to be very careful about
- As you read scripture and decide how to apply it into your life (conviction), we cannot start judging everyone else based on how you have decided or been convicted, to apply scripture in your life.
- Some can get legalistic about it (how much you read, how much you pray, how many people you evangelize to each week)
- While illustrations like "the wheel illustration" can be helpful, that should never be a standard to judge others - the only standard is the standard of God, which is to let the word of Christ richly dwell in you, and for us to set our minds on things above.
- It has to do with mentality, not quotas or made-up standards.
- What are some ways we can compare with others?
- How we do church (style of music, how the service is conducted)
- There is no need to judge other churches - we all want to be like Christ
- However, we should not sweep the sins of cults under the rug.
How can you deal with people who are confrontational when you try to help them? What if someone asks why you're judging them?
- First, don't come down hard on someone
- It requires wisdom and tact, to say the right words and to express that you care about them and want to come alongside them.
- If someone tells you that you have sin, be humble, don't get defensive but as the person who is bringing this to your attention to pray for you.
- If you're pointing out people's sin, you need to be willing to invest in helping that person.
- Before you say something to someone, ask how you'd feel if someone said the same words to you
- Always be on the mode of thanking God for people
- Point out how others are blessing you
- While we need to point out sin for what it is (don't be fuzzy about sin or sweep it under the rug), there is no need to condemn or speak against others
Then, we turned to James 4:13-17 and read it together.
James 4:13-17 Discussion
- What's a good Silicon Valley version of the statement in vv13?
- I'll go work at a top tech company, progress in my career, life a comfortable life
- I'll start working on an idea, make a company of it, go IPO, be an influential person
- Stock portfolio - I'll create a financial model that will allow me to retire at such and such an age and life such and such a lifestyle
- Real estate - will buy houses and create an empire
- A version that we may relate to more - I will acquire this new skillset, that will enable me to do this thing, then I'll use that as a building block, and in that way we chart out our future in that way
- The problem with this mindset is that you are living without the sovereign God as an Atheist
- Vv17, this is sin!
- While Vv17 talks about the sin of living without God's sovereignty, applies in the general sense
- This is not telling us to not plan, but submit your plans to the Lord (vv.15)
- We are a vapor, but a vapor with a great purpose - to bring glory to God
- One example of a boasting, or a pride, out of arrogance, "I'm not so concerned whether God wills, I'm going to do this!" - boasting is not only arrogant, but it's evil, it's sin
- While we may look at the example and think that we're not like that person in vv13, in many cases the manifestation is a lot more subtle/insidious than it initially seems.
- We need to take on the mindset of:
- Praising God, even when what expires doesn’t happen according to our plans
- Recognizing that whether we make profit or not, God is sovereign and God is all good.
- When a project gets cancelled, we ought to look forward to what God has in store for you next, rather than being upset that it is cancelled.
- If/when your spouse dies, we should focus on the truth that God has a purpose here.
- Even in the most dire of circumstances we should recognize that God has a great purpose for this
- God has given us the privilege of service, of work, so ask God to help us do the work that is before us
- There's so much frailty baked into life - if you do anything well, that's the grace of God
- Living like an atheist is not just foolish, but evil
- Some examples of God dealing with sinful, arrogant men in the bible
- Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar bosting in himself; later is turned into a beast
- Herod, struck down
- Not just a figment, or nebulous theology, but a real God, who deals with real Sin
- Set plans, have a resolve, and trust your plans and will to God