OPENING SONG AND PRAYER
We started our time together by singing hymn #17 "O Father, You Are Sovereign."
We spent 3 minutes reviewing James 4:13-17, after which we recited the passage together.
- Even in planning for positive things in life, we should submit all things and circumstances to the sovereignty of God.
We reviewed James 5:1-5, spending:
- 3 minutes to memorize verses 1-3;
- 2 minutes to memorize verse 4
- James warns the rich to weep and howl, for their hoarding of riches ultimately ends up in a wasted result (e.g., gold and silver rusting. Gold and silver don't actually rust, but is used as a demonstration to show their ultimate worthlessness when esteemed in inappropriately high value vs. having a godly attitude toward wealth).
- In the past, wealth was very visible and tangible. For example, wealth was found in physical currency, property, cattle, etc. But in our digital age today, our wealth may not be very visible, and so our attitude and value toward wealth must be more honest before the Lord.
- What are some examples that demonstrate hoarding our wealth today?
- Putting into retirement before giving to the Lord.
- Building a real estate empire to amass personal riches.
- Excessive spending, even when amassing debt against resources we never had. "Hoarding against the future"
- Did Jesus tell everyone to sell all of their wealth and possessions and live in poverty instead? No! The Lord knows the hearts of every person, and calls them to respond and obey accordingly.
- Example: Zaccheus (Luke 19). Zaccheus was a tax collector who defrauded people, and hoarded his riches. In his repentance, Zaccheus he gave away half of his wealth to the poor, and making up to the people he defrauded. He may have had more riches left, but the Lord didn't demand that he give up the rest of his wealth also.
- Martha, Mary, and Lazarus seem to have a house, in which they host the Lord.
- These are some good questions we can ask in order to evaluate our hearts regarding wealth and hoarding. What should we do with the wealth that God has given to us?
- Who do we serve: God or wealth? (Matthew 6)
- Are we caring for and helping the needy? (Job 31:16-23)
- Are we conceited about our wealth? (1 Timothy 6)
- God's purpose is not for us to live in poverty. Rather, God desires for us to be in a position where we can use our resources to help others.
- Lord of the Sabaoth = Lord of Hosts. Referring to the Lord of the hosts of angels who is coming. This is why the rich have their miseries coming upon them, because the Lord's return will bring judgment upon those who are rich but withhold fair wages from their employees.
- We must deal honestly before the Lord in all things, even in the small things. For example, it is not worth lying in order to save any amount of money, while compromising our conscience and righteousness before the Lord.