"THE WRONG USE OF POSSESSIONS"
Introduction: A popular comedian said, "If money talks,
all it ever says to me is good-bye!"
Most of us would be able to say amen to that, especially in this
day and time.
But money was not saying good-bye to the men that James addresses
in this letter. Perhaps these men were rich and their riches
were sinful. They were using their wealth for sinful purposes and
were persecuting the poor in the process.
Or it could be that these men were not so rich but in their heart
desired to be and in their poverty had as much grief as somebody
who is wealthy.
One of the themes that runs through James 5 is trouble. We
meet poor people deprived of their wages, 5:4, as well as
some people who are physically afflicted (5:13,16), others
who were spiritually backslidden (5:19,20).
A second theme that James introduced is prayer. The poor
laborers cried out to God (5:4), the sick and the afflicted
should pray (5:13,16). Elijah was cited as an example of one
who believes in prayer (5:17,18).
Now when you join these two themes together, you arrive at
the fifth mark of the mature Christian. He is prayerful in trouble.
Now let's review just a moment. The marks of maturity in the
Christian life is the theme of this book, Spiritual maturity was
one of the greatest needs then and now in churches. Far too
often they are playpens for babies instead of workshops for adults.
Not mature enough to eat solid spiritual food they need, so they
have to be placed on milk.
Just look at the problems James dealt with and you can see
that each one of them is the characteristics of a little child.
Impatience in difficulties. (1:1-4)
Talking, but not living the truth. (2:14)
No control of the tongue. (3:1)
Fighting and coveting. (4:1)
Collecting material toys. (5:1)
Now the five chapters of James point out to us the marks of the
I. HE IS PATIENT IN TESTING. (Chapter 1)
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