Possessions and Patience. James 5:1-12

Possessions and Patience. James 5:1-12

March 17, 2024

Handout for Sermon. Possessions and Patience. March 17th, 2024, Manchester, TN 9:30 am

INTRODUCTION: We often want to think we are so mature in the faith but are we mature in the eyes of God.  God warns us of the danger of deceiving ourselves. He also warns us of the danger of pride and arrogance.  The entire book of James is written to challenge Christians to look with an open mind and an open heart at themselves. There will always be a danger among God’s people in developing an attitude like that of the Pharisees.  Jesus warns us of this in the Gospels.

LESSON:                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We live in the world and there is such a danger of being influenced by the world and the way the world thinks and acts.  We are warned about falling in love with the things of the world, 1 John 2:15-17 and warned about trying to serve two masters, Matthew 6:24-26.

1.D0 NOT BE DRAWN TO THE UNCERTAINTY OF MATERIAL THINGS, James 5:1-6 .                                                                                                 As you read this section you may wonder, is God saying we are like this? Are Christians like this? Or is this a warning to Christians because they can become like this because they live in a wicked world? We know in James 2:5-6 God instructed us to not cater to the riches of this world and not God warns us about what might happen to us if we “run” after riches.

What does Jesus say about the rich? Matthew 19:24, Luke 18:25, I Timothy 6:9

What do Christians need to know about the potential danger of earthly possession?                                                                                                   God uses terms like: “rotting away”, “moth-eaten rage”, “corrosion”,” eating away your flesh” in James 5:2-3. Could is be possible that you or I are hurting others to get what we want? James 5:4. We must remember God sees and hears everything! So in our pursuit for wealth and riches we better learn to have God’s perspective on this topic. Scripture: James 1:9-10, James 1:27, James 2:1-7 God wants His true followers to focus on the spiritual first and not the physical, as instructed in Matthew 6:25-34. A focus on possessions will cause one to become  unconcerned for the welfare of others, and we become more selfish and self-focused, James 5:5. We may even stoop to fraudulent ways to make money, James 5:4. We may even turn into a person that is all about condemning others,  even guilty of murder and abuse of power due to our wealth, James 5:6.

2.THE VALUE OF PATIENCE, James 5:7-12                                                                                                                                                            Define patience: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. The ability to wait something out or endure something tedious, without getting riled up. Synonyms: forbearance, restraint, self-restraint, resignation. There are three areas where we need patience: patience with ourselves, others, and material things.  When one focuses on self and one’s own lust they will struggle with the concept of patience. James addresses self-centeredness: James 3:16, James 4:2, 4 and 11.  What will help is stay focused on: “the coming of the Lord.” James 5:7-8. We need a constant awareness and focus on Jesus Christ and His coming. We must live each day aware of the brevity of life. James 4:15-16

A command from our Lord in connection with patience: Do not grumble against another! James 5:9, Philippians 2:14, 1 Peter 4:9 Why is such behavior wrong? Why is this such a temptation for us? It all boils down to our being influenced by the world and how it makes us think, act, and treat others. The world speaks evil, the world shows partiality, the world classifies people. Such things never build understanding, love nor unity. It is divisive. God is addressing a shortcoming of true Christians, and we need to take note of this! Stop looking at others, look at yourself and be patient as you will need it.

Conclusion:  Let God’s people take a serious look at themselves and consider their relationship with their possessions and evaluate their patience in life.  Is it possible that our possessions get in the way with our relationship and service to God?  How patient are we with our family, friends, church people and our enemies?  Spiritual maturity can be difficult at times. Please stay focused and positive as we all work more earnestly with these challenges