James 4:13-5:6 "Connect"

Authorship … While the Book itself offers no evidence of authorship, the early church fathers accepted James, the half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3) and leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; Galatians 2:9), as the author of the book that bears his name.

James did not initially believe in Jesus as the Messiah (John 7:2-10). He became a believer after witnessing the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:7). He was present on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14).

Date … Most believe the Book of James to be among, if not the earliest, of the Epistles (45-55 A.D.)

Recipients … probably Jewish believers who had fled their homeland because of religious and government persecution.

Josephus, a Jewish historian, mentioned the martyrdom of James around 62 A.D.

Pastor’s Notes:

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.”

James 4:13-17

An uncertain future requires attention to the will of God.

Planning apart from God makes no sense because God knows what the future hold, you don’t.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.”

James eludes to the risks involved in financial ventures because of the uncertainty of the future… Leaving God out of one’s plans is also a risky business.

Don’t seek God for the approval of your plans, and that’s what most do, but rather search the mind of God for His plans for your life in every aspect.

WHY? Because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring … GOD DOES!

“You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.”

Two Reason we must consult God for any future plans:

  1. We don’t know the events of the future for which we plan

  2. We don’t know if we will be a part of that future for which we plan

Consider:

“Then He told them a parable: A rich man’s land was very productive. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? 18 I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be? 21 That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:16-21

“Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives …. Before we make decision of any significance we are to seek the “Lord’s will.”

“But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”

Boasting in this passage speaks to the arrogant attitude of believers who think they can go it alone, without God’s guidance. Self-confidence (trusting in oneself apart from God), is evil. Leaving God out of the decision making process is sin.

“So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.”

The sin of omission – leaving God out or failing to do what God has said.

NOTE – For most believers (my opinion) it is not what they do but what they don’t do that is the problem. Either way if you do what you shouldn’t or don’t do what you should it is SIN.

When was the last time you had a planning meeting with God to discuss the future and what was His will for your life?

“Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. 2 Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3 Your silver and gold are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You stored up treasure in the last days! 4 Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who reaped your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. 5 You have lived luxuriously on the land and have indulged yourselves. You have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned—you have murdered—the righteous man; he does not resist you.”

James 5:1-6

The context shifts from the believer’s sin of omission to the believer’s struggles with the rich; the mistreatment of believer’s by the wealthy.

“Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you.”

This is not a condemnation of those who have riches, but how they chose to use their riches.

Those who use riches as personal gain while ignoring the needs of others will face the judgment of God

“Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3 Your silver and gold are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You stored up treasure in the last days!

Wealth was often measured by food, expensive clothing and precious metals … Wealth hoarded, and held back from the poor, will rot and corrode leaving nothing.

CONSIDER:

“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

Empty coffers will testify against the rich when they come to their end, and when they stand before God empty handed.

Better to give away what you have and gain than to keep what you have and lose it all.

“What has a man gained, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?”

“Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who reaped your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.”

Your dishonesty has not gone unnoticed … Omniscient God sees all things.

“You have lived luxuriously on the land and have indulged yourselves. You have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.”

The self-indulgent rich are like calves being fattened for the slaughter. They live in the present blind to what awaits them in the future.

“You have condemned—you have murdered—the righteous man; he does not resist you.”

Your deceptions have injured those who have done nothing wrong … they work hard for their living … they have no recourse but to turn to and trust in God

This passage stands as a challenge to use what God has given us wisely and honestly. It further confronts us with the question of our lifestyle in relation to those who have not.

How will you implement the teaching of this passage to your life and ministry?


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Atkins First Baptist Church

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201 N Church St
Atkins, AR 72823

www.atkinsfbc.com

(479) 641-2693