“Real Authentic Faith"
Verse of the Week
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
The Big Idea
Never be Afraid to trust an unknown future to a Known God?”
Don't be Overconfident in our Plans
So out the gate, we see James addressing something that was plaguing the Scattered Christian Jews, they were making their own plans apart from the will of God. These Guys had big plans for their future. They would have had all the details figured out. They were OVERCONFIDENT in their future! They would have said that Jesus was in control of their lives but when you looked at their plans, it spoke otherwise.
So a big question that needs to be answered, are plans bad?
Apart from the will of God, this life will be a mystery! Only when you know God as your Heavenly Father and you seek to do his will, then life will make sense. What if we see our workplaces as divine assignments by God for him to use us to reach the lost that are around us! How might our perspective change when we see the people that give us a hard time as the Lost that Jesus told us to seek a save!
Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
***Plans are ok! But obedience has to be a priority. As we make plans, we must be diligent to say to ourselves God not my will but your will be done in my life and let us make plans accordingly!
Let’s be clear, Connection Church I am not saying that God is against you making plans, But it is one thing for a believer to make plans and another to think of himself as sovereign over their future. When we make our plans, are they in line with God's will? Let's face it, this verse says it clearly, “You ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” The basic question we all have to ask ourselves is do we know what God’s Will is? Because if we can’t answer that question, we run the risk of being outside of the will of God.
Warren Weirsbe - “When a believer is out of the will of God, he becomes a trouble maker and not a peacemaker.” The will of God comes from the Heart of God
So what is his Will?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
And one last one to give you the bigger picture, and a key focus is on the Nations!
“And now the Lord says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength— he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles (Nations), that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.””
Isaiah 49:5-6 NIV
Connection church, we are not only planted in this city to reach it. But we are tasked with the mission of proclaiming the Gospel to those who haven’t heard. So that one day we will see every nation, tribe, and tongue at the throne!
Live this day in light of that day. We aren’t promised tomorrow.
Don’t be Overconfident in your Material Possessions.
Materialism: When the physical and the financial take precedence over the spiritual and the eternal.
At the heart of sin, is the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life. At the heart of pride is often a love for money, that is, materialism. James isn't condemning money itself. Some of God's servants were wealthy (e.g., Abraham, Job), and money was not their problem. What James is Condemning here is a mindset that turns gold into a god, good things into God things.James in 5:1-6, he rebukes the rich people among his readers whose hearts were devoted to materialism. Theirs is a sin that transcends time. If you live in modern America, you are tempted to be a materialist.
We all want Jesus until he cost us something! Last I checked, sacrificing doesn’t feel good! My savior Hung on a cross for you. That cross wasn’t comfortable! He hung on that cross for me! If you say you love Jesus, and you sacrificed something, if it didn’t hurt you to sacrifice it, you probably didn’t sacrifice anything. Think of the Rich young ruler!
Read and discuss Matthew 19:16-24
James Knows the people that are in this church, he is addressing 4 types of People in the church. Poor godly people and poor ungodly, rich godly and rich ungodly! Who he is addressing in this section is the rich ungodly!
**So What can we learn from ungodly rich people?" They teach us that TWO brutally different worldviews expose our hearts motivation when it comes to Money & Material Possessions:
You're Either Blinded by Ownership or Humbled by Stewardship
Ownership says, "I don't belong to God, nothing I have belongs to God, in fact I DESERVE all that I have because I worked hard for it and I answer only to myself." (ex. Money in Air - I will throw all my money in the air, what goes up to Heaven is Gods, and what falls down is mine.)
Ownership convinces you that you always have the final say, you are the voice of reason, you are self-made, you made the boots & pulled yourself up by your own Bootstraps, you wake yourself up every morning, you are in control because you believe that - You.... Are.... Ultimately God.
But humility produces an attitude of Stewardship, which screams that there is someone BEYOND you, it says: "I belong to God, everything I have belongs to God, in fact I don't deserve any of this - it is a gift from God, because I am the Lord's steward. "(ex. I would be a fool to throw the money in the air to test you. besides it's all yours anyway, I'm breathing your air and I'm standing on the ground you created.
A Good steward is wise, because they know that everything on this planet will spoil. A Good steward recognizes we will have to give an account with what God has given us.
How has your week been spiritually?
What is God teaching you through this passage?
If we are supposed to align our lives with the will of God, how can we begin to live inside of his will in regards to our current work assignments?
How can we break the mastery of money in our lives? How can we center our hearts on God rather than wealth? How can we store up treasures in heaven?
Where are we storing our treasure? How can we break free from the idolatry of money and all the things it buys? How can we seek first God's kingdom?
Are we stewards or owners of Gods resources?
Call to Action
Share your next step with 1 person inside or outside of group and invite them to hold you accountable.
Talk about Group with at least 1 person.