When someone walks through the door, it's human nature for us to size them up, to make assumptions. Are they rich or poor? Attractive or unattractive? Educated or uneducated? These assumptions lead to judgments and judgments lead to actions. In this week's text, James is warning us about this seriously sinful tendency we all have to show favoritism. In fact, he says, it contradicts the very gospel we claim to believe.
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It doesn't take much reflection to become overwhelmed with the depth of our sin--in our desires and thoughts and speech and actions. And this comes out most readily in times of trial and distress. How does James command us to fight against our sinful tendencies? Listen up!
Trial often leads to temptation. When we're disillusioned and disoriented by difficult circumstances surrounding us, it becomes easy to doubt the goodness of God and be tempted to abandon his will. How can we battle this temptation in our trials?
If you truly believe it, James says, you’ll live it. A faith that works is what his letter is all about. In this week's text, James applies this to our money--or more specifically, our perspective on wealth. In this punchy passage, he gives an encouragement for the poor and a warning for the wealthy.
We begin our summer sermon series this week in the book of James. Instead of complex theological discourse, this letter is full of practical wisdom--nearly every other verse is a command. So what is James' purpose? To show us that true faith in Christ works itself out practically in every area of our lives. James dives right into his letter from the start, addressing faith that works in trials.